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Monthly Archive: October 2023

10/2023 – On to Salzburg and Stuttgart

I love Salzburg and wanted to spend some time there. We took the train from Munich and hung out for 4 days. We first visited 32 years ago on our European camping trip – not much has changed. By dumb luck we hit the St. Rupert festival for their patron saint and founder. Surprise! It involves beer. At a nice market, I found some handcrafted jewlery to buy.

Hohensalzburg with the Mirabell Gardens, famous from the Sound of Music.
This little guy was in The Sound of Music, too. We did NOT do the tour.
My favorite place for a beer – Steigl – overlooking the rooftops of Salzburg.
The last time we visited Helbrun Palace was 32 years ago. The tours are now self-guided. We could spend as much time as we wanted looking at the water powered creatures built by one of the many Archbishop Princes of Salzburg.

The water holds up the little hat and changes its height.

These little guys spit at each other.

From Salzburg we took the train to Stuttgart, home to the 2nd largest “Oktoberfest” in Germany. It is officially called a Volksfestival – we assume that “Oktoberfest” is copyrighted. Deutchesbahn was actually on time!

The official name of the Stuttgart festival
The grounds open at noon during the week. Much less crowded than the counterpart in Munich first thing in the day.
We had 1/2 chicken and a beer for lunch in a very empty tent.
City Library in Stuttgart. It’s a tourist stop for architecture. Since it was right by our hotel, we had to wander in.

10/2023 Time for a new adventure

We’re off on another adventure and are hoping that try #4 will be successful for our trip to Nepal. The first three attempts were called off due to COVID and chemo but this attempt is looking better.
We’re not going on a trek or attempt to climb Everest or anything silly like that. This trip is to see Kathmandu and head south to the jungles to visit two national parks and look for animals. We’re meeting a German friend since this was all her idea 4 years ago!
Nepal is halfway around the world and we decided to come via Europe making stops in Munich, Salzburg, and Stuttgart AFTER we made a stop in Iowa City for a football game.

First stop was in Iowa City for a pretty dull football game although the weather was a perfect Fall day and we visited with some friends and the Hawkeyes won!

We flew to DC via Chicago from Cedar Rapids and were delayed about 5 hours. We were sitting on the fully boarded plane in Chicago when the pilot came on the speaker to tell us that a red indicator light wouldn’t go off so he was going to reboot the plane – no lie! This was a 777 so we guessed United needed it in DC, probably for a European flight that night. The reboot didn’t work. Next step – replace the motherboard and reinstall the software! Fortunately, we were in Chicago so a motherboard was at hand. We all got off the plane and hung out for 4 hours while the board was installed. The SW was corrupt so they had to install the SW one piece at a time – takes longer!

Best comment of the day – “Should I be worried that we have a United captain explaining motherboards and software to us?”. The captain did a great job keeping us updated.

I found 2 Business class seats to Munich for not many miles BUT it involved a 15 hour layover in London Heathrow which always sounds like a good idea until the actual day. We got a day room at an aiport hotel, had breakfast, napped and showered and back we went through immigration, security and on to Munich. Given how much of a mess Heathrow can be, it all went amazingly well.

Only glitch was luggage. When we checked in at Dulles with United we expected our bags to be checked all the way through to Munich. United said “no go”. The connection to Lufthansa was too long and we’d have to pick up our bags and recheck them. There’s not much arguing with an airline but we did check with Lufthansa at Dulles and they agreed.

When we had our bags in Heathrow at 5 AM, we immediately went to Lufthansa to recheck them. Nope! Can only be checked in 3 hours before the flight. We asked a superrvisor and she agreed – Lufthansa doesn’t have a room anymore in which to store the bags for 15 hours!

We finally made it to Munich, ready to start the Oktoberfest fun after some sleep.

Marstall tent at Oktoberfest in the afternoon. It wasn’t crowded at all.
We spent 2 afternoons with Josh and Sam Crowe, U. of Iowa friends.
If you need a toilet, look for cupid!
One day it rained. This made the tents more crowded since the outside seating wasn’t very desirable.
Yes, we do own some Bavarian dress.
The Munich firemen had to get a sick person down from the top of St. Peter’s Kirche. The stairway is too narrow for a stretched so they took him down the outside of the church using ropes.