Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Munich, Germany

Before getting to Munich we traveled about 30 hours, we had to travel from one part of the U.S. to another, then to Heathrow Airport in London and finally to Munich.  At the time we had 3 children, my oldest was 6, my daughter was 3 and my 3rd child was 2 months old.  Right before landing at Heathrow my 2 month old blew out his diaper, I had baby poo all down my front and on my shoes.  I tried to clean up as best I could, but I had no clothes to change into in my carry-on.  I had packed at least an extra set of clothes for all of my children in our carry-on, but none for me.  So that was awesome.  We got through security and to Munich without too much hassle.  And then we got to Munich.

I took German all through high school and even at the University level, but it had been years since I spoke German to anyone.  I had brushed up by going through some old text books before we left home.  I was a bit rusty at best!  We were walking around Munich airport trying to figure out where to go or what to do.  We had directions to our hotel and knew that we had to get metro tickets to get there.  My 2 oldest children found a moving sidewalk and promptly threw their stuff down and fell down on the moving sidewalk.  Just picture a family of 5, baby in a carrier on me, 3 suitcases, 4 backpacks, 1 carry on, all in disarray, children lying down on a moving sidewalk, I felt helpless and lost.  My husband was trying to pick up our luggage, and some nice bystanders picked up my kids.  We found the right place to go, the right tickets to purchase, and found the right line for the metro.  We got on the metro, only to be kicked off again, because we got on a train that was being retired for the day.  When we finally got on the right train, going the right way, we got off at our correct stop, and followed  the directions for our "short" walk to our hotel. A short walk to a European is a long walk to an American, and a really LONG walk if that American has 3 kids and all their luggage.  We eventually found our hotel only to find that they had lost our reservation.  Thankfully my husband had a copy of our reservation and our confirmation.  The hotel was very apologetic, they made a reservation at one of their sister hotels and even paid for the cab to take us there.  It had been 6 long hours since I had been pooped on, so first thing I did was shower and change into clean clothes.  Then our adventure really began.

We went out and found that our hotel was right by 2 strip joints, that was interesting.  All the signs were in English, and it wasn't until later that I realized that would be more subtle to a German, but to an American it was very blatant.  My 6 year old son kept asking what SEX was, because that is what the sign said and he was learning how to read, didn't really think it was the best time to have "the talk" so we told him sex is another word for gender, like male or female.  He accepted this and we continued our walk on the other side of the street.

We went to a little Greek restaurant and no one spoke English, so I was able to use my choppy German and order us some food.  I'm so surprised that I did as well as I did.  We ate a pretty good dinner.  We realized on our walk that our hotel, that we had been relocated to, was a short walk to the train station and was a better location than our first hotel.  We also had a lot of fun in the train station, it was pretty big, lots of different things to see.  We took the train to go see the Glochenspiel, that was really impressive.  After the clock put the town to bed we took a nice stroll around Munich.  There was a quartet set up on the street playing classical music, so beautiful, and of course we got ice cream which was so good.  It felt like the day went from being a nightmare to being a dream.  We went to bed that night with happy thoughts and hopes.  Then we all woke up at 3 am, we looked at each other, everyone was hungry, so we ate some food and then went back to sleep.

Our plan for travelling through Germany was to go to a city a day, a bit ambitious for any person, and for a family, near impossible.  With packing up every morning and checking into youth hostels, or hotels every night, a lot of time is simply wasted in moving.  We should have stayed in one hotel for at least 3 days that was centrally located, and then went on day trips from that location.  Then we would have been able to have more time to see everything we wanted to see.  We did not do that, and hindsight is always 20/20.  A nice thing about large train stations in Germany is that there are lockers that you can rent.  Some are lockers we are used to, and some have magic lockers that eat your luggage and give you a claim check that will magically regurgitate your luggage upon request.  If you are changing where you sleep nightly, you can rely on these large train stations to securely hold your luggage while you go to see the sites.  A small train station, like Fussein, can not be relied upon to have the capacity to have enough lockers, or any available lockers, to store your luggage in.  If you are travelling to a smaller city, or going on a day trip and need to store your luggage while you are going about your activities, please store them in the larger facility!


  1. Wow the kids are so little. I bet they got a lot of attention

  2. They did get a lot of attention and gained us sympathy!