My second year in Munich was an amazing time of traveling to new places and re-visiting a few others. Shortly into the new year 4 of us from our group at Infineon were informed our contracts would not be renewed. So a different kind of adventure began finding a new job. I was fortunate to land in the Chip Card group at Infineon. And what a coincidence, our new bank cards from the US recently arrived with new chips in them. When a colleague tested the cards, he informed me the chips were manufactured by Infineon. Sehr gute! So far, I really like the new group and learning new stuff all the time. I am a lot more comfortable living in Munich after the first year, but the language isn’t getting any easier, sheesh. Are you kidding me, they have like 7 different ways to say “The”. But we are very fortunate to be here, most people under 40 speak fluent english. I know more German than last year, but the problem is when I do say something I get myself into trouble because they speak German back to me, very quickly and I just feel helpless. In time, just be patient. One of my favorite parts of living in Europe is experiencing so many different cultures, it’s so amazing. So let’s begin speaking some French, shall we?
In April we went back to France and enjoyed being with the relatives again. We were truly blessed again to be at Notre Dame on Easter Sunday to venerate THE Crown of Thorns! What an experience.
This is Strasbourg, France, on the German western border. We also visited in May Stuttgart and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). I was able to visit the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart not once, but twice. More on that later…
We must have really liked the Schwarzwald, because we went back in June. If you have the opportunity to go there, do it. It’s so peaceful and the rolling hills are magical. We also visited Switzerland for the first time, and I think we’ll return again. We went to Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg.
Above is where I was fortunate enough to see the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway in Europe, at 11,332 ft. Not impressive as far as Colorado is concerned. But at the top there is a new meaning to snow, and I mean lots of the white stuff. Check out above the thickness of the crevasses that could swallow up that copter. I thought I was at the top of Mt. Everest, it was such a different world up there. And the Aletsch Glacier below is a kilometer thick at the top where it begins, incredible.
Also in June we went back to Salzburg after seeing this fine town of Mozart a year ago. Salzburg is just a 2 hour bus trip so it’s basically in our back yard. A year ago for some reason I just didn’t connect there maybe because of the weather, who knows. But this time things were different. I saw the main tourist stuff and really connected to the town and Mozart and look forward to many other trips to Salzburg. Below is the view from the Fortress which stands over Salzburg and can be seen everywhere from the city. And yes, the hills are alive with the sound of music. I’ve heard that from some lady singing a long time ago in a movie!
In July I saw the BMW Welt (World) in Munich. It was free and well worth the visit. They really spoil the customers who purchase a new BWM.
In August for my 60th birthday I decided to really have an adventure to a different culture, Istanbul. I could talk a long time about it there, and I really enjoyed the experience. But beware of the rug salesmen! They are all over the place. But I will say the locals are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Below is our Bosphorus cruise and the Grand Bazaar. Edmund from “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” and I have something in common, I love Turkish delight now!
In September my good friend and colleague Thomas and I rented a Porsche 911 from the Porsche Museum and drove it on the Autobahn and through parts of the Schwarzwald, what an experience. We got it up to 152 mph at one point, and I’m glad I was in the passenger seat, I guess.
And to cap off the year the girls visited us in October and we went to Barcelona, and fell in love with the place. What a city. I almost forgot to tell you about when the girls came to Munich and surprised Nadine for Mother’s Day. Now that’s quite a surprise. We took them to Vienna and they really liked The Haus Der Musik. That place is special. Back to Barcelona. Go there if you have the opportunity, it’s got amazing food and fantastic Sangria. Incredible architecture and fantastic Flamenco. My favorite place was La Sagrada Familia. So different on the inside compared to the outside. Gaudi built it mimicking nature, notice the picture below looks like trees. What an amazing place, and they won’t finish it till 2026!
I wish I could end by saying this was a great year but my wonderful Mom left us for good in October after 87 years and 16 days here. Mom, I’ll be seeing you and Dad on the other side someday. Come to think of it, the picture above from La Sagrada kind of looks like heaven, doesn’t it!
I’ll close out my second year with a picture of my 3 favorite ladies enjoying Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Ciao, until next year in Munich!