(NOTE: We're trying to see different things on this trip to Munich than we did on our last trip. You might want to check out our previous trip to Bavaria to see some of the big sites we won't be covering on this trip as well)
One of the down sides to traveling is laundry. Not finding anywhere to wash our clothes in Prague, we're in desperate need of a laundromat. Our last purchase at the Hilton Prague was a couple of cheap t-shirts to hold us over till we could find one.
We've arrived at our hotel in Munich, the Novotel Suites in Schwabing. It's located in a very quiet business park. and the room is very basic. Hard to call it a suite but I guess there's a sliding panel in the wall that can be deployed as a barrier between the bed on one side of the room and the twin-sized day bed on the other side.
The bathroom is fully accessible with a roll-in shower but the pocket door has several ventilation holes in it, which compromises your privacy in it.
In the shower, the hot water is very hot and strong. Scalding, in fact, and the handle is in a precarious position so we have to be extremely careful when bathing not to hit it or receive burns if we do.
After checkin, we put our dirty clothes in a suitcase, find a nearby laundry (about 5 blocks away), and start walking over.
It's a Saturday and the laundry is closed today so we walk back to the hotel. On the way over, I saw a sign for a biergarten among the dozens of apartment blocks. I wonder if they're open and if they serve food. It's dinner time and we're hungry.
In Munich, each apartment building is separated by a green strip. Residents use this area to grow gardens and to have a little outdoor space.
One of these plots in this neighborhood is given over to the Alte Heide restaurant, which uses the space for a small biergarten.
A little manhandling is required to get Tim's chair over the 1 inch lip into the gravel covered garden (his heavy duty chair, back at home, would handle it easily) where a lovely round table awaits us. The locals already at some of the other tables raise their glass and greet us as we come in.]
This isn't one of the massive biergartens the city is famous four. Just a quiet, neighborhood joint with about a dozen tables under the shady trees.
Although I've been taking DIY German lessons for the three months leading up to this trip, my supposed "25% fluency" is not getting my point across. The server says she doesn't know any English but her English is better than my German. She does provide us an English translation of the menu, which is a great help.
While we ponder our food choices, three litres of their special Oktoberfest beer...tonight's special... are set before us. Yes, it was delicious, refreshing, and much appreciated on this warm day.
Letty gets a steak; Tim, some pork Cordon Bleu; and I get some German meatloaf with potato salad. The food is simple and outstanding. All first-rate dishes, with Tim getting the best of it.
For dessert, a little apple strusel a la mode.
Before we leave, the server gives us a special treat, shots of Bavarian schnapps. It was very good.
The others at the tables are welcoming, smiling, relaxed. While we have to swat away a bee now and again, it's just the perfect way to relax. Over four hundred of these little (some bigger...some huge) relaxing beer parks dot the city of Munich. Literally, every block.
It's kind of like the pub culture in England...the social living room everybody comes to for relaxing and hanging out with others. Except, here in Munich, it's more like a patio.
For our next week, we've found our local. The Alte Heide biergarten in the Schwabing district, a happy accident while searching for a place to wash our clothes.
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