Eric's Germany Journal, Italy with Alex

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

As we prepared to leave for Italy, I realized I did not know what dates to enter on my Euro Domino pass. I had a round-trip ticket from Germany to the Italian border and a four-day pass for Italy. The four dates you want to use the pass for train travel have to be written on the pass. We were leaving Germany on the 18th and returning on the 23rd, which is five days. Since I was not sure exactly when we would cross the Italian border or how the pass applied to night trains, I had to ask a Deutsche Bahn travel agent for help. With that done, we got on a night train for Roma.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

The night train traveled to Roma and arrived in the morning without incident.


At Roma Termini, the main train station, I bought a street map and a transit map of Roma, and then we took two buses to our hotel, the Pisana Palace. The hotel was indeed the deal the Hotel Reservation Service said it was—a room with two beds in a four-star hotel for €55/night including breakfast for two people. So, I recommend the Hotel Reservation Service for finding hotel deals in European cities and even some US cities.

The hotel was a bit outside the center of the city, but still quite accessible, and I knew that going in, from the Hotel Reservation Service's web server. Getting between the hotel and the city center required either two buses or a bus, a few blocks' walk, and the subway. Given that we only went from and to the hotel once a day, that 40-minute trip was fine.

Parts of Roma feel like New York except with Italian. (Of course, parts of New York are like that too.) Italian looks a lot like a restaurant menu. A big difference between Roma and New York is that Roma has only two subway lines, which seems very few for such a large city. They need more, because the public transit is very, very crowded.

Flavian Amphitheater.
After checking in and dropping our luggage, we went back into the city and took the Metro to the Colosseo stop. When you get out, the huge Amphitheatrum Flavium (Flavian Amphitheater) is right in front of you, but there is no sign of the colossal statue of Nero that used to be there, which some say is where the name Colyseus (Colosseum) came from.
Between the two outer rings of arches in the Colosseum Passageway
Outer ring just after entering. Entry into main part of amphitheater.

Outside the amphitheater, tour companies solicit you to take guided tours. While preparing for the trip, I read a recommendation to take a tour to bypass the waiting line for tickets, so we paid for a guided tour.

Dog in the Colosseum
Tourist dog.
The guide said the amphitheater was built in about nine years, but I found another source that indicates it may have taken longer to complete.

The right picture above is the emperor's entrance. There was a seat over the archway, but it is gone. In the large image, you can see a cross just beyond the arch. It was erected in memory of Christians killed in gladiatorial events. At the time, it may have been believed such events happened in the Flavian Amphitheater, but it is now believed such killings happened in other arenas but not the Flavian Amphitheater.

The dog in the picture appeared to be just another tourist, looking around.

Inner rings of arches and columns Wide view of Colosseum seating area View of Colosseum seating area
Inside the amphitheater. Main seating area. Look at the people to get a sense of scale.
Colosseum steps completely covered with purple flowers and other plants
Roma seen through Colosseum arch
View out from amphitheater.
Exposed warrens beneath former Colosseum stage
Warrens underneath former wooden stage.
The guide walked us around the ground level of the amphitheater for a little while, talking about its history and design and portions that have been reconstructed at various times. Then she left us on our own to go up to the next level and take pictures.

The amphitheater might have been flooded to hold mock sea battles (naumachiae). The warrens shown to the right may have been used as animal dens or channels for water. There was a stage above them.

London-Paris-Rome-Nashua t-shirt with the Coloseum in Rome
Obligatory t-shirt in Roma.
We had one more item of business to complete at the Flavian Amphitheater. I got a photograph of the London-Paris-Rome-Nashua t-shirt at the amphitheater. Now I have been to every building depicted on the t-shirt. However, I only have pictures of the first three. To complete the collection, I have to return home and get a picture at Pheasant Lane Mall.

Outside the amphitheater are fast food trucks, from which we bought lunch. I had a small pizza which was served folded in half. It was pretty good for food from a truck.

Freestanding arch Ancient ruins
Entry arch. Roman Forum.
Next to the amphitheater is the Foro Romano, the Roman Forum. The Forum previously contained civic buildings of the Roman Empire such as markets, temples, and courts. Now it is in an extreme state of disrepair. I would be awed that Julius Caesar walked these grounds, if I could think of him as a real person instead of a character in a Shakespeare play.

Ruined ancient building
A building in the Forum.
Three columns
Three columns.
Ancient ruins
Roman Forum.
Ancient ruins
Roman Forum.
The inscription over the entrance arch reads "SENATVS / POPVLVSQVERROMANVS / DIVOTITODIVIVESPASIANIF / VESPASIANOAVGVSTO," which suggests to me that in addition to not having invented the digit 0, the Romans had not invented the space between words.

As Alex and I passed through, archeologists were digging in one building. It seems strange to be doing archeology in the middle of a large modern city. Have the ruins here not been picked over exhaustively by now?

I think the three columns to the right are the remains of Tempio di Vespasiano. They look a bit precarious. I wonder if anybody has estimated how much wind it would take to knock them over. Entire buildings have collapsed here, so it must be only a matter of time for these columns.

From the Forum, we continued on a walking tour, of which I can give you only a few highlights. To the left is the Pantheon. Below are the Trevi Fountain and its spectators.
Trevi Fountain People looking at Trevi Fountain
Fontana di Trevi. Spectators.

Actually, before reaching those, it happened again. When I had been in Roma less than five hours, somebody asked me for directions, to the Forum.

Saint Peter's Plaza Saint Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro. Basilica di San Pietro.
Later that afternoon, we went to Vatican City. Anybody can get into the city and the plaza, shown to the left. However, bare shoulders and bare knees are banned from the basilica, because, you know, their god does not like major body joints.
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica High altar canopy
Inside the basilica. Baldacchino.
All the guards tell you is that you cannot come in. They do not tell you that nearby vendors sell disposable pants. They let people who have traveled thousands of miles wait outside in the heat while other members of their party go inside, when just a few words would help them out. That seems unfriendly to me. A church that wanted to be nice to people would offer them temporary attire.

While the Vatican snubs people, a sort of genial pants-exchange culture arises spontaneously. People on their way out of the basilica who bought or received disposable pants pass them on to others, free or for a small fee.

As I have mentioned before, I am not much impressed by large buildings and other monuments. Seeing the Vatican buildings makes me wonder how much good the church could have done if the wealth that went into the buildings, art, and artifacts had instead been used to educate people.

Unfortunately, we did not have the time or energy to visit the Sistine Chapel or the Vatican Museums. We left the Vatican and found dinner and worked on other errands in the city. I wanted to get another shot glass from the Hard Rock Cafe for Cathleen's collection, but they were out of stock. The store said they ran out yesterday and would have more tomorrow. Returning the next day would be difficult, since we would be in Pompei and Napoli most of the day.

In the evening, we headed for the Trastevere area to find a gelateria Simone recommended.

Here are some observations I made while traveling the city. As I mentioned before, the buses and trains are often very crowded. The subway cars are completely covered with graffiti. In buses and subways, it is common for people to move to the exit while the vehicle is at the stop prior to the one at which they wish to get out. They do not just move to the exit as the vehicle approaches their stop, as people do in other cities; they do it earlier, during the preceding stop. Alex noticed the speed of the escalator handrails in the subway stations is faster than the speed of the steps, by about one step width per flight.

There are lots of motor scooters in Italy, and traffic is chaotic. There are special lanes that look to me like they are for buses, and I suppose the taxis may be permitted to use them too, but I suspect the scooters zipping through them are cheating. Especially the ones going the wrong way.

Crossing the street in Roma is very mathematical. To get across the street at a crosswalk, it is of course sufficient that the cars stop for you. You must prove to the drivers that it is necessary they stop. You can provide a demonstration of this theorem by walking in front of them. The drivers will conjecture that they can get around you and will approach as closely as they desire.

After navigating Roma, we found the gelateria (Fonte della Salute at Via Cardinale Marmaggi 2-6). I had cioccolata, fico, and cacao. The gelato was better than some ice creams, but I am spoiled by the ice cream I make with a recipe modified from Death by Chocolate. It has just four ingredients: chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

River and bridge River
Fiume Tevere (Tiber River).
From the gelateria, we headed north by streetcar and foot and crossed Fiume Tevere (Tiber River).

We continued north on the the #8 streetcar, got off at the end of the line, and started to cross the street, but a police officer stopped traffic, and the pope drove by. Well, he wasn't driving personally, just riding in a motorcade. It was a simple transport motorcade, not a display procession, so I think he was just out grocery shopping or something. The pope passed within about five meters of me, which is a pretty rare opportunity for him. (Me, I did not even notice it was the pope. Alex told me he saw the pope in one of the vehicles.)

Archeological site Cat
Argentina Plaza. Resident cat.
Across the street is another archeological site. This one has a bunch of cats living in it, along with a cat shelter providing care for them. I do not know if the cats have been there historically or this is a modern phenomenon, but the cats have the run of the site. [It is modern; this is the cat sanctuary in Largo di Torre Argentina.]

Flavian Amphitheater.
The left picture is above actually from the morning, when we passed this plaza the first time. Our wanderings had brought us back to near where we started exploring Roma, and the right picture is from the evening. A few more blocks brought us back to the Flavian Amphitheater, completing our day's sightseeing in Roma. From the Colosseo Metro station, we returned to the hotel.

One more thing I would have liked to see in Roma is Domus Aurea, Nero's "Golden House." From Fodor's: "After fire destroyed much of the city in AD 64, Nero took advantage of the resulting open space to construct a lavish palace so large that contemporary accounts complained, 'All Rome has become a villa.'" One wing of the Domus Aurea is a new ruin; it just collapsed in 2000.

Friday, June 20, 2003

We got up early for the trip to Scavi di Pompei and Napoli and had breakfast in the hotel. The Pisana Palace has some hot food available for breakfast, including scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. That and their cold foods would be barely adequate by US standards, but it is good for Europe. Also, the hotel had a real showerhead, the first I have seen in Europe.

To get to Scavi di Pompei (Ruins of Pompeii), we took the bus from the hotel, walked to the Metro, rode to the central train station, took a train to Napoli, bought tickets for the Circumvesuviana train, waited at the platform for the train to Sorrento, and rode to the Pompei—Villa dei Misteri stop.

Scavi di Pompei

The ruins of Pompei are extensive. It was a busy commercial center of ten to twenty thousand people. There are dozens and dozens of streets, small and large homes, businesses, public buildings, temples, theaters, and more.

Samuel Clemens walked these streets and wrote about them as Mark Twain in Innocents Abroad. You can find a good description of the eruption in the year 79 in this web page, [link broken] which also says that Mount Vesuvius erupted as recently as 1944. A NASA web page [link broken] says Pompei was buried under "several meters" of debris, and another source says six meters. But the tallest buildings are ten meters high, and there are large changes in ground level, so it is not clear to me how Pompei could have been lost for so long.

I will let the photographs tell most of the story of our Pompei visit. I hope the diversity in the scenes gives you some idea of the extent of the city.

Ruins near entrance Ruins Basilica Temple of Apollo
Ruins near entrance. Ruins. Basilica. Temple of Apollo.
Forum: public meeting place, site of elections, speeches, and official announcements Lots of vases Archway Famous mosaic reading "CAVE CANEM," warning of a dog in the house
Forum. Public meeting place, site of elections, speeches, and official announcements. Archeological finds kept in former grain storehouse. Archway. Famous mosaic. It reads "CAVE CANEM," warning of a dog in the house.
Casa del Poeta Tragico (House of the Tragic Poet), in which the dog mosaic appears Fork in the street A street out of town, with Mount Vesuvius in background. Battering ram in Villa dei Misteri
Casa del Poeta Tragico (House of the Tragic Poet). The dog mosaic is in this house. Fork in the street. Porto Saliniensis (original, now called Porto Ercolano, Herculaneum Gate). Beyond is Sepulchre Road, next to the cemetery. Battering ram.
Storage cellar in Villa dei Misteri One painting of a story of a young bride (Ariadne) being initiated into the mysteries of the cult of Dionysus Ruins Ancient and modern Pompei
Storage cellar in Villa dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries). Painting in Misteri. The paintings tell the story of a young bridge (Ariadne) being initiated into the mysteries of the cult of Dionysus. Ruins. Ancient and modern Pompei.
A street Casa dei Vettii (House of the Vettii), the home of a wealthy family Public fountain and trough Bakery
A street. Casa dei Vettii (House of the Vettii), the home of a wealthy family. Public fountain and trough. Bakery. Pompei had hot food stores on many street corners.
A stone bed in the brothel. The brothel is called the Lupanar (home of the she-wolf). Scenes on the brothel walls depicted available services. Ceiling decorations in Stabian Baths Path to amphitheater
Stone bed in one of Pompei's 25 brothels. Part of brothel menu. Ceiling in Stabian Baths. Path to amphitheater.
Field before amphitheater Amphitheater exterior Amphitheater interior with seating for 20,000 Temple of Isis
Field before amphitheater. Amphitheater exterior. Amphitheater interior. Temple of Isis.
Public park Grand Theater Another street Mount Vesuvius over Pompei
Public park. Grand Theater. Another street. Mount Vesuvius.

Fodor's says there is a graffito at the baths saying, "What is the use of having a Venus if she's made of marble?", but I did not find it.

In one area of the ruins, portions of the original sidewalk are still present—little colored stones in one place, little red stones in another. Similar patterns appeared at Villa dei Misteri, and I took photographs to use as web-page backgrounds.

Floor pattern Floor pattern Wall pattern Wall pattern
Various tilings found around Pompei.

I would have liked to see more information at Pompei. What is original, what is reconstructed, and what is speculated? I saw wooden beams embedded in stone, so I suppose they are original. Street names are posted, but I do not know if they are original or modern labels.

The gift/souvenir shop had some books about Pompei, including one with photographs of Pompei sites and transparent overlays showing what the buildings might have looked like in use. However, the shop did not have an English version. Outside the ruins, I found an English version at a stand. The book is Pompeii, Herculaneum, Villa Jovis on Capri: Guide to the Excavations with Reconstruction Transparencies, published by Editrice Millenium and Lozzi Roma reconstruction and drawings by Andrea Tosolini, text by Maria Antonietta Lozzi Bonaventura. The book appears to be a well written serious work—aimed at a popular audience but not just tourist fluff. It answers some of my questions. Some information from the book is:

In the House of the Vettii, many bronze and marble fountain statues have been left in place, ancient lead pipes have been put back into operation, and the design of the flower beds has been reconstructed from the holes left by the roots of the plants.
Among the finds are 81 carbonized loaves of bread. That puts the single century-old loaf at Hohenschwangau Castle to shame.
Pompei suffered an earthquake in the year 62 (Hint: If you live near a known volcano and there is an earthquake, it is time to move), and some of the buildings have been found incomplete not because they were damaged in the eruption but because they were being reconstructed after the earthquake. In some cases, construction materials ready for use were found near the buildings.

From Pompei, we went back to Napoli.


In Napoli, we had three or four hours to explore before our train back to Roma. The guide books do not have many interesting suggestions for Napoli.

The good thing about Napoli was that it was easy to transfer to the train to Pompei. Otherwise, Napoli is not a tourist-friendly city. The tourist information center in the train station is not visible as you walk the main route out of the station, although we found it later, as we were leaving the city. The city has few or no signs in English, and few or poor English speakers in roles where you would expect language skills, like transit information booths. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that if you do not want tourist euros.

However, from what I saw, Napoli is not even friendly toward its own citizens—transit maps were not well posted, and fare information was not readily apparent. Traffic is insane, worse than Roma. The roads are congested and noisy. There are no benches at bus stops. We tried to get a good view of the gulf but found all accesses we tried closed off by gates.

Bus stop across the street
First bus stop seen from second.
So, I do not have much to report about Napoli. We found a bus to take us to what looked on the map like it might be a city park near the water. After waiting a few minutes, the bus started, drove out of the bus plaza, around the plaza, and back down a street, stopping just a few meters from where it started, as you can see to the right. Okay, the circling is required by the one-way streets and plaza layout, but I think you could omit the stop and just proceed out of the square.

Palazzo Reale.
We got off the bus near the palace to the left. On the far side of the palace is a wall that might be good for viewing the gulf, but the gate onto it from the near side was locked. We went under the wall, toward the water, and through a narrow park. At the end was an inaccessible military area and no view of the gulf. Going back, we tried to get onto the wall from the other side. We went down to reach the entry to a ramp onto the wall and found the entry gated and locked. Back up on the street, there was some green land behind a fence, and accessible somehow since there were people in there, but there were no unlocked gates for a hundred meters or so, where the fence reached another wall.

Gulf of Naples
Golfo di Napoli.
We came back around the palace. There is a boat terminal on that side, and the picture to the right is the best photograph of the gulf I was able to get.

Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius.
We went back to the train station and grabbed some pizza. Culminating our Napoli experience, the pizza was rubbery and had not much flavor.

I took this photograph of Mount Vesuvius on the train out of Napoli.


Back in Roma late at night, we returned to the Hard Rock Cafe. They had shot glasses in stock, as promised. We picked up some gelato nearby and returned to the hotel.

Here is another general Italy observation: Italy has not rounded prices after the euro conversion as much as Germany has. For example, single-trip transit tickets are €0.77 in Napoli and Roma. Germany has rounded more things to multiples of ten cents or whole euros.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Saturday morning, we checked out of the hotel and took two buses to the Termini train station. The #64 bus driver was a big fan of Zeno's Paradox. He would stop for a red light, wait, drive halfway, wait, drive halfway again, and repeat. He never gets to the stop line and can repeat that forever.

Termini seems to allow smoking in the main room, where people wait and watch the display board for their train to be shown, and to allow smoking on the tracks, where people wait to board.

The seats on the train were numbered in a strange arrangement:

Window 76 74 Aisle 78 72 Window
75 77 73 71
Our ride to Venezia took over five hours. It started ten minutes late and ended 50 minutes late. Essentially all of our trains in Italy were late.


A causeway brings trains and cars to Venezia, where they stop, because there is no place to drive in the city. Alex and I stored our luggage and set out to see the city for eight hours. Actually, first we waited in line to get into the tourist information office. They let only one party in at a time. We bought a day pass for the vaporetti (water buses) and then set out to see the city. As with Pompei, pictures will tell most of the story.

Grand Canal Grand Canal. A vaporetto and several docks are visible on the right. Train crossing causeway to Venice Steps in Doge's Palace
Grande Canal. First views of Venezia, from Ponte degli Scalzi near the train station. Train crossing causeway to Venezia. Steps in Palazzo Ducale. Doges were crowned here.

Your first few minutes in Venezia are spent confirming with your own eyes that Venezia is indeed a city in the water. Yes, the depictions you have seen are real. It also seemed to me that Venezia has an old Italian feeling, more so than Roma. I cannot say whether that is because the character is preserved for tourists or because it is hard to build anything modern in a crowded marsh. Of course, Roma also suffers from the anonymous character that all big cities acquire to some degree, in spite of its unique antiquity and history.

We took an express vaporetto to the hub of activity, Piazza San Marco, and started with the museums in the Doge's Palace. The far right photograph above shows the steps where the new doge was crowned, and the far left photograph below shows the palace courtyard. The museums charge too much (€11) and do not allow photographs. So I cannot show you the view from the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) that leads to the prisons, let alone the meeting rooms or art in the palace, which includes the world's largest oil painting, Paradise, 23 feet by 75 feet.

My new policy is to avoid museums that prohibit photographs. Prohibiting flashes to preserve paintings is okay, but cultural institutions should proliferate knowledge, not restrict it.

Courtyard in Doge's Palace Aquarium and fish made of glass Saint Mark's Plaza A busy street
Courtyard in Palazzo Ducale. Glass aquarium in Pauly. Piazza San Marco. A busy calle (street). Streets can be narrow since they need not fit vehicles.

Next we explored the Piazza. Alex looked for Venetian glass for Mom, and I had my eye on the small aquarium above. However, for €245, I will skip it. We ate at a café bordering the Piazza, and my pesto pasta was very good.

Venezia is swarming with tourists. Sure, there are lots of tourists in Paris and Roma, but there are at least some residents among the crowds in those cities. Venezia looks like it is almost all tourists and tourist-industry workers.

Gondola at end of street Gondolas Walkways and bridges Grand Canal
Gondola at end of street. Gondolas. Walkways and bridges. Grande Canal.
Grande Canal Empty street Canal and sidewalks Canal
Grande Canal. Empty calle (street). Canal and riva (sidewalk by canal). Canal.

After eating, we tracked through some back roads to find a mask shop where Alex wanted to look for a mask for a friend. The pictures above were taken along the route. I picked up a pastry along the way, and it was very good. I wish we had had more time to eat in Italy.

While we were looking for the mask shop, we passed a police officer, and I wanted to ask for directions. Several souvenir stands were selling Hard Rock Cafe shirts, and, if there was a Hard Rock Cafe in town, I wanted to get a shot glass for Cathleen. After all the times I have been asked for directions in foreign countries, it was finally my turn to ask, and I asked somebody who ought to know his way around. Nope, the police officer had been in town only two days and did not know if there was a Hard Rock Cafe around. (Sorry, Cathleen, there isn't. The shirts were likely unauthorized.)

It would have been nice to get a mask of Galileo in Venezia. I asked at the mask shop if they had one. They didn't.

Boat with fruit and vegetables pulled up to sidewalk to sell produce Grand Canal with Ponte dell'Accademia in background Gondolas on Grand Canal Islands
Fruit and vegetable boat. Grande Canal and Ponte dell'Accademia. Gondolas on Grande Canal. Islands.

The Campanile is a belltower in Piazza San Marco with an elevator. The owners make a fortune charging €6 per person for a ride to the viewing area. The right photograph above and the four just below were taken from the tower. They may give you some sense of how large the city is.

Venice seen from above Venice seen from above Venice seen from above Venice seen from above
View to the west. Piazza San Marco. View to the north. The causeway is visible. View to the east.
Basilica di San Marco Woman feeding pigeons Basilica di San Marco and Palazza Ducale Canal branching off from Grand Canal
Basilica di San Marco. Feeding the pigeons. Basilica and Palazza. Canal branching off from Grande Canal.

Vendors in the Piazza sell food for the birds. When you buy a package and open it, pigeons flock to you, as seen above.

As the day ended, we wandered back and forth in Venezia. Alex wanted to find a toilet. There is a pay toilet near the docks at Piazza di San Marco, but it closed in the evening, even with plenty of potential customers still around. Europeans really do everything on a different schedule.

Our train left the city at 10:43 p.m., so we got to see Venezia at night before leaving.

A hotel Ponte di Rialto Venice in the evening Venice at night
A hotel. Ponte di Rialto. Venezia in the evening. Venezia at night.

I left Venezia not knowing how they build there, what they do for foundations, how they get construction equipment into the city, or what they do for plumbing for fresh water and for sewage.

None of my pictures show the vaporetti or their docks well. To catch a vaporetto, you wait on one of the floating docks, rocking a little, until a boat comes along and bangs into it. Then you ride around the city for a while. It takes 30 minutes or more to get from the train station on the north side to Piazza San Marco on the south side. That is a fine ride for your initial trip, when you are sightseeing and taking pictures, but it is slow when you want to get somewhere.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Because the non-smoking couchettes were full when I booked our train tickets, we had to make do with seats in a compartment. Do not ever do this. It was a long night. In spite of being in the station and ready for boarding well in advance, the train left late. Its air conditioning was pitiful—until they turned it off. Our compartment was full.


München is not in Italy, but we tacked it onto the end of our trip to get Alex back to the airport, so I am tacking it onto the end of this web page.

We arrived early in the morning, stored our bags at the hotel, used their bathroom to freshen up, and walked to the Deutsches Museum.

The model train exhibit was a bit disappointing to me. It was just a single set that you could see only from a distance, along with display cases of isolated cars. Otherwise, the Deutsches Museum was pretty good, although not as good as the Science Museum in London. Some areas, such as the electric power section, had only labels in English, not entire explanatory signs, but most parts of the museum had a good deal of English.

Arrays of red and yellow balls
Model of a silicon crystal.
We spent three hours there, and I learned some new bits of technology history in various sections. The math section is too small. The computer section is larger. Somebody spent too much time constructing the model of a silicon crystal to the left. The red balls represent silicon atoms. The yellow balls represent oxygen atoms.

Radio telescope, rescue cruiser, windmill
Radio telescope, rescue cruiser, windmill.
Here are tidbits from here and there in the museum: A meter on a hand-cranked generator says I can produce 400 watts. The Angel Bridge in Roma was built in the year 137. Three of its arches are still original. The ancient Romans used 580 liters of water per day per person with all those aqueducts coming into the city, modern Germans use 132, the Swiss use 260, and Belgians use 116. The World Health Organization estimates 80 is sufficient. (I did not find definitive data, but the US may be around 300 liters per person per day.)

Model or toy trains
Model or toy trains.
We ate lunch at the Ratskeller and visited the nearby Spielzeugmuseum (toy museum). It is tiny.

Toy martians with guns and bayonets
Toy martians.
One display shows the toy martians seen to the left. Alex pointed out the sign says these martians were made in 1926 and have the guns and bayonets of World War II. It says that in both German and English.

We spent a little more time in Marienplatz, but most stores were closed. Alex found a shop with beer steins that was sort of open. Then we went back to the hotel, moved our luggage to a room, and caught up on sleep missed on the train.

Eventually we went back to the Hauptbahnhof and tried to find a Straßenbahn to go to Nymphenburg. This was an ordeal, because construction had interrupted Straßenbahn service, and the street map was not clear on the normal route anyway. A bus replaced part of the Straßenbahn route, but it was slow in coming, so we walked to where the Straßenbahn was running.

Nymphenburg was the former seat of government and residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty. It was almost entirely destroyed in 1944, and the buildings there now are reconstructions. Approaching Nymphenburg, the buildings looked to me larger than Versailles.

Nymphenburg buildings Chandeliers Ceiling Residential room
Nymphenburg buildings. Chandeliers. Ceiling. Residential room.
Gallery of Beauties Room with card table Front yard Back yard
Schönheitengalerie. Game room. Front yard. Back yard.
Stream, trees, and ducks Nymphenburg buildings
Part of park. Rear of Nymphenburg.
King Ludwig I's Schönheitengalerie (Gallery of Beauties) is a collection of paintings of women. Only part of it is shown, and the image is a bit blurred because flash photography is not permitted inside the musuem. Do you think King Ludwig I tried to pick up women by getting them to come to the castle to have their portraits painted? You know, in case, "I'm the king" did not work.

We took the U-Bahn back to the Hauptbahnhof, had dinner, and called it a day.

I do not care what the sign at the stand in the Hauptbahnhof says, the pizza with the corn on it is not "American pizza."

Monday, June 23, 2003

In the morning, I saw Alex to the S-Bahn to the airport. I thought about staying in München a little longer, but I wanted to get home, so I changed my late train ticket for an earlier one and returned to Ulm.

⇐ Go back to Germany with Alex.Ride back to Ulm. ⇒

© Copyright 2003 by Eric Postpischil.