A Picnic in the Park and the Little Things
by Heidi Obermeyer
Last weekend I had 2 extra days off from school on the following Monday and Tuesday, and early Saturday morning Susanna arrived on the Heidi-visiting-leg of her post-college European adventure. Susanna is one of the first people I ever even met at CU, and it was so lovely to get to see her again after 8+ months away and a busy spring semester/graduation in the States for her and a busy traveling semester break/beginning to the summer semester for me. We had really lovely weather and were all over the city seeing the sights, including the Munich City Museum, which was a new one for me, and their exhibit called “Typography of Terror”, which was about the use of design and posters in propaganda during the Third Reich.
We got some delicious aperol spritzes at Café Tambosi, which is right on Odeonsplatz, making for some great people watching. Aperol spritz isn’t (so I hear) very common in the States, but is the ultimate any-time-of-day-drink here for the summer. It’s 1 part aperol (bitters of some kind? I’m no alcohol expert), 3 parts prosecco (sparkling wine), and a splash of mineral water with a slice or two of orange thrown in and a couple of ice cubes. It is so refreshing and a wonderful thing to sip on on a nice afternoon!
I’m trying to strike a nice balance between doing the classic sightseeing in Munich and visiting things that are still on my list to see with my visitors, so we also took a little half day trip to Regensburg, which is where CU has their major study abroad program in Germany. It was really well-preserved from before the War (the city is actually a UNESCO world heritage site), but it’s been quite fun to live in a “big” city (or at least big for me!) so I’m glad I chose to come to Munich.
We I ate a LOT of Käsespätzl (German-style mac’n’cheese made with egg noodles) over the course of the weekend, and in Regensburg I naturally had a gigantic bowlful.
It was actually quite a relaxing weekend considering how much stuff we got done/visited, which was helped along by a bit of quiet time like some reading on the train.
My favorite part of going to Hauptbahnhof (the central train station) is getting a cheap and delicious coffee and perhaps a pastry for the trip. “Fancy” coffee drinks here are much cheaper and I am always so satisfied that I can get a cappuccino for 2.50 Euro or less. It’s sort of my tradition now to get a little drink before I leave and I think that cups from Rischart will always be a reminder of that excitement before a trip for me!
Despite seeing centuries-old buildings and priceless works of art, Susanna said that her favorite part in the end was this late afternoon picnic we had in the Englischer Garten. Sometimes the simplest things in life just do it for you, you know? We bought nice bread, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, salami, and the fixings for aperol spritzes and took it all down to our usual sitting location near the University (and, more importantly, the good ice cream cart).
We got a little fancier with our aperol spritz than the typical Munich café does and put a ton of sliced strawberries in there in addition to the orange. Tasty! The worst part about making these drinks is opening the prosecco. It’s a terrifying and tension-filled battle with a corked bottle of a carbonated liquid- what could go wrong?! None of us really knew how to open the damn thing so we ended up spilling a lot (there may have also been some shrieks of surprise), so much so that the Germans sitting next to us commented that we did a “really professional” job.
As if the prosecco opening experience wasn’t bad enough, we also had an (accidentally) shaken up bottle of mineral water to open, which resulted in a soaked dress and backpack for me.
Anyway, once we got our wild beverages under control we had a wonderful time sipping away and enjoying watching the park clear out a bit as people headed home after a day in the sun. It’s so exciting to have so many visitors coming to Munich and it certainly gives me a chance to improve my tour guide skills. It’s also just always fun to get to explore somewhere different with your friends, especially after being in contact only via the internet (and a few letters the old-fashioned way, since we’re classy like that).
Upon further reflection, I realized as well that this really feels like the beginning of being a grown-up, in which my friends (at least from college… oh my God… I can call people “my friends from college” now) and I aren’t going to be living so conveniently close to each other any more. That is sad, but also makes it so the time that we do get to spend together has more value and substance to it. It was weird to miss graduation (that was definitely a weekend to stay off of Facebook or risk homesickness!) but as Ali pointed out, I’m the one who left the earliest back in September- I can’t complain about people leaving Boulder and everything being “over”! Hehe! I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing after college, and to more visits as fun as this one was as we all spread out doing different wonderful things with our lives.