European Delivery, My Little Odyssey
The European Road Trip Begins: Munich
Where were you one year ago today? I was in Europe. To be precise, I was in Luxembourg, a tiny little country that non-Europeans might not have heard of. (It’s a real hidden gem.) My husband and I were on an epic one-month road trip driving around Europe last year. We covered 5,000 miles and 13 countries in 32 days. The Odyssey Road Trip looked like this: Germany-Switzerland-France-Luxembourg-Belgium-The Netherlands-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Austria-Slovakia-Czech Republic-Austria-Germany. I’ll try to recapture my memories in a series of posts so that they don’t overwhelm the readers, and more importantly the writer, in one shot.
European Delivery: A Euroland Adventure
We had bundled a European vacation with European Delivery. So what is European Delivery? An average person in North America might not have heard this term before. And those from elsewhere would have absolutely no idea about it. Well, basically, it’s a program offered by some European car manufacturers for North American customers to come and ‘take delivery’ of their cars at the factories in Europe.
We were tempted by this Mercedes’ program, ‘A driving adventure where driving was born’. But alas, don’t they make good-looking cars anymore? So we decided to go with their biggest rival, BMW. Sorry!
We flew direct from Newark to Munich. BMW had negotiated a deal with Lufthansa that allowed European Delivery customers to buy one ticket and get another free. Sweet deal!
After 8 hours of flying, we arrived at Franz Josef Strauss Airport and were welcomed by this giant BMW display. We knew we were right in Munich, the Capital City of Bavaria and BMW (which stands for Bavarian Motor Works).
But all the taxis are Mercedes obviously.
We hopped on Lufthansa Airport Shuttle to Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station). From there, we walked for a few blocks to our hotel. After check-in, we took off to explore the city without further ado. We walked towards Marienplatz and saw nice shops and crowds. Was someone trying to commit suicide there? :P
Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)
A putto fighting the beast, at the pedestal of the Virgin Mary Column
We then continued on towards the the Munich Residenz (Munich Palace). In front of the Old Palace were two (guarding) lion statues. We saw people touching the statue. I thought they were just curious tourists who wanted to touch and feel the bronze statue. But my husband said, ‘No, there must be something else to it. Like a ritual.’ We observed for a few more moments and saw more people touch it. And they didn’t look like tourists either. What kind of mysterious and sacred ritual is this? I didn’t know, but I believe that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So on my first day in Munich, I did as the Munich residents did. Touch the lion!
It turns out that these Munich lions are actually world famous, ranked #9 in the World’s Top 10 Good Luck Monuments. I think I’m a pretty lucky person to have seen all the Good Luck Monuments in the US (#3, #4 and #10).
And then in the middle of the old Max-Joseph-Platz came a futuristic RoboCop. (Do people these days still remember RoboCop? :))
Unfortunately we couldn’t visit inside the Palace and saw the lavish interiors because it was already closed. But we were able to enjoy the palace grounds as the sun was about to set.
Serene beauty of the Residenz
We started to head back to our hotel for an early evening rest (and cope with the jet lag).
Then in front of the Main Train Station, we saw a familiar sight. An American school bus turned into a bar. Pretty cool idea.
We retired early because we had a big day awaiting us. Yes, we would to be delivered our car at the BMW World!
My first breakfast in Munich. My first Weisswurst, the Bavarian white sausage.
After breakfast, I wanted to visit Deutsches Museum. It is the largest and oldest science and technology museum in the world. It is also included in the Top 1000 list to do in ‘1,000 Places to See before You Die’. So I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
Deutsches Museum is not too big, in terms of space. You can thoroughly cover the whole museum within a few hours easily. A perfect morning activity. It has all kinds of objects and artifacts related to human’s technical development in a wide range of areas. So there is something to everyone.
From the development of transport…
to the development of cameras.
One note is that even though this is the most visited museum in Germany, it’s still a science and technology museum. After all, that’s what Germany has excelled at. So let’s say if you’re only passionate about the richness of arts and cultures, this museum (and even Germany) is probably not the ideal destination for you. We finished the museum before noon and were scheduled to take delivery at the BMW World at 2pm. So we took the U-Bahn train to Olympiazentrum where the Olympic Park is located. BMW Welt is directly opposite the Olympic Park.
I’ll go take a nap like this man in the park and think about what to write about the BMW experience (BMW Welt and the cool BMW Museum) in the next post. So see you in Part II!