Last week had been predicted to be a perfect warm winter week. The grandparents were taking a Ski trip down in Italy and the parents went along, taking the 4-year old (3-ski-course-champion) with them. I stayed home with the little one. It was a wonderful week all to myself. She had school every morning and was low-maintinence in the evening so I was able to work on personal projects or simply relax without having to worry about being interrupted to play memory for the 5th time in a row. My alone time was spent reading, planning, and drinking coffee or baileys. The majority of my time with the child was spent outside or eating:
You may or may not recall from previous posts that there is a royal garden not far from where I live called “Kurgarten” (literally: cure garden). Historically a place where kings and emperors came for healing baths, people still come from all over to benefit from Reichenhall’s famous salt, fresh air, and bath houses. Right now as spring comes every day closer, the garden is starting to look like a piece from a storybook once again.
Once the week was over and the family all returned, I had the weekend off so I went to Munich to stay with friends. It was fun to have time to be in the kitchen without small whining children, and we made a delicious non-kid friendly meal of potstickers from scratch. Yum.
Oh. Also I went grocery shopping and found these. I don’t mean the shrimp. I don’t think you could find these anywhere in a midwestern American supermarket…
On Palm Sunday I took a train to the outskirts of Munich and visited a local community that has ties to my Church group back home in the states. It’s a little like family far away since we have a lot of mutual friends in common and we live similar lifestyles. I had a few miscalculations with the metro and my 25-minute trip ended up taking almost 2 hours. Clearly I haven’t mastered public transportation, nor the skill of intuitively knowing which lines are closed on Sundays! Hours later a very frustrated Claire showed up only 20 minutes further west and caught the tail end of a Germany Palm Sunday mass: which like any other major day in the Church here in Germany is a big deal! Palm branches and Donkeys are included. After Church we had a frühshoppe, which is the German cookies-and-coffee-after-Church event. Here there were cookies and coffee and beer, because well, Germany.
After that I was invited to someone’s house where we all drank a beer and talked before going to a beer garden for lunch.
Well to be fair it wasn’t primarily a beer garden. It was a pilgrimage Church on “The Holy Mountain of Bavaria”. But it also had a beer garden, which was also famous, and beer. And food.
Andechs monastery (Kloster Andechs) was a Benedictine Monastery and brewery back in the day. Did you know Bavarians have a giant beer fest called “Starkbeirfest” (Strong beer festival) that runs the duration of lent? The story is that the monks fasted so much during lent they needed something to fill their stomachs, and so they brewed beer. Also because in Germany, I think, brewing and drinking beer is what anyone with time to kill ought to do. Anyways, having graduated from a college where the Benedictine monks on campus also brewed their own beer, I am very willing to accept the tradition.
The Church itself was beautiful, of course. It houses a few relics and is a popular site both for historical and religious purposes.
Holy week is upon us! and Easter comes joyfully ever nearer. I hope you are all having a blessed last few days of your lenten season. Sometimes I feel like I started drinking beer for lent. Maybe for Easter I can go back to wine. 😉