The official greeting of Axle and the official meeting of Anja (Axel’s g/f) took place after we’d showered and gotten dressed, but well before breakfast. We’d brought a book about Boston for Axel, and he and Anja excitedly flipped through it asking questions and oohing over the lovely scenery.
We went to one of several bakeries in the Max Weber Platz near where they live. We also went to the meat and cheese shop where Axel attempted to convince us sausages and cheese were good breakfast foods. The variety of meats on display was most impressive, and a little overwhelming. Anja had to hurry off to work, but Axel had breakfast with us and we chatted about the days plans.
We agreed to meet Beth and Kim at 10:30 at the propellor near the Deutsches Museum. Neither of us had to wait, which was very nice. Once inside, we agreed to meet up again “at noon” to decide what to do next. Gavin and I looked at the boats, and Kim and Beth disappeared off somewhere else.
Around 11:30 we saw Kim and Beth as we were checking out engines and helicopters. They were worried we were going to leave at noon. “And there is so much that we still want to see!” Beth said showing us her list of things circled. We agreed to regroup at 12:30 for lunch.
Gavin and I saw the ceramics, glass blowing and a little of the paper on our way to see the printing exhibit. Gavin excitedly explained everything and attempted to keep me from pushing buttons (then losing interest and walking away).
By the time it got to be lunch, Beth and Kim still hadn’t seen everything they wanted to, so we agreed to meet up at 3:00 to see what was going on. Gavin and I looked at airplane technology, while they disappeared off to floors beyond.
At three we regrouped and went up to see the sundial exhibit on the sixth floor. Then we went to the museum gift shop where Leslie met us. Gavin sat outside with his Fanta (that he ordered himself) and read his Nokia while I picked out postcards. I bought two post cards and joined him in the sun. Leslie followed shortly thereafter.
Around 5:00 we started walking towards the English Gardens and got distracted by an ice cream parlor. Mild hilarity insued as the menu was deciphered, and our waiter attempted to explain in english what the * meant. We’re still not entirely sure.
Gavin and I split an After Eight Sundae, Kim had a Mango Becher, Leslie had Chocolate Spaghetti Ice with a Different Sauce than the One Listed, and Beth had a (very watery) Milk Shake. There was quite a selection, and I got the impression our waiter was amused.
Instead of walking all the way to the English Gardens, we took the U-Bahn. Beth and Kim decided they wanted to go shopping, so Leslie shepherded them off in the direction of the English Bookstore, while Gavin and I headed towards the English Gardens in search of the Chinese Tower.
We walked around enjoying the lovely weather, not finding the Tower. After about fifteen minutes with no luck, Gavin asked me when I’d become so goal oriented. No particular reason, I just wanted to see it. After a few circles and some map pondering we finally came across the Tower. There is a Bier garden next to it and the tower is a broad interpretation of what Chinese is.
Satisfied with our success, we shared a Fanta. Then we sat on a bench for a little while enjoying the sun and the breeze. Around 6:15 we decided we should head back to Axel’s, as we had promised to meet up for dinner at 7:00.
Anja was already at the main door when we emerged from the U-Bahn station. Her sister’s water heater had broken, so she was coming over to have a hot shower. While we waited for Anja’s sister to finish up, we talked about our day, the trip to the museum, the English Garden, and clarified that Samuel is NOT Leslie’s child, Leslie is the au pair.
Around 7:30 we headed out for dinner. We found a table, Axel got us drinks, and then we went to the counter and ordered our food. The place makes a variety of pastas, pizzas and rices. While you watch they toss the ingredients in a wok like pan, finish boiling the pasta, mix it all together and slide it into a funky shaped bowl. Very fun to watch.
We sat and ate and talked until about 9:45, then we headed back to Axel’s, picked up our suitcases and we all headed for the bahnhof. Leslie, Beth and Kim had agreed to meet us at 10:30 to see us off on our 11:02 overnight train.
They showed up as we were heading for our track. There were handshakes all around as Axel and Anja met Leslie, Beth and Kim, and then sad hugs and goodbyes as Gavin and I headed down the bahnsteig to compartment number 24.
As predicted, compartment #24 numbers 32 and 36 were in section G, almost as far away from the platform where we’d hugged everyone goodbye as you can get.
Because the numbers were 32 and 36 we were not sure if we would be in the same compartment, honestly, I wasn’t even sure what sort of sleeping facalities I’d booked for us. They wern’t all that bad. Number 32 was two seats that folded together to make a bed, number 34 was a pull down mattress that was suspended over 32 and had safty rails and a ladder. Gavin expressed lower bunk prefrence, so I climbed into the top bunk.
There was no door, just a curtain, and I think I woke up several times in the night. I know I told Gavin it was “time to get off the train” we’d over slept at about 5:15 am.