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    Europe Trip Part One

    Today in Munch was great!!  The weather was nice and the sun was out (unlike yesterday).  We went to a really nice park and had some Wiener schnitzel.  We also spent some time at two major shopping centers and had a nice cup of coffee and relaxed.  The coffee was not that great, I’m looking forward to some better coffee in France or Italy.

    We landed safely in Frankfurt, Germany after a long flight.  Amy and I ended up getting separated on the flight because a girl booked seats for herself and her baby 3 rows apart and decided on the plane to sit together.  Of Course I wasn’t going to put up a fight and separate a baby and her mother, so we just let it go.  I was slightly annoyed at the little kid next to me that kept trying to put his feet on me and sleep on my shoulder, but at least he was asleep for most of the flight.

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    The Frankfurt airport was pretty neat.   It had a mixture of grungy industrialism and modernism.  We had our Euro Rail Passes validated, grabbed a sandwich and boarded the train for Salzburg, Austria (home of the Sound of Music) which turned out to not be such a great idea for various reasons (mostly weather related), but we did get a glimpse of a really cozy town. It was a 4 hour train ride to Munich and then a 2.5 hour train ride from there to Salzburg.  On the way, we saw a lot of green rolling hills and were impressed with how green everything was.  I guess I didn’t expect Germany to have quite so much open land.  As the train pulled into the town we could tell by the architecture and the huge castle up on the cliff that we could really enjoy looking around, but it had been raining since we got off the plane and the temperature was in the high 40s low 50s, so the weather took some of the fun out of our evening there.  Amy had a small umbrella but we all got pretty wet as we walked around the town.  Since it was getting late in the evening and we were planning on staying the night back in Munich, all we wanted from Salzburg was an authentic meal.  Most of the shopping places had already closed for the evening, so there wasn’t much else we could do indoors out of the rain.  We were considering trying to make it to the restaurant up on top of the cliff, but gave up on the idea as we started to get hungry and tired of getting soaked in the rain.  We finally found a really nice restaurant but it was packed and there seem to be a long waiting list.  Tired, cold and frustrated, we headed back to the train station.  luckily we found a little fast food place that had a good selection of authentic food.  I got the Spezial Bosen and it was fantastic.  Finally we hopped on the train back to Munich.  We managed to get a private room in one of the train cars and we turned off the lights and all crashed.  We arrived in Munich about 10pm and Rachel kindly grabbed a pay phone and began calling around to find a place to stay (thank you Rachel!).  We found a Shariton nearby that was somewhat reasonable and grabbed a cab.  We probably would have been much better off just skipping Salzburg and spending a little more time trying to find a cheaper place to stay, but I think we had a good time anyway.

    Munch was great!!  The weather was nice and the sun was out (unlike the day before).  We went to a really nice park and had some Wiener schnitzel.  Yipes the Germans drink a lot of beer!!  I think we were the only ones that didn’t have a “biggy gulp beer mug.”  We also spent some time at two major shopping centers and had a nice cup of coffee and relaxed.   The shopping area was extremely crowded, so we didn’t feel like fighting crowds to shop.  The coffee was not that great, but the atmosphere was nice.  We sat under some umbrellas out in the square and people watched for a while.  We quickly noticed the abundance of mullets which we thought was quite amusing!!  I was incredibly impressed by the bike lanes everywhere!  It is a very bike friendly city.  I sure wish Austin would get lanes like that.  I would ride my bike to work for sure.  It was also nice to see a total lack of large gas guzzling vehicles.  No trucks or hummers or vans or suburbans, just small efficient, non obtrusive vehicles.  Europe is ahead of the curve for sure.  During our day in Munich, we came across a really cool subway station that was composed of orange tile.  Of course the photographers (Rachel and I) just had to stop!!  So we had a nice little photo-shoot for maybe even 30 minutes.  We got some of my favorite photos during this shoot.  We then hit up a little internet cafe for 20 minutes, which is where that last post came from.  I tried to post this blog that I had started with no luck.  Next stop was the night train for Paris, but we had to grab a couple of scoops of gelato for the ride.  I got green apple flavor and it was AMAZING!  The night train was nice except that the bunks were too short for me and I had to either sleep diagonally or bend me knees.  but, I was soo tired, I was still able to sleep fairly well.

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