We had a lovely long weekend in Munich – although the weather was rubbish! I have lots of photos, but can’t face uploading them at the moment, so I’ll put a collage together for another post. On Friday we went into town (me, HD, my sister and niece) and we had a wander round the centre – Viktualienmarkt, Marienplatz (where we made HD, the only one of us who’d not been to Munich before, to do the tourist thing and watch the glockenspiel chiming from the Town Hall. You can’t go to Munich and not see the glockenspiel), lunch, Hofgarten, and the English Garden. On Saturday HD and I headed off to the Deutsches Museum (following Ian’s recommendation – I was embarrassed to admit I’d never been, despite having been to Munich several times, so thought I’d better rectify that!). It is their museum of technology, and is enormous. We started off in the astronomy section, which sadly was rather out of date (the display on the planets was talking about the most recent probe to Jupiter being expected to arrive there in 1995, and they still had Pluto included, although they had stuck a bit of paper over the explanatory bit saying “er, actually it’s not a planet any more). But that could really do with updating! Downstairs the stuff on amateur radio also included mention of the Federal Republic of Germany, so I think that’s a bit old as well! We also saw stuff on telescopes and physics and musical instruments and planes and all sorts of things, but we missed out large parts of the museum even so! It’s definitely an all-day place, and one you probably need to visit over several visits to get the most out of it.
On Sunday we all headed off to the Alps, to a lake called Schliersee. Unfortunately the weather was so rubbish we couldn’t actually see any mountains as they were all shrouded by very low (and wet!) clouds! We did go up in a cable car and had a huge Bavarian meal in a mountainside restaurant, but the weather just got progressively worse, so in the end we gave up and went back home again! Sunday afternoon saw a very serious conker tournament – we’d picked up lots in the English Garden, and my brother-in-law and niece were making figures from them, as that is the German tradition. So HD, my sister and I showed them how we play conkers in the UK – it was very amusing watching my brother-in-law drilling a hole in his conker (surely that’s cheating?!), it was very vorsprung durch technik! The resulting tournament was very amusing, as without exception we were all rubbish at it and hit ourselves much more often than the opposing conkers!
And then yesterday we came home. I went into London yesterday afternoon, just after we got back, to go to a seminar which was by an American student who is doing a similar PhD to me but in another former Soviet country. It was really excellent, and she found very similar things to me, which is very encouraging as it’s further proof that I’m not barking up the wrong tree but am actually onto something (which is always good to know at the writing-up stage of a PhD, let’s face it!). It also inspired a few more lightbulb moments for me, which this time I have managed to write down before I forgot them. That’s always a good thing. I have to say though, it was weird being in London. Too big and busy. I miss people ever such a lot, I still have lots of friends there who I don’t see nearly often enough, but I’m not really missing the place very much at all. I really do see Glasgow as home now (even though I’m spending more time in Luton. Or maybe because I’m spending more time in Luton!).
I’ll try and sort out photos tomorrow.