Saturday, November 27, 2010


Our stay here was brief but I’m glad we came. We spent three nights in an apartment that was quite a ways outside the city. We walked around for 45 minutes in the dark cold streets looking for our place on the first night. The directions we were given were sketchy and nobody around seemed to have a clear idea of how to get there. We asked many passersby who slowly managed to get us to the right place. The apartment itself is great. It is on the top floor and has a loft bedroom. It is small but cozy and modern. We have a grocery store right across the street which has been nice because it has been cold and snowy.

It snowed our first day here which was lovely but not conducive to outdoor sightseeing. After our long evening walk looking for the apartment, we weren't anxious for the follow-up. We found a bus stop near our place and got on the first bus that came. It was cold, okay? The bus took us on a lovely warm half hour tour of outer Munich before arriving at a train station. Think of it like taking a bus from Langley to Abbotsford before catching the skytrain back in to Vancouver.

We opted to go to the Deutches Museum, billed as a world class technology museum on par with the Smithsonian. We can vouch for them. It was awesome. In fact, it was better in some ways. Tom felt it was on par. I thought the organization of information was better laid out.

We began in the mining section. They had really gone all out for this area. We walked into the basement which became more like a mine as you descended. You walked through tunnels that looked hewn from rock and looked at models displaying all sorts of methods used to mine through the centuries. Some of the models were life-size, including transport modules, conveyors, cutting heads and other things I cannot name because I don’t know what they were called.

For me, the best part was a small display which talked about the first gold mining. Apparently, in ancient times they mined gold using a sheep skin. They would sink it into the water and let the river run over it. The gold flecks would remain caught in the bottom of the wool because they were heavier. The story of Jason and the Golden Fleece was mentioned and it gave the whole story a new significance and symbolism to me. The Golden Fleece had always been a mythological creation but after hearing about how they mined, I can see that perhaps it was more symbolic than mythological and that made the whole story SO much more significant to me. It has been so exciting seeing how the myths I read as a youth were actually more than myth. It makes me wonder how many other Greek and Roman myths have deeper meanings that we don’t know about. And what other “stories” do we know that are actually based on truth?

After the mining display, we came into large rooms that showed how oil, gas, and metals are found and extracted. From there the museum looked at how metals have been used through the ages. Copper is the oldest metal to be mined. It was mined 6000 years ago by hand. 5000 years ago people learned how to create Bronze and this was so significant it launched the Bronze Age. We then went through many, many rooms looking at various metal machines. Many of the models were life sized engines used during the industrial age. Besides the life sized models of machines, they also had small models of warehouses where the machines were used so you could see the whole production. It was truly amazing the amount of detail and workmanship that had gone into the museum in this area.
We spent five hours in the Deutches Museum. Rhys thought he could probably live there. He was disappointed when we had to leave. They were turning out lights and he still wasn’t moving. It was embarrassing. They had a whole section devoted to math through the ages. Another section was on Nanotechnology and technologies of the future. It was just a great museum. If you ever get to Munich, we all recommend it.

In the evening we decided to go to the Hofbrau Haus for dinner. This is THE place to be during Oktoberfest. It is a large, world-famous beer hall. They used to make beer here but now they just serve it. It was packed with revellers. There are tables with signs above for regulars. Certain associations have their own section and you aren't allowed to sit there so they put signs over the tables. You can also get your own mug stored there so you can use it when you come in. Tom was torn between the fun of having a mug there and what that said about you as a human that you had a beer mug stored there. They had a band in full Bavarian dress playing oom-pah type tunes and drinking beer. They were having a good time. The beer mugs were huge, the noise of the crowd was deafening and it was a fun place to be.


maryanncart said...

Wow fun times...for some reason my password is not registering...will try again