Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Vier and Sechs in München
Our Random Jaunt to Munich, Day One

And so Alex rang up and said, Dude – I'm going to be in Munich for a few days if you want to cruise over, and I thought, Hey – Random jaunts to the Continent are precisely what Americans living on this side of the Atlantic are supposed to do, so they don't forever regret that they never hopped over to Europe nearly as often as they should have when they could have.

So Saturday morning, Anna and I hopped a flight from Heathrow; and two hours later were in Bavaria. Hijinks – herewith documented – ensued. (Pretty much the only text is in captions, so you can safely just flip through the pictures. Also, in a much-requested feature (by Anna), you can now use your left and right arrow keys to flip through images.)

The new(-ish) Heathrow Terminal 5 is awesome – though for some reason you have actually to go on the tarmac to get on and off a lot of flights. I don't know, it's all kind of a 1930s adventure feel. Where are the propellers? And where's my whip!? Anna <em>literally</em> brought <em>War and Peace</em> on a two-day holiday. Believe me – luggage weight and volume were appreciably impacted. I spent most of the flight doing my usual routine of trying to call back to memory the 15 words of German(/French/Italian/Spanish/Etc.) I once knew I still get a kick out of these things. They give one an all-too-rare sense of A) one's place on the planet, and B) the scale of the place. This looks <em>way</em> too easy to do. Ooh – here we are in tigher view and more detail Geschwindigkeit! God bless you! Look. It's us. Here we are. On the plane. And this is about how long it took before my camera antics made Anna wish for an end to it all I like this one because it looks like she's pouring forth light This one's nice, too A bowl of cloud soup Passport control was pretty breezy, and here we are on the S-bahn into town. Watching Germany go by. And being cute And reaching for new faces to pull The hotel was the Marriott – in Munich's red light district. But did I mention it was paid for by a combination of corporate travel expenses, Marriott rewards points, and Heubleinian generosity? Alex had even actually pre-stocked our room fridge with hefeweizen, orange juice, and bananas. After lying around catching up – and mainly playing with Alex's iPad – we headed out for our first tourist destination I figured out we could either change trains on the U-bahn to go one extra stop, or else just walk it, through this nice garten Here's an outdoor ping-pong action photo. Germans are funny. Totally lovely. But really funny. I have no caption here but I'm going to use the space to relate how on our way out I realised my pocketwatch battery was dead (again) and how we found a watch shop along the way to get it changed. I started the negotiation with my abominable German; we then switched to English, which this guy's was pretty crappy; but he was talking to his buddies in Arabic, so I closed out that way. Alex: <em>You know some Arabic?</em> Me: <em>Enough to thank him, and bless his parents.</em> I love these trilingual deals. <img style='height:16px;width:16px;' src='graphics/smilie.png' /> Yes, this is our destination… …the BMW Museum. Well, actually, this isn't the museum, but there's sort of a whole complex of which this building is part. Including a BMW/Mini dealership, where you could get your vehicle serviced A and A thought the building was shaped like four cylinders That's the actual museum – even the guidebook praises the architecture

This next video probably requires slight annotation. Basically, we spotted a billboard advertising that the Scorpions were playing that night and in the Olympic Park we were right next to. The Scorps were sort of a standby when we were, oh, fourteen or fifteen. We immediately resolved to go to the concert – and then flaked out not very much later when we got tired.

Me: Can you imagine if, 25 years ago, someone had told us, Twenty-five years from now, you'll both be in Munich, watching the Scorpions play their farewell tour?
Alex: With a girl who was born – today?
Me: I think actually our main reaction might have been: The Scorpions will still be playing in 25 years?!

The ticket girl was exceedingly cute. (She looked like our friend Katarina.) If I don't get a slap tonight, then I'll know Anna isn't reading the captions. Since I have a little space, with the orphaned photo, I'll say I was initially opposed to the BMW Musuem – I told A&A they could go on their own. But, having tagged along, I really enjoyed it. I didn't have to read any wall text, unless really grabbed. And, mainly, it was a very happy photo hunting ground.

The great wall of Bikes. There was some cool stuff. It also went down another entire level. This had some charm – I could see myself riding it, anyway This one was slightly sinister – you're never too far from WWII, particularly in the company that made the bomber engines You can see the quality curation – cars on the wall, and whatnot This is another place we were showing our age a bit – perfectly well recognising the '87 7-series for instance (and some even earlier models) This was the complete wall of model numbers; I made sure and got a close-up of the 318i, which was my dad's car, and which I wrapped around a curb (don't ask) There aren't all that many photos of me and Alex, so I gave Anna the camera for awhile Though they ended up being a little stagey Me: <em>C'mon, we can talk 'em into a test drive! We've done it before.</em> Alex: <em>'Just don't put it on its roof…'</em> Me: <em>Because it hasn't got one.</em> This necessitated us explaining to Anna about how we used to dress up and pose as rich kids and convince salesmen to let us test-drive high-end cars. The 'don't put it on its roof' quote was from the BMW guy, actually, and who we recalled was English This car actually – as Alex narrated (another reason I didn't need wall text) – was the one Neal Peart bought and drove across the continent. It was also BMW's most expensive car ever, at the time – about $100k. It also hasn't dated a second, I'd say, in the ten years since it was produced. Beautiful machine. This is the Hall of Motorsport editions. You car geeks will understand. Our response to this clean energy machine? Me: <em>Fuck the planet.</em> Alex: <em>Seriously – I want a car that doesn't look like a piece of shit.</em> Me: <em>Let's climb to the top of that bitch and get some drinks</em>. (There was supposed to be a restaurant at the top of the Olympic Tower.) Alex: <em>Ha ha. How often do you get to say that…</em> Me: <em>All the time, actually</em>. Anna: <em>Generally referring to the stupid ladder we have to clime to get into our bed</em>. Adieu

The tower turned out to be shut for renovations, so we sort of slogged our way out of that area – and made a beeline for die Altstadt (the famously picturesque Old Town). We got off the U-bahn in Marienplatz – and our accidental timing was uncanny.

Mercifully for the others, my camera batteries failed right at this point. (The Glockenspiel did eventually spin up, with circling, jousting knights and whatnot.)

It also started to rain, as I led us on a death march for Der Hoffbrauhaus – Munich's most famous pub. This was probably the worst idea I've ever had. We spent about a half hour fighting through the heaving throngs of city centre tourists, in the rain, trying to navigate from the map – and when we got there, it was, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted about the number one pub pick in the guidebook, absolutely horrendous.

We backed out instantly – and had great luck slinking back to a very pretty little restaurant/pub/biergarten that we had passed on our Death March. It was totally lovely, and we had a wonderful evening drinking, and eating, and laughing – and I stole Anna's camera so you don't have to miss a moment!

Pretty biergarten. Schweet. We later agreed that the beer was really great – but almost totally because of context. If someone offered us the same Spaten in London, we'd have been like, <em>Yeah, it's okay</em>. Here, the Hausfrau comes bouncing out, with her corset near to bursting, and three foaming steins held by the handles (three in each hand), and we're like, <em>This beer is GREAT!!</em> Action drinking photos! Anna thought this glass was big, but only because we hadn't yet been to the biergarten we'd be going to the next day I thought this was funny: <em>Well, we were worried that these green beans might be too healthy – so we wrapped them in BACON</em>. German food! I managed to get a very non-Bavarian plate of Gemse out of them, plus a Salatplat. I had mustard with it though. <img style='height:16px;width:16px;' src='graphics/smilie.png' /> Alex's meal was pretty much a Fleisch fest, though. Here's his schnitzel platter.

Tomorrow! German buffet breakfast! The gardens of Schloss Nymphenburg! (You've got to like a whole castle full of nymphs.) Plus an even nicer biergarten – with even bigger beers. (Much bigger.)

  alex     anna     architecture     drinking     food     photography     travel     video  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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