Laura was over in Europe for some business reason and we decided it would be cool to meet up in Munich so I could join her for the remainder of her trip. I had never been out of the US before (well not really true, I had gone to Mexico with my parents and I had been in Puerto Rico for business, but this was my first trip to Europe.)
It was easy to get there. I took an over-night flight from Boston to Zurich then a hop to Munich. I knew I wasn’t in the US anymore, when at the Zurich airport I saw armed military personnel, with machine guns, and a tank-like armored vehicle driving around on the tarmac. After I landed in Munich I was worried that I would have a hard time getting to my hotel, seeing as how I did not speak the language. I went outside to get a taxi. No crappy, dirty taxis here, no sir; nothing but clean, cream-colored Mercedes sedans, leather seats, with excellent English-speaking drivers. Score one for Germany.
I was whisked to my hotel, the 23-storey Arebella on Arabellastraße in the tony Bogenhausen area of Munich. I was immediately impressed with the cleanliness, and sleekness of the lobby. No problem checking in here; everyone spoke perfect English. Score two for Germany.
As a complete aside, and this I did not know at the time, but when researching the hotel, I learned that in the basement there was Musicland Studios, which used extensively throughout the 1970s and 1980s by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Donna Summer, Deep Purple, and Elton John among many others.
I went to our room (Laura had not arrived yet) and was again impressed with how clean and efficient it was: lots of rosewood and tile. No carpet. The beds were twin sized and had down comforters. I had never slept under a comforter before, but upon return to the US Laura and I went right out and bought some; there is nothing better. Even if you sleep in the same bed with your partner, get yourself two comforters. Score three for Germany!
Pre-cell phones, Laura and I pre-arranged to meet in the hotel bar when she was due to arrive. Just like the lobby, the small bar at the hotel was a jewel: a dark wood paneled quiet, sophisticated weinstube Just remember, if you order any liquor like scotch or bourbon in Germany, they don’t put ice in it. You have to ask. And even then they give you just 2 or 3 cubes. Still, score four for Germany!
There is much more to tell and much more that happened on this trip, but let me just finish by saying Germany, specifically Bavaria, is one of my favorite places to visit. It is clean, orderly, the people are friendly and helpful, most speak excellent English, the mountains and lakes are beautiful, the roads are excellent. It is just a great country.