On one of our ventures, I happened to escape Ron’s clutches long enough to get into a department store to quickly browse. I justified the trip with his wanting new gloves as a good excuse as any. Of course, the gloves he like were 150 Euros. No way! However, in the second store we tried, I spotted some sweater shirts I waned to check out literally, like check them out at the cashier’s. Ron has learned one simple sentence to control me for a few hours minimum. He gives me a longing look as he exclaims “You don’t want to carry that around with you all day, do you?” I have caught on to this trick long ago. Generally, he tries to fill the day, so there is as likelihood of my getting back there as there is of my returning to the US in the next decade. Slim to none. Stores in Munich are open until 8pm, Monday through Saturday giving me little reason to doubt “I will return” armed with a credit card.
To divert my attentions, after a coffee and pastry at the market hall, we took off for the English Gardens. Not a sole soul could tell us why it was named as such. Impressions and mental images would conjure up bountiful gardens of flowers everywhere. Although this could not be farther from reality, the gardens were magnificent. It wasn’t until much later that I found some history on the gardens.
It was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson, but expanded by successors decades later. It is one of the world’s largest urban public parks exceeding the size of New York’s Central Park; however it is smaller than London’s Richmond Park. English Garden, the name refers to the style of gardening referring to an informal landscape gardening style popularized in the United Kingdom from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century. What we did not see where abundant flower beds. What we did find were numerous creeks with footbridges to cross them; some were elaborately decorated. In spots, there were immature baby waterfalls, but all of this was surrounded by wonderful trees and humongous green spaces. The trees were turning orange, red, yellow, and brown, but were not as vibrant as one would expect. Many were more brackish than colorful, but still the surroundings kept us actively strolling the paths for hours.
At the outer edge of the gardens that seep into the center of the city, there is a grand gazebo. When we reached this point, there were musicians playing, so we walked a bit further for a coffee and then returned to mellow in a cello serenade.
Our host at the B and B suggested we stop at one of his favorite spots where there was another old fashioned beer hall. It is located near Max Weber-Platz. When we first arrived, it was not apparent why he would suggest the area, but after a block of walking, we found the beer hall. In the back was a lovely garden with seating; the weather was perfect for enjoying the last rays of sunshine, while sipping a brew. We did walk inside to see if there was service outside or if we needed to order at the bar. There was a beautiful red-headed waitress passing by who asked if she could be of assistance, but in German. When we made our request, she said in perfect English “Give me your order and pay me for it and I will bring it out to you.” We were so taken back by her accent free English, we had to give her kudos. She laughed and shared that she is from Florida, married a German and has lived here for the last five years. Her name is highly unusual, Ouida. She shared with us that her grandmother told her it meant ‘beautiful little princess’. Ron told her “We are gay, so we are not hitting on you, but you are beautiful.” It was the perfect ending to a delightful morning and afternoon.
Later that evening, we went looking for the gayborhood. Our hosts said it was small and concentrated, suggesting a restaurant to visit. We found the recommendation, but one look inside gave us two impressions: 1. There was not an empty table to be had 2. It looked about as gay as a Jerry Falwell Convention.
Friday night is not a good night to try to have dinner without reservations. We roamed, searched, hunted, peeked into places and continued on our way. We finally landed at Nach Hause where they advertise food to satisfy the soul. They had one table for 2 open. We grabbed it. It is a small establishment, but it was crowded. One waiter served the entire floor of about 40 hungry diners. He was doing the best he could since he was also the bartender and perhaps the sous chef as well. The meals took forever to arrive. I thought we would have to beg for our neighbors scraps until our food appeared. They shared with us that they had been there since Thursday lunch and just had their dinner when we arrived. When our dished finally arrived, it could have been manure and it would have tasted delicious, we were so famished by that time.