Bamberg and Munich

There are certain things I can say about our time in Germany. Large quantities of pork, cabbage, and beer were consumed, the last being my favorite:

Munich: Beer good.

Munich: Beer good.

 

We spent two days in Munich. One coming into Germany, one going out. On the day we arrived Kosta and I took the train from Salzburg. We got to our hotel in the early afternoon and parked our stuff. Then we headed out to the center of town to look around. That’s where the above picture happened. We ate pork. (Surprise, surprise.)

Sir, do you have any pork?

Sir, do you have any pork?

We walked through the beer garden at the Food Market, and I am sorry to say we didn’t stop, but we had a plane to meet. Even so, it was tempting:

They keep the line moving. They're very precise.

They keep the line moving. They’re very precise.

Bamberg was our last day in Bavaria. We drove over in the morning and the first stop was the cathedral. We wandered around inside and out. It was a strange placement on the top of the hill and set so there were two west entrances instead of one with a big chapel separating them.

See? It was odd to see that chapel stuck in the middle there.

See? It was odd to see that chapel stuck in the middle there.

The Adam and Eve portal sculptures were also rare and interesting.

The Adam and Eve portal sculptures were also rare and interesting.

We had lunch in the rose garden of the Imperial Palace which was right across the oddly shaped square from the cathedral. And I will not shock you, I am sure, to tell you beer and pork were consumed.

The rose garden. A lovely spot for lunch.

The rose garden. A lovely spot for lunch.

The garden itself was very pretty and had a series of Greco-Roman statues. I thought Hera with her peacock was the prettiest.

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The great and wise Hera.

After we had sufficient refreshment we wandered down the hill and found the old town. The neat thing about Bamberg is the Town Hall. In the Middle Ages the townspeople wanted a town hall but the Prince Bishop would not grant them land to build it. So the ingenious people of Bamberg created an island in the middle of the Regnitz and built their town hall on that.

The town hall in the middle of the river.

The town hall in the middle of the river.

Bamberg was charming. There was ice cream. We had a nice day.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Werewolf of Bamberg by Oliver Pötzsch. I read it earlier this year and wrote a review of it here. It was really cool to visit a place I had read about like that. It was fun because I looked like a rock star (albeit a totally nerdy one) because I already knew the name of the river and the fact that the town hall was built into the river.  The entire Hangman’s Daughter series I recommend as a whole.

From one nerd to another.

(Because let’s face it, rock stars in general do not read my blog.)

 

Vienna

So. The one thing Austrians don’t believe in is air conditioning.  Which isn’t the worst thing in the world but living in Florida has left me living at a specific standard of comfort. It wasn’t terrible. It was warm today, and we do have a fan in our hotel room so sleeping was comfortable. But Lord, the Hofburg Palace was hot today. I nearly perished from the lack of water.

Our day started this morning with breakfast of coffee and apfel strudel on the Stephensplatz. From there the first major site we hit was the cemetery. Might be strange for some of you, but my husband had a very big X to cross off on his “Burial Bucket List”: Johannes Brahms.

Johannes Brahms and KAK.

Johannes Brahms and KAK.

The cemetery was full of decomposing composers: Ludwig von Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, just to name a few. But my husband’s favorite has always been Brahms. We bought flowers to leave at his grave and it was lovely.

Afterwards we visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral and walked around the city center. The sun was starting to heat up and as we passed a store selling Omega watches we saw this sign:

Omega Museum

Omega Museum. Excuse the drunk expression. He wasn’t. Really.

It wasn’t a big museum, but it did have displays of Omega watches from the past, including the ones that went to the moon with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Well, and they had air conditioning. It was a neat little place. But since we didn’t have between €3000-25,000 to drop on a watch, we left empty-handed.

In the afternoon we went to the Hofburg Palace and saw the Royal Apartments and the Sissi Museum. Sissi, in case you didn’t know, was the Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1800s. She was reportedly beautiful, sweet, and adored by her people. This was where I nearly passed out from the heat in those close rooms. Had I been wearing a corset necessary to fit into her ball gowns, I most definitely would have done so.

Afterwards we wandered. And as we were wandering by the Michaelskirchke we heard organ music coming from within. So we popped inside the blessedly cool interior and had a free music concert as the organist practiced. It was lovely.

This was my view. I know, hideous, right?

This was my view. I know, hideous, right?

Beyond that we just wandered. We wandered into a small shop that sold prints of watercolors of Vienna and bought two. The shop owner and her husband painted them themselves. Even though it was early, we found dinner:

Smoked salmons and scalloped potatoes for me.

Smoked salmon and scalloped potatoes for me.

 

Wiener Schnitzel for Kosta.

Wiener Schnitzel for Kosta.

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And beer for us both.

Walking back to the hotel, we saw this guy playing a fucking broom:

I don't know how he managed it, but he was good.

I don’t know how he managed it, but he was good.

Tonight: Mozart’s Requiem at the Karlskirche. Tomorrow? Who can say…

 

 

Randomly on a weekend…

Kosta and I had the day off yesterday, and it was lovely. We started the morning, as usual, with the Friday Breakfast Club. Afterwards we went home and relaxed, read, and there may have been a nap involved. After a killer day at the library Thursday, it was a balm to my soul.

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My flight from R to L: Liquid Sunshine, Triple C, Rojo Especial, Keewaydin Crusher, Good Goat. My faves were the Triple C and Good Goat.

 

We met friends at the Naples Beach Brewery that evening. The beer was really good, and the company great, but the place was nowhere near the beach, nor did they have air conditioning. Yesterday it was 92 degrees and extremely humid and the brewery is in a warehouse. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it immensely and look forward to returning, perhaps in November when it cools off again. Except for the lack of cool air, the place was damn near perfect and had a great vibe.

Drink like a local...sweaty!

Drink like a local…sweaty!

This morning we got up early and went to the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market. We each got a ham, egg, and cheese crepe from the madame at Chez Boët and a cup of coffee from Black Tulip. Truly, there has never been a smoother, more delicious coffee than what these folks make. I even went back for a second cup of their cold brew.

While we were downtown we ran into a friend of ours and his son. Tim owns a restaurant down there and we saw the son, Wolf, first. He was standing guard by a traffic cone in the parking lot behind the restaurant.  When Tim came by he told us that he and Wolf were fixing a hole in the blacktop. There is an abandoned propane tank under the street that has an access panel that was covered in concrete. But when the delivery trucks come through they bust it up with their weight. So Tim took it upon himself to fill the hole again so no one would have an accident. Kosta said: “But that’s not your problem is it? You don’t own the parking lot.” To which Tim replied, “I’ve been looking at it for three days and figured I should fix it before someone has an accident.”

Nice guy, that Tim.

Nice guy, that Tim.

And today is Kosta’s name day. In Greece, the name day of your patron saint is just as important as your birthday. And May 21st is the feast day of Saint Constantine and Helena. I am baking him a cake for dessert tonight: a four-layer Devil’s food with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Soon to be a death by chocolate.

Soon to be death by chocolate.

I also got a pedicure today. Nothing like getting your toes done to make you feel fabulous.

Sandal ready!

Sandal ready! And my apologies to Julia, who hates feet.

I is for…

IIrea

Irea is a small village on the Peloponnese of Greece. When Kosta and I were there in 2011, Kosta’s relative (we call her an aunt–close enough) Froso took us to a local festival there for the Assumption of the Virgin. The whole town was strung with lights and we went up the hill to the church. The icon of the Virgin Mary was bought out and paraded around the town with everyone following behind with candles.

The church in Irea, all lit up.

The church in Irea, all lit up.

After the service we went down the hill and feasted on roast pig, fresh bread, and lots of ice-cold beer. There was music and dancing and we were the only two tourists in the whole place. It was amazing.

Roast pork--so delicious.

Roast pork–so delicious.

Riptide Brewing Company

Last Friday night we went to the new microbrewery in Naples. I was so excited as Kosta and I both love beer (don’t get me started on looking forward to Bavaria and Austria this summer) and we couldn’t believe our luck that this new place is just five blocks from our place of work. This could be a dangerous Friday night habit to get into.

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Riptide Brewing Company, 987 3rd Ave N. Naples, FL

The interior--love the mermaid coming out of the wall.

The interior–love the mermaid coming out of the wall.

The vats are in full view of everyone sitting in the bar, and infused the place with a nice, malty scent.

The vats are in full view of everyone sitting in the bar, and infused the place with a nice, malty scent.

My sampler from left to right: Whitewater Wit Bier, Paddlepuss Blonde, Porter Pounder, and Wye Nut Brown.

My sampler from left to right: Whitewater Wit Bier, Paddlepuss Blonde, Porter Pounder, and Wye Nut Brown.

The Dangerous Nymph's Nectar. Goes down smooth with a 9.3% alcohol content.

The Dangerous Nymph’s Nectar. Goes down smooth with a 9.3% alcohol content. Heavens, it was tasty.

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The brewery doesn’t serve food but you can bring it in or have it delivered. That night a brick oven pizza food truck was parked out back. Their Bianca was killer.

We also had the Goat Cheese and Portobella pizza too.

We also had the Goat Cheese and Portobello pizza too.

My husband's favorite: The Porter Pounder with his beautiful amber and silver komboloi.

My husband’s favorite: The Porter Pounder with his beautiful amber and silver komboloi.

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Kosta and Tammy with Di photobombing.

A good time was had by all. We'll be back.

A good time was had by all. We’ll be back.