Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guten Tag from Deutschland!

I thought I might blog a little from Germany, but it just hasn't worked out that way. For the first few days, while we were in Munich, an internet connection was hard to come by. The hotel offered wireless, but it was €30 a day. I love the internet, but not that much!

Now that we are at the math conference, we have a wired connection in our room (the receptionist looked at Morgan and me and said, "only one connection, not two.") but we still haven't used it all that much. It's strange to be 8 hours ahead of the US - when I wake up in the morning, there are a lot of new posts from people but then pretty much nothing changes over the course of my entire day while all the Americans are sleeping. As I'm posting this, it's 11:45 AM for me, which means it's 3:45 AM in Denver.

Anyhow, I thought I'd poke my head in and say that we are having an amazing time. I am posting some pictures to my Flickr, but I've taken so many photos that I'm still only putting up ones from our very first full day in Munich.

Residenz Lion
There are 4 of these lions in front of the Residenz in Munich. You rub their
heads for luck - but only 3 of the 4. You don't want to be greedy!

We had busy, full days in the city and then we came here to what is practically the middle of nowhere in Bavaria, which has actually been a perfect respite from the running around. Although being in the middle of nowhere certainly doesn't mean there's nothing to see! We are here for a couple more days, then back to Munich to explore a different part of the city. Then all too soon we'll be on our way back home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Travelling together

While we have had some setbacks to some of our travel plans lately, we are taking a trip to Munich in the next week or so.  We will be there before and after a weeklong math conference I am attending in Irsee.  This is actually a big milestone for us because, for one, it is our first big trip together, and two, it will be Ursula's first time out of the country.  We are very different from each other in the way we handle travelling, and this seems to be magnified by the fact that we are travelling internationally.  It is interesting the way we are both preparing for the trip.

Kloster Irsee - pretty nice digs for a math conference.

The travelling we have done together so far has been pretty informal - a weekend in Portland, a week in Austin, a road trip to Yellowstone - all relatively nearby destinations, none lasting longer than a week.  And, while there have always been differences in the way we pack and prepare, planning this trip has made it much more apparent.  I am pretty low-key in terms of my trip preparations.  I usually make a short list of things I really can't do without, throw some clothes in a bag, and I'm off to the airport.  Ursula describes herself as a "stressbasket" when it comes to travelling, which I disagree with (maybe I agree when it comes to dealing with airport security, but that's different and somewhat justified).  She is, however, very deliberate.  She has been working on lists, having me work on other lists, preparing maps, researching transportation, sketching out rough itineraries, and just generally getting everything figured out.  Which is totally awesome - definitely better than trying to figure it all out while we're there - but is not what I am really used to.

Chinese Pagoda beer garden in the Englischer Garten - sounds like a must-see.

I know that some of it is her personality; she is spontaneous, but she wants to also make the most of her time there.  But the biggest part of it is how excited she is; we both are, really, but it's different.  I was fortunate enough to spend a few weeks in Europe a couple of years ago, but since she has never travelled outside of the U.S.,  it means a lot to her to not miss anything we will regret not having seen.  The funny thing is that I think it is rubbing off on me a bit.  It is incredibly exciting to be researching different things about Munich, from the restaurants, to the different neighborhoods, to the important landmarks.  It feels good to have a big list of places we can check out, and we can pick and choose what is really important while we are there.  The planning is something that is really cool to do together, and I think it makes the trip a little more meaningful.