Monday, November 26, 2007

A Weekend on the Home Front

After a round of travels up and down Bavaria, we were really for a quiet weekend at home in Munich. Fortunately, there were plenty of things to do on our own turf.

We started with a visit to the Deutsches Museum, reputed to be the world's greatest permanent exposition of technology and applied science. Occupying an entire island in the middle of the Isar River, it must also be one of the world's biggest museums, period.

Even with an unusually compliant Miles (who set a personal record with a three-hour nap), we saw only a small part of the museum, focusing our attention on ships, aviation and mining.

I was happy to see a Klepper Aerius II folding kayak (just like my dad's) represented in the excellent maritime history section.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Miles checked out a cross-section of the first U-Boat.

Among the many elegant aircraft represented in the aviation section, we were most impressed by this homemade plane, built in the 1980s by an East German family out of motorcycle parts and small pieces of scrap metal. Unfortunately, they were arrested the day before their planned escape to the West, but aviation experts testified at their trial that the plane was airworthy (gee, thanks, guys). On the bright side, the plane was returned to them after their release from prison and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and they very graciously donated it to the Deutsches Museum.

Miles woke up in time to enjoy a walk through the basement of the museum, an appropriately subterranean exploration of the world of mining.

And a vast world it was -- by the time we completed the tour, we probably qualified for a nice pension.

Christmas was in full swing the next day in Marienplatz.

The window display at the Kaufhof department store captivated Miles (OK, and us too) with hundreds of mechanical bears and other critters attending to Christmas festivities.

Skaters, fortified with Glühwein, filled the rink at chilly Karlsplatz.

Aided by his own audioguide, Miles took us on a tour of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich's impressive collection of medieval, Renassiance and early modern painting.

When we'd finally had enough art, we settled in at the Paulaner restaurant on Tal for some weissbier and Nürnberger sausages.


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