Rainy days. Nice city. Short stay.
The ride, via train from Vienna, was through the Bavarian countryside of Austria and Germany. It being the end of summer, the mountains, rolling hills, and valleys are covered in greenery. There is much farming with horses, cattle, geese, and sheep happily grazing next to freshly plowed fields of black earth recently turned over by the blade. Ducks feed in the wide, fast rivers that drain the countryside with snow-melt from the Bavarian Alps. The homes in which the people live have sharp roofs which seem to echo the prolific stands of pointy pine trees which are ubiquitous in these parts. It seems that everyone has a flower covered balcony in which to overlook the wide open spaces. It is truly a wonderful site to behold. There is a car tour available which steers you through a few of the small, quaint villages scattered about. You must stay in rooms in people's houses because there are no other accommodations available. I would love to have had the time and money to experience Bavaria in this way and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in seeing this beautiful section of the planet.
On the train I met a very sweet Austrian girl named Hannah who told me of her home in Tyrol, in the mountains above Innsbruck. She had been dreaming of seeing Mexico since she was ten years old and will be leaving Austria for Mexico in Sept. to study for one year in Mexico City. I saw this as an opportunity to show someone my photos (I'm always looking for a captive audience) so I tried to give her a preview of Mexico based on my memorable travels there. She told me of the water near her home and I became so thirsty to drink from a fresh, cold mountain stream that I quickly drank two liters of water when I got to Munich.
Arriving at the Main Train Station in Munich is impressive. Well designed to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, this station surely must be a benchmark for all train stations around the world. I do believe it was bombed to smithereens (as was much of Munich) during WWII , which gave builders an excuse to put together a perfect design during the rebuilding process.
I had been in Munich only for about an hour before I experienced something so disturbing that I will never forget it. Walking down the street was a couple. He was black and she was white with blonde hair. Suddenly a large man walking in front of me began shouting at them in German with a verbally abusive tone. He was pointing his finger and flaring at the temples while his faced turned red and angry. A young man walking in the other direction touched his arm in a pacifying manner and another just began laughing like he'd seen a clown. I was walking next to the man and I couldn't help myself but say, "What's your problem? It's none of your business." He surprised me by responding in English. He said, " It is my business. I pay the taxes !!!" Well, I had to turn off into the shop I was going to, so I didn't follow up, but I thought much about it later.
Ever since I visited the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkineau I have been troubled trying to figure out how the ancestors of these wonderful German people I keep meeting would have been able to commit such atrocious acts against their fellow brethren. Before I came to Germany I met numerous Germans on the road who always surprised me with their extreme level of kindness, generosity and happy demeanor (this, by the way, has been the same with the Japanese I have met in my travels). The incident which I previously described was the first time I saw a glint of the narrow minded, redneck type of attitude that must have been glamorized during the days of the Third Reich. In America we have such idiots and I assume it's the same the world over. Thank the Goddess there are many others of us who will not tolerate such behavior, at least in public. In my opinion, the taxpayer I described above has every right to express himself in a socially responsible way, but I'm very leery of any society if which an act of abuse is an acceptable act. I don't believe this man's actions are the norm in Germany. Furthermore, judging by the reactions of the people around him, I don't believe such outbursts are considered acceptable in modern day Germany. But, as we say in America, "Whaddya gonna do about it?" (how about travel around the world and write about such things on your website ? ----- GOOD IDEA !!@#!!)
PICS TO COME