Sunday, October 30, 2005

Apple Strudel

It's a long weekend (All Saints Day). Apples are in season and cheap. Steve wanted to make strudel. It was our first baking experience in Europe. The metric system is generally used here, but Steve decided to try without a recipe. He last made apple strudel in high school about 13 years ago! So it came out looking funny (something like a burnt oversized croissant). He forgot to add raisins and oops, no powdered sugar. Oh well. We've been enjoying eating it and sharing it anyway.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Steve's commute to work

Option 1 Public Transportation: Bike ride to train station (5 min). Take the train downtown. Transfer to subway. Take subway uptown to the Northeast part of the city. Hope a bus is leaving soon from the subway station or walk. Ride bus if available. Walk to office from bus stop. Total time (50-75 minutes) Good time to read a book.

Option 2 Nice weather, feel like biking: Ride along the field that goes behind our apartment complex, cross the busy street, pass the Blutenberg castle.
Zigzag along a very long field that runs basically East-West. Look at the pretty leaves. Cross a not-so-busy street. 2 blocks through a neighborhood, go under the train tracks (small tunnel).
Sharp left, ride over a stream, glance over at the Nympheburg castle. Ride along the castle wall and through a bird sanctuary. Back onto a main street. (I could go further along the castle wall, but that makes my trip longer.
Watch the cars by as I bike next to them in the bike lane. Cross the very busy street (at the stop light). Right and quick left. Ride along the cannal (that comes from the castle)
On my left there are a few blocks of beautiful houses first--then garden plots. People in Germany rent garden plots to wrok. On the right is the nice tree-lined canal.
Cross another street, pass some more houses, and enter Olympia Park. This was were the Olympics were held in 1972. I ride along the ponds and watch the ducks and swans and look at the enormous tower.
Cross yet another street, some more neighborhood and get to the tunnel area. I don't actually go in the tunnel, but the cars do, so it's nice and peaceful.
Sharp left onto the North-South bike/pedestrian path/park. In the mornings there is not much going on other than people walking their dogs. In the afternoons there usually a lot children playing, and people exercising. I stay on this for about 10 minutes,
turn right and ride past some BMW buildings (there are a lot of them around the city). Go down the ramp and under a really busy street, up the other side and pass Walmart. A few more turns and pull into my office building, park the bike under the parking garage overhang and climb the stairs. There I hold my ID up to the reader and wait for the green light that allows me to open the door. Right, left and down the hall I'm finally at my office. Total time: 55-65 minutes. Not a good time to read a book.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


In order to gain a better understanding of what has happened in the past in this region, we visited Dachau concentration camp this weekend.
While I can't say it exactly a pleasant experience, it was definitely important for us to see. It is difficult to comprehend how people kept going after such atrocities.

In the entrance door to the camp is the famous line "Work brings freedom." It's strange that we could enjoy such a pleasant bike ride and picnic along the same river that passes by the camp.
The memorial was inspirational.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Driving a BMW

Since I am in Germany and working at BMW it would seem almost wrong to leave the country without having driven a BMW on the Autobahn.

We rented a diesel 1-series (the smallest they have.) It came with a Navigation system which we began referring to as "the lady" since she kept telling us where to go. Quote of the day: "How do you mute this thing?"

It was quite an experience to be tooling along on the Autobahn at 160 Km/hour (where permitted) and still have car after car PASSING us!

It just seems so strange after driving at 70MPH Interstates in the US.

Needless to say, we enjoyed the car very much and found it comfortable, economical, and fun to drive.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


It is great to have friends in various places. One of Steve's high school classmates from Guatemala is now living in Heidelberg so we went for a visit. In the morning we walked through the city and saw the oldest building (from the 1500s). Then we hiked up the mountain on one side of the river to see an amphitheater. It had wonderful acoustics even though it was just carved into a hillside.

After lunch we hiked up the other side to the castle. Despite a little haze the weather was gorgeous. It was also fun to see my friend, whom I hadn't seen since 1994.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nymphenburg Castle

This enormous summer residence is fairly close to our house. It has beautiful walking trails and is right in the middle of the city. Unfortunately no bikes are allowed on the walking trails. We had a nice time walking around there on a Sunday afternoon.