MUNICH, GERMANY — Last week we welcomed our first visitor in the city of monks — one Michael Armijo. True, he’s no saint, but we made a celestial time of it just the same.
He arrived late on Sunday evening, snagging a ride into Munich with some new friends won at a friend’s wedding in the Rheingau. Despite adding an extra 0 to our phone number — and the subsequent error message in German — his new friends lived just a couple blocks away from us in Bogenhausen.
So, after waiting most of the day for his phone call, I took one very last peek outside before heading to bed — and there I found one travel-weary Michael Armijo on my doorstep. Smiling and standing in the heart of Bavaria.
The week for me was filled with new clients and projects, but Mike and Molly made the most of the work days, knocking just about every tourist spot off the map — from the Marienplatz to the Viktualienmarkt to tours of royal palaces and imperial gardens.
Smartly, they left the biergarten tours ’til the evening when the official guide clocked out of his 9-to-5. Mike got a literal taste of Munich — from the Hirshgarten — largest biergarten in the world — to the Augustiner Keller, Chinesischer Turm in the Englischer Garten with the full Heigert family in attendance, to the most precious of them all, an evening jaunt out to the Alpine foothills for a visit to Andech’s.
Andech’s is perhaps Munich’s oldest brewery, located in a medieval closter and monastery about a hour train ride south of the city. We took the S-Bahn out after work along with Molly’s friends Sarah and Felix and their Canadian friend, Burt. Nora and her boyfriend Daniel were down from Hamburg, holidaying in the Amersee nearby and met up with us for the trek up the mountain.
High on life, friends and bier, we were about as close to heaven as we may ever be — and unless they have a better brewery beyond the pearly gates, I’d say Andech’s is close enough for me.
On Wednesday night, I closed up shop at the office and met Molly and Mike at the Augustiner Keller and we Prosted to a couple last Mass of bier before lugging our rucksacks and hiking down to the Hauptbahnhof for the nightrain with the destination board that read: Amsterdam.
A week of the holy segues into a weekend of sin and scintillation. Welcome to Europe, Mikey.