A rainy Sunday had us feeling a little homesick â€“ without a crazy adventure to distract us (and only CNN on TV) we were left wondering what to do.Â There is this great website that we have been relying on heavily for information â€“ toytowngermany.com, which is written by expats with advice for expats.Â A few movie theaters were listed as playing English movies so off we went, umbrellas in hand.Â The directions led us to a very busy mall; apparently we werenâ€™t the only ones with this idea.Â A throng of peopled queued up in front of ticket machines and we joined in the line.
We returned to the Munich town hall/KVR (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) to continue our registration process and apply for our visa.Â We had read hours of horror stories, scathing reviews and all sorts of advice that made us scared to attempt this next set of paperwork.
Today we â€œtramâ€psed off to Nymphenburg Palace on the west side of the city.Â Traveling by tram was a nice change as we were able to actually see some of the city instead of taking the subway â€“ which has a much less interesting view.Â The Palace was built by the Ferdinand Maria (Bavarian King)Â as a â€œpush presentâ€ for his wifeâ€¦ Continue reading
My cousin, Allie, came over to visit us on her way across Europe.Â We checked out the Residenz, home of the rulers of Bavaria, with its seriously gorgeous gold decorations.
We walked around the city and went up in the Glockenspiel tower for a view of Munich.
Day two in Venice we waterbused to Murano â€“ the island famous for glass blowing.Â There were some seriously cool things made out of glass, we bought a small blue and white bowl.Â Some shops were more like museums and even charged a cover fee just to enter.Â It wasnâ€™t just the shops that had cover charges, though, many of the restaurants charged 1.5-6 Euros just to sit down.Â Dinners got to be fairly expensive for just pasta (and wine).Â I was brave and tried cuttlefish, cooked in itâ€™s own black ink.
Our first full day in Venice was awesome; we wandered around Lido, a nearby island, and went swimming on the public beach.Â Lots of man-thongs and speedos, but no one was naked.Â Brian and I have only swum in the Pacific and the Atlantic, adding the Adriatic to our list was very cool.
Arriving in Venice was overwhelming, both the crowds and the heat instantly exhausted us. Venice is confusing, but in a really magical way.Â It is IMPOSSIBLE to not get lost, but as long as you are not in a rush anywhere (and have plenty of water) just enjoy the experience.Â After somehow finding our hotel we were ecstatic to find that there was air conditioning, I could not imagine having stayed for 3 days in 90 degrees without it.
Comparing hostel experiences and traveling tips with a bunch of young Europeans on a 6 hour train ride to Venice was the perfect start to our first adventure outside of Germany. Three Icelandic boys had us rolling with laughter as they described just how much stronger they found German beer than the watered down beer from back home.Â A young Croatian girl, also in our compartment, started grilling us about Snowden and was extremely upset about the whole situation.
I bought Barefoot Pinot Grigio from the grocery store.Â The wine here is amazing â€“ and cheap, I felt a little ridiculous splurging 5 Euros for a bottle of California wine, but I wanted to bring something to our new friends that was from home.Â Barefoot was the only wine I recognized, there were only five American choices, all from California. We met up with Anna and Frank for a concert at Olympia Park, I guess Iâ€™d describe it as Indie- electronic.Â Not bad for a free concert, and the company was wonderful. I even convinced Brian to dance with me, it was hard given that the music felt like it was being played underwater, and we more swayed than danced.