EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



My photo
Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lake Constance (The Bodensee)

Here they are posing for their photo in front of the Swiss Alps. A rose between two thorns!

Today was an amazing day! We couldn't believe our luck as the weather held out for us and the gods blessed us with a picture perfect climate and the most unreal scenery. Today was our trip to Lake Constance with Jaci and Uncle Fred. As you can see from the photo above, we were treated to the splendor of the Swiss Alps and the crystalline azure waters of the Bodensee.

I forgot my Canon (I know! Sacriledge! Phew!), so you will have to suffer through with my I-phone photos. They aren't as clear or as detailed, but I think you will get an idea of the beauty we were able to witness today.

These peach colored roses were from a rose tree that stood a good eight feet high. The scent was sweet and intoxicating. The roses covered every inch of the tree. Lake Constance (The Bodensee) has roses in abundance of nearly every variety and shape one could possibly imagine!

Yeah, I know. Hard to take, isn't it? I tell you, I could just find a park bench, plop myself down, and stare out at the Alpine beauty all day. It is one of my favorite parts of Bavaria and I don't think I will ever tire of it's beauty.

This is the harbor at Lindau, overlooking Lake Constance. It was taken from the pier near a lighthouse out in the harbor while looking back at the village. Fred, Jaci, Steve and I walked out to the pier and spent time breathing the fresh air and soaking up the sunshine.

Lake Constance is part German and part Swiss. You can go by catamaran across the lake or you could get a sailboat like one of these. It is sixty miles long and to go around the whole lake would take three days!

Here is Uncle Fred at a lakeside restaurant deciding what kind of soup he would like for his afternoon meal. Since the dishes are all written in German, the waiter kindly brought a bowl over for him to inspect. Guess he made the right choice--it was all gone!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jac and Fred

Here is Uncle Fred standing next to an advertisement posted on the side of a trailer. Since none of us can speak or read German to any degree, I decided to ask a complete stranger walking on the footpath what this sign said. It turns out that it is an ad for an arbitrator. Uncle Fred said, "What do you know, a competitor!" So, we decided that he should pose next to his "competitor's" ad so you can all see what he might have in store for the future.

I can see it now...."Fred Bostleman, Arbitrator Extraordinaire!" It would look great trailing the Caddy, don't you think?

Above is a photo of one of the entertainers at the Marienplatz. These mimes create quite a draw in the plaza and love to give a show. We spent a fair while watching this one perform.
I decided to take Uncle Fred and my mother-in-law, Jaci, to the Hoffbrau Haus in the Marienplatz. Jaci had never been there, but Uncle Fred remembered the place from his previous visit to Munich in 1967. He said it hadn't changed at all and I believe he's right!
Fred said he could stay and listen to the band all day long. He was totally in his element and even danced a little jig for us. Then he showed me the exact table where he and my Aunt Kathleen sat during their 1967 visit. He was happy to revisit the Hoffbrau Haus and I was happy that I had chose this reknowned beer hall as one of our destinations. It made for fond memories for Uncle Fred, and one that I will remember for a long time.

Uncle Fred, from the U.S., makes friends everywhere he goes. Here he is at the Hoffbrau Haus in Marienplatz, Germany, with a new friend, Bernie. Bernie asked if he could sit with us at our table in the sun and the next thing I knew, he and Fred were exchanging business cards. No, that's not entirely true. Fred gave him his, but Bernie said he didn't bring his cards along.
Fred then asked Bernie what he did for a living and Bernie answered, "I work for the government." Uncle Fred inquired, "What it that you do for the government?" A fair question. Bernie answered in a barely audible whisper, "Well, if I told you that, I'd have to kill you."
We all laughed at that one, but later Fred said, "It sure ended that conversation."
I told him that he should have worn his FBI hat that his nephew, Terry Moore, who actually worked for the FBI, gave him. I said, "That sure would have had ole Bernie wondering!"

Uncle Fred isn't the only one who makes friends easily in Munchen. I had a couple of close encounters myself. The "green guy" above was a very kindly fellow--as long as I kept tossing coins in his empty tin can. Friends can be bought, you know.
Above is the Marienplatz, the center of Munich. It is the city's old town jumping-off point for seeing the cities architecture and abundant museums. There is always a music scene and an extensive list restaurants to visit. No trip to Munich should miss the Marienplatz!

Above, Uncle Fred is riding on the S-Bahn (or Surface train) from Munich to Pasing. He is getting quite accustomed to our excellent transportation system. By the end of his visit he will know the train schedule very well. Heck, he will know the train, underground, bus, and trolley system--it's the way Munich travels!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The guys decided that they wanted to bicycle from Pasing to Kloster Andechs, a 35 K ride, or
thereabouts. They set off at 11 am from Pasing
and arrived at the Andechs around 2:00 pm.

The girls decided that we would meet one another at the Pasing station and all ride together in Doris' car at 12:30 pm. It worked out perfectly so that by the time we arrived in Kloster Andechs, the guys had already scoped out the bier garten and told us to continue on to Herrsching at the Ammersee where we would have a much better chance of getting a table at the biergarten. We did and they were right! Above is Steve (left), Martin, and Joachim (right) minutes after they arrived at the Ammersee with their first beer of the day.

Looks like these three fellows didn't have any trouble finding the bier garten either. They are well on their way to enjoying a summer's day at the Ammersee.

Our guys were right about getting a better table at the Ammersee. Also, we were invited to lovely lakeside eateries, ice cream cafes, and shops with arts and crafts. There was music, swimming, picnic areas, and boating of all kinds. It was a lovely 76 degrees F and we couldn't have ordered a better day.

As you can see by the photo on the left, Steve wasted no time in finding a comfortable spot-- for his beer that is! He was a bit tired after the long ride and settled in for a some R & R shortly after arriving at the Ammersee. From the looks of it, he found the ideal spot.

This cottage by the lake was all decked out in heart shaped balloons evidently waiting for the honeymooners to take up residence. It was great fun watching the display while toasting our friends with ice cold Hoffbrau's. Every few minutes a lone red balloon would escape into the blue sky and you could hear cheers and whoops of laughter as the staff quickly tied on another festive decoration to replace the last.

I can't be sure, but this fellow just might be the intended bride groom for the above room. After he stood on the picnic bench and made a toast in German with a beer in one hand and a ball and chain in the other, people of every language understood the gist of what he had to say. "Congratulations, single German man! You are now entering the ranks of the "married." May you enjoy your new life and and all that comes with it--mostly that ball and chain!

I would have preferred to take a blanket and lay it down on the beach beside the cool alpine lake, had we known that the Andech's were so crowded and we would be on the beach yesterday. Instead, we set out our make-shift table on the side of the beach and brought out the picnic baskets. After the long bike ride, the guys noshed on beautiful French and Greek cheeses,Italian lunchmeats, marinated artichokes, Kalamata olives, marinated sardines, and the freshest of cut vegetables. Doris' scrumptious apple and almond cake rounded out the menu.
Next on the agenda was to find the nearest beer stall and order the tallest, coldest, brew that they offered. We didn't have to look very far. The Ammersee has a lakefront that is dotted with tiny beer stalls every few kilometers. You can have your pick of Kloster Andechs, Pauliner, Hoffbrau, or Hacker Pschorr, just to name a few. The one thing you want to remember is that it is 5% alcohol in Germany, not the weak 3.5 as we have in the U.S. That means, plan your return home well. In our case, the guys rode the S Bahn with their bikes and the gals were treated to door-to-door service by our lovely Doris. Thank You, Doris!!

Here we all are having found the perfect spot by the lake. Jac is on the far left, then Petra with Martin to her left, Doris is next with her husband, Joachim on the bicycle. Steve, of course, is on the far right.

As you can see below, we were successful in finding a table right next to the Ammersee. The weather was perfect, the company was ideal, and the beer, well, as always, the beer was spectacular! After all, we live in the BEER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! What's not to like?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jac is Back!

Jac made it to Munich this past Sunday and is fully recovered from her flight from Australia. We have introduced her to Munich's favorite pastime, bier gartens. Yesterday was a holiday in Munich, Ascension Day. It was also Father's Day, so we decided to pack the picnic basket and head out on the train to another one of Bavaria's beautiful beer gardens. Fasanerie Biergarten is in a beautiful setting in the woods by Hartmannshofen park. We met Martin and Petra, and Doris and Jochim there for an afternoon of suds and sun.

We packed fresh baked french bread rolls, Italian prosciutto, salami, baby Swiss cheese, my Bulgarian Shopska salad, pickled cucumber salad, and a home baked angel food cake. We drank ice cold Hoffbrau Sommer Bier in liter steins and I can tell you it went down mighty fine.

Jac enjoyed her initial visit so much that tomorrow, Saturday, May 23rd we are taking her to Kloster Andechs where she will enjoy her second bier garten. Steve, Martin, and Jochim are pedalling their bikes (45 K), but the girls are heading off in cars and we will meet them there.

Kloster Andechs is located on the Ammersee, another lovely lake in Munich. It is secluded and not generally known to foreign visitors. It attracts people because of it's gorgeous rococo monastery at Andechs and brews what many believe to be the best beer in Germany.

Here is a You Tube video showing Kloster Andechs and the monastary where the beer is made.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"C'mon Baby, Surfin' Safari"

I bet you think this photo was taken on the West coast, California maybe? Knowing that I'm married to an Aussie who spent his youth on the East coast of Australia, I bet you think it's a surfer on Bondi or Coolingata. Go Figure. It's a photo of a surfer right here in Munich on the river Isar! Every warm day in summer has surfers lined up to hang ten on the rivers' waves. It is the strangest sight I've ever seen in the middle of a large city like Munich. People walk along the footpath next to the river and smack dab in the center of the river is this surfing site. If that's not strange enough, the sunbathers come out and lay their blankets in the riverbed where the dry spots are. This all happens right in the middle of the city where people are going about their everyday routines. And all along you thought you'd have to go to a beach to surf. Silly you, you can come here in Munich and surf to your hearts' content!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A German Home

It might be difficult to see the sign on the lower left, but it says, "Spargel." Now, Springtime, is the season for spargel in Germany. Spargel is the white (weiss) asparagus that Germany has fallen in love with.

Here is some spargel I bought at the local Viktualmarket this week.

Spargel needs to be washed, trimmed, and using a vegetable knife, the sides of the spargel should be scraped before boiling or steamed.

Then, boil or steam the spargel until it is very tender. Do not overcook.

Take a short cut and make the packaged Hollandaise Sauce. I brought this from the United States, but the Germans have their own packaged Hollandaise Sauce, made by Knorrs that is excellent. I add a quarter of fresh lemon and two tablespoons of butter for a much better flavor.

Use the "weiss spargel" in a meal as you would green asparagus. Here I put it with dilled cucumber salad and a paprika grilled steak. Many Germans eat it alone for a meal.

I have to share this photo of my first apple tarte . I made from scratch after I bought a springform pan. Now, I'm trying out different deserts with it. I have a recipe for a lemon torte and I'll let you know how it comes out.

German bed linens are very different from ours. Firstly, they are smaller because the beds are typically smaller. The bottom sheet is mitered/fitted and is made of a stretchy jersey material. Even though I bought the largest size for an American queen-sized bed, it still does not cover all of the mattress sides, darn! Forget a bed skirt, they are non-existant.

This is the large sized pillow that Germans use instead of our standard, queen or king-sized pillows. The material encasing the pillow must match the duvet coverlet. I tried very hard to find a less vivid color, but it appears that this is the style. The brighter, the better. I think my mother had a kitchen wall paper similar to this pattern. I'm reliving the 60's all over again!

Here is the duvet in it's coverlet. The interesting thing about German coverlets are that they are made so that even if you share a double bed or larger with someone, each person has their own duvet. So, beds will have two duvets folded at the foot of the bed as you see above.

I hope Jaci, my mother-in-law who arrives Friday, likes her "German Style" bedding. When I make my trip back to the U.S. at the end of July, I'll pick up some Queen sheets and pillowcases. Until then, this will be her bedding.

  1. Bagels
  2. Popcorn
  3. Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
  4. Hunt's BBQ Sauce
  5. Heinz Baked Beans
  6. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
  7. French's Mustard
  8. A-1 Steak Sauce
  9. Maple syrup
  10. V-8 juice
  11. Dr. Pepper
  12. Cream Soda
  13. Chips Ahoy
  14. Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix
  15. Peter Pan peanut butter or Reeses'
  16. Pam cooking spray
  17. Campbells canned soup
  18. Bisquick
  19. Pillsbury crescent rolls
  20. Twizzlers licorice
  21. Brown sugar
  22. Crisco
  23. Chocolate chips
  24. Cranberry juice
  25. Welches Concord Grape Jelly

These are just some of the things that are very difficult to find in Germany. Now, I don't care for many of the things on this list anyway. You can keep them all as far as I'm concerned. But life would not be the same without Twizzlers Red Licorice!

I'm not saying these items are impossible to find, I'm saying it would be easier to find the Holy Grail. Germany has concord grapes-- for one week --in August. You could buy them and then can your own jelly; yeah, like that will ever happen! To find Crisco , I was told that it could be found across the city in the window of a sex-shop and I was reminded of the fact that it probably wasn't intended for baking either. I'm sure!

Thanks, but no thanks.

  1. Fly screens in windows
  2. Round door knobs
  3. Sink garbage disposals
  4. Central heating as opposed to floor heating

These are some of the things that German homes, don't have. There are many more, but the one thing I find hard to live without is number 3, a sink garbage disposal. Everything has to be disposed of into the trash can and since the German home doesn't have one more thing, air conditioning in summer, that means the trash has to be taken out daily.

  1. Grocery carts that cost one Euro
  2. Measuing tapes with meters and centimeters
  3. No liquid or dry measures for cooking --only weight measures
  4. Centigrade instead of farenheit for baking
  5. Bicycle paths on the walking path (be sure to stay clear of these when walking!)
  6. No bicycle helmet laws
  7. Seemingly no smoking indoors public places laws as they are largely ignored in restaurants.
  8. Milk that is not fresh and does not need to be refrigerated.

These are a few of the differences I have faced and all require a certain amount of a learning curve. You don't want to be at a market and not have a Euro coin for the grocery cart. I have found myself in this situation a couple of times and it is impossible to do any amount of shopping this way.

These are all just minor differences and in no way am I suggesting that we, in the states, do anything of these things better---just differently.

I can overlook and adjust to all of these differences quite easily. But it is absolutely uncivilized not to have Twizzlers Red licorice at every market!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Was There

Here is a photo of some seniors out enjoying the fresh air, Alpine view, and the wonderful Spring weather on Mother's Day at Cheimsee. I have to laugh because it wasn't until I uploaded this photo that I realized that the women were sitting next to one another and the men were also sitting next to one another. I would have expected to see that the couples would be sitting next to one anther admiring this view. But perhaps they didn't know one another at all. If that were the case, at least the man and woman in the middle seemed to be having a nice chat.

In the next photo, the little girls' body language tells it all, doesn't it? A diva in the making, I'm thinking. Sunglasses and all-- she was just so adorable , and I suspect she knew it too. This was not a pose for I doubt she even knew that I took her photo. She was just doing her thing . And I just couldn't resist. Hand on hip, she is just "Too cool for skool."

It must be true that there is a story behind every photo. The story here is that these three wandered onto the pier to find a four-legged fellow sitting at his owners feet while she petted him. Within minutes, they had handed the dog's owner their camera and had her take a photo of them with her dog. I was laughing at their temerity while also admiring their fondness of this pooch. So, not wanting to miss a good photo op, I took a pic as well and I loved how it turned out. They were a fun bunch and you couldn't help but love their enthusiasm for a dog that they had never met.

Shortly after I took the above photo, I met the irrestible dog Suzy and her owner. I told her that I had photographed her dog with the three fun loving chaps on the pier and showed her the photo in my digital camera. She was a delightful lady and told us that her daughter had met an American and that she had moved to Texas to be with him. Suzy was as sweet as could be and I couldn't stop petting her. It was then we learned that she came from an animal shelter. What a perfect companion she had found for herself!

This post began as a way to share my photos of the Bodensee and Chiemsee with you, but now it looks like it's going to be more about babies, puppies, tots, and the oldies. I never know where the lens is going to take me and sometimes it tells me more about myself than I knew before. The truth is in the picture and it looks like I was in the mood to capture all of the people and pets we love. Being Mother's Day when these were taken, you can see where this post is going.

This beautiful child was being toted by her doting father throughout the lake front.

And, so was this beautiful child--I see what is happening here--mom's day to rest-- so dad is busy watching over the kids. Ok, now it all makes sense.

My next shot is certainly someone's adorable best friend. Take a look at this very handsome guy. He was sitting pretty, behind a bench in the shade keeping watch over the lake just like Lassie would have done.

Have a look at these two women out for their Sunday (Mother's Day) stroll. Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm their age I hope I still have the "get up and go" that these two lovely ladies do. It would take far less effort to sit in my easy chair and let the world go by, I would assume. But give them their due, they are out and about with their walkers and having a fine time of it too! There's no keeping good women down and these two can testify to that. There's no grass growing under their feet and they sure aren't waiting for the world to come to them. God bless them both!

And, have a look at the gents! They were all out for a day at the lake too! I had the distinct feeling that the man seated at the table had sat at this table for many years previous. He was snug up against the wall, sipping his white wine while reading the newspaper and gazing out at the lake. A spectacular way to spend an afternoon.

This dapper gentleman in the burgandy sport coat carrying an umbrella had to be a "regular" too. There were not that many people at the Bodensee this past weekend because it is not yet summer when the school kids are off . But he carried his umbrella as a band major would carry a baton--high in the air as he weaved his way along the promenade. I half expected to see the woodwind section right behind him. I could tell that he had done this before and was practicing a rhythmn that had worked for him many times when he needed to part the foot traffic. I would love to see how his method works on the busy sidewalks of Shanghai!

Both dogs and kids, it seems, just wanna have fun. These children were making the most of their day at the lake by filling their plastic pails and whatever else they could find with the water from a nearby fountain. Then, they would take turns dumping it over someone elses head. Loads of fun!

While the older children were entertaining themselves with the "dump the water on each others' heads" game, this tiny tot occupied himself with trying to cover up the water holes. Look how intent his expression is!

Back to dogs. While the Bodensee is enjoyed by children, young adults, old adults, and everyone in between, it is also a favorite place for dogs it seems. On this particular weekend, the weather was gorgeous all day, until night fell when it suddenly looked like it was going to rain. It was then that I saw a man charging down the street (he probably left his windows down in his car) leash in hand and his pup running along beside of him for all he was worth.

Of all of the mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, and pets that I have photographed over this past weekend, I think I was most taken with this darling little boy on the back of his mum's bike. He was having his own personal tour of the lake and he had a winning smile that let me know that this was a very special place for little ones like him!