qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Schindler's Lifts (1/3)

For years I have tried to avoid flying with BA, not always successfully, and I wasn't particularly keen on travelling from Terminal 5 either, but after fairly dismal service from SAS and BMI in recent years, and reviewing the options on Expedia, it made sense to give them another go. And I have to say, this time they got it right - punctual in both directions, and with no glitches at all at Terminal 5.

Our first port of call was Munich, which had a curious combination of feeling both like a capital city (of course it is historically the capital of Bavaria) and quite provincial at the same time. It took us a couple of days to notice that to operate the lift (branded Schindler) upwards, you had to insert the room key-card first. We found everything we wanted to see in the central areas was within walking range, though the English Garden (with its Japanese Tea-House, Romanesque Monopteros, and a Chinese Tower in the middle of one of the largest beer-gardens in the city) was quite a trek. Over three days we spent time in a number of galleries and museums. The Altes Pinakothek was probably the best individual collection; the Glyptothek was perhaps the most interesting building - amidst the sculptures were a number of paintings and photographs from pre-World War 2 showing the interior of the original building, highly decorated as the ancient sculptures once were. The present building has more austere brickwork. We sampled Jewish and Persian cuisines, as well as the local food and beer. One did wonder, particularly over the exhibition stands in some of the Churches, whether there was a bit of a victim culture over the destruction of so much of the city especially in 1944-45; but it turned out to be OK to mention the War at least on the final evening, when our waiter announced that he was of Polish-British origin, his father having flown with the RAF.

The final day in Munich was taken by a trip out to Schloss Neuschwanstein. Reluctantly, due to unclear instructions and maps in the guide books, we booked this through a tour operator at the main station. It doesn't give me quite the same sense of satisfaction as our self-planned excursion to Schloss Colditz from Leipzig in 2002, but given the crowds all around Neuschwanstein, I think this turned out to be the best way to approach it, as this eliminated things like concern over connections between the train and the bus, and queueing time when we got to the castle.
Tags: europe, places, travel
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