Woke up feeling not so great this morning and, had I been at home, would probably have had the day in bed. But this is Munich and we only have 2 days here, so “Go away virus” and jump in the shower. We took breakfast next door at the wee café again but today we ate outside at a table on the pavement in warm autumnal sunshine below a faultless blue sky.

10 o’clock in the morning. Breakfast.

We decide on a leisurely visit to the Olympiastadion, the setting for the 1972 Olympics and the scene of the Palestinian terrorist hostage-taking of Israeli athletes which ended in bloodshed and fatalities. Ten Euros bought us an all-day ticket on the transport system which we digested with our eyes before settling on the correct route to take. It turned out to be a 10-minute journey with one change of line after which we emerged into blinding sunshine and a gigantic Olympic park of varying buildings and open areas.

Do you remember her?

Mary invested in a couple of bottles of water to keep us hydrated and we strolled up a gentle slope named after the British athlete Lillian Board to the Swimming Venue and the Sports hall. Beyond these we encountered a gorgeous lake with geese in abundance and the sun was now so hot that we sat down on a terrasse in a kind of semi-amphitheatre and caught some rays. This turned into a longer-than-expected sunbathing session by the end of which the jeans were rolled up and we were both barefoot. Remember this is the 20th October!

Note the sky.

Fancy a swim with Mark Spitz?









Eventually we felt the urge to move on and Mary kindly cooperated with my wish to visit the Olympiastadion which faced us a couple of hundred metres away. When we got there we discovered that unfortunately there were no guided tours for 2 hours so we opted for the cheap unguided visit and pushed through the turnstile. We were not disappointed by what greeted us and we spent almost 2 hours wandering around the stadium, watching Flying Fox zip wire adventurers, bungee jumpers and more sedate abseilers come down adrenalin-filled from the roof of the famous structure. We ended the visit with a short viewing of a presentation about that year’s Olympic Games and the events that would mark them out for ever. I even got my photo taken at the Olympic flame dish.

Am I early for the game?

Great view!









We left the Olympic park and took the walkway over the motorway into Munich, intending to take the underground train back. However we were intrigued by a huge modern building which announced itself as “BMW Welt” so went inside to have a look. Wow! This place was alive with car and motorbike enthusiasts drooling over the latest BMW models, signing up for test-drives, taking advantage of the various freebees or just feasting on the top-of-the-range vehicles on display. There were also displays by Mini and Rolls-Royce, the latter of which even had the usually disinterested Mary grinning with delight and envy.

Audi’s better.

As I still felt a bit under-par from time to time we took the U-Bahn back into town but went past the hotel and continued on to Marienplatz, the spiritual centre of this bustling city. Unfortunately we just missed the 5 o’clock performance of the glockenspiels around the square but still caught a whole earful of bell-ringing. We promised to return tomorrow if all is well.

The Bells!!!!!

After freshening up at the hotel we went out in search of a place to eat and ended up in another Italian restaurant, thanks mainly to a woman outside having a fag who  told us cheerily “the food’s bra’ in there, like!” Inside we became acquainted with a group of 14 visitors from Perth on a 3-day trip to the Bavarian capital, all seemingly intent on drinking the owner’s entire stock of Chianti. Not like Scots, then! Our own meal and wine were delicious and we spent a few minutes chatting with our near-neighbours from Perth during which time we discovered several people we both knew from my time as a teacher at Perth Grammar School. We left the restaurant and strolled round by the Station where the streets were still really busy before going back to our hotel.

Today has been an unexpectedly good day and I think Mary is truly blossoming in this atmosphere. She looks and sounds great and has developed a wit and confidence too often hidden behind her quiet image. I like that.