My May is insane.
From the 2nd until the 5th I was in Munich (I’ll get to that later).
I spent the 6th and the 7th with my Uncle, who is currently on vacation in the United Kingdom.
I will spend the 9th through the 13th with my father, who is here for nearly a week on his way to Normandy to visit our ancestral village. (Oui, nous sommes français.)
On the 15th I fly to Iceland for five days.
On the 20th I’m home.
On the 25th I have to have a draft bibliography and outline of my dissertation due.
And there’s a wedding the first weekend of June, followed shortly by my internship starting and a paper I have not yet begun to think about is due in late June.
Meanwhile, I’m packing, running errands, trying to squeeze all my lovely people in, and attempting to read about my dissertation in between all this.
The day before yesterday I was touring Dachau Concentration Camp (next entry). Today I was walking through an English village with my Uncle.
The head spins.
I am aware that I actually thrive off of this sort of breakneck pace but there’s an inner part of me that’s whining about the novels and the coffee and the writing that I’m missing in between all that. It’d be easier for my mental state if I could squeeze in workouts, but alas, the closest I get to the gym is walking all over the place.
I left Brighton on Wednesday on the 4:05 am bus, which left at 4:03 am. What a pickle that would have been, if I had cut that close. My flight to Munich landed around 9:10, but by the time I went through customs and figured out buying an S-Bhan ticket…
Speaking of which. This is possibly the first country I went to where the damned automated machine did not have a big DAY PASS button somewhere. I ended up giving up and standing in line. Way to go German efficiency.
I have not mentioned this on the blog, but I’ve had quite a bit of trouble with wheat-related products lately. Basically, wheat = migraines, lack of focus, lack of energy, stomach cramps, and a few other unpleasant things. Whether or not this is permanent or an official Something, I’ve taken it easy on the wheat and the difference is, sadly, very noticeable. And then I went to the land of beer.
When I asked at the front desk about places to eat that were not the half dozen Italian places near the hostel, the woman was like, “Wait, beer has wheat in it?” Some do, but barley has a similar effect.
The look on her face was almost comical – she looked like I had just said I had terminal cancer.
After lunch, I meandered through the Munich Residenz (there is very little of note there, it’s just like every other European palace I’ve toured, only a bit worse because just about all of it was destroyed in WW2 so it’s all reconstructed) and the Treasury, then walked to the Alte Pinakothek. The big highlight of this art museum was a huge room devoted to Rubens, whose work with colour I am rather fond of. I could sit and stare at them for a good long while, just enjoying how he did people and the colours they are and wear. Other than that, I am really sick of Christian medieval art. Nothing can push me through a museum faster than room after room of dying Christs or Virgin Marys. Which of course, means I gave only a passing glance to a few famous pieces as well, but I suppose that’s my loss.
The following day I went on a day trip to Salzburg, where I wandered around the city, nerded out over Sound of Music scenes, cheated on my wheat free with a chocolate torte so famous that the recipe is a state secret, and flirted with a cute fellow traveler that I ended up having several meals with over the course of my time in Salzburg/Munich, starting with a beer garden lunch that was halfway up the hill that overlooks Salzburg.
I even managed to not kill any obnoxious teenagers in the museum where Mozart was born. Have you ever notice that The Teenager is a universal breed? It doesn’t matter if you can speak their language, really. They sulk on field trips by leaning against the display cases and blocking the exhibits while filling the tiny room full of their overstuffed backpacks.
And all that was just day two! Reading that over, I sound a bit crotchety. Not true, truly. It was sunny and gorgeous for almost all of my trip and I enjoyed Rubens immensely. Salzburg is cute and full of opportunities to eat chocolate. Furthermore, the villages nestled in the Alps are so adorable I found myself wondering why anyone ever left this region at all, as an emigrant anyway. I got more exposure to Bavaria the following day… which will have to wait until tomorrow.