Delay – Part I

18Jul07

Originally written on July 18, 2007

Hi everyone!!!

It’s been exactly a week since I left Toronto, and I thought it was time for me to send you an update, and let you know what I have experienced so far.

My trip started with a flight delay, and such a bad omen has followed me ever since. However, it didn’t cause any major troubles, and eventually I did arrive to all my designated destinations. I do have to say that people on the flights have been acting like animals and nobody queued, but rather tried to get into the aircraft as quickly as possible. Even sheep have better manners and go one by one!

The main reason for going to Europe as you already know, was the wedding of my cousin B.M. and her fiancee T.K. I was the first one to arrive to Bavaria while my sister, my cousins Msh.M. and M.M., and Msh.M.’ girlfriend S. came later in the day. The week spent in Germany was relaxing despite the cold, rainy weather that we had for the first several days.

We were situated in a picturesque, rural area of Bavaria close to Kempten, which is one of the oldest German towns. The surrounding was identical to the chocolate wrap picturing green meadows, cows and the Alps in the background. I don’t remember the last time I saw so many stars at night. It was beautiful!

Rathaus (Town Hall), Kempten

To my cousins this trip was the perfect introduction to Germany because Bavaria offered everything one relates to this country – from the Autobahn, to the chocolate, sausages, pork, beer and lederhosen.

Although I was a bit skeptical about the time we were going to spend together, everything turned out well. We had such fun, goofy times especially on the Autobahn when they raced Porsche and Ferrari cars going slightly over 200 km/h while singing I Will Survive. I was laughing to the point that my stomach started to hurt. One time we did have to slow down because of the ear pressure that was building up due to the high speed. Duh!

We managed to visit Munich on two different occasions, and during the first visit M.M.’s friend showed us around. Everything was going well until he insisted on going to a park, chilling out and drinking beer instead of visiting the Residence, a formal royal palace and headquarters of the Wittelbachs family.

Residenz, Munich

Everyone knew that the Residence was on my to-do list, and I wasn’t going to give up on it easily. Moreover, I thought that the others should see it as well because it takes one through the important part of the Bavarian history. The boiling point came when the friend said that the reason of going to the English Park is because there is a lot of naked chicks sunbathing over there. HA! Would I really cross the ocean just to see naked chicks lying in the public park?!?! I just gave him a look and said firmly we were going to the Residence. My cousin’s girlfriend added that it was a raining day so nobody would sunbathe in these conditions. At the end, everyone did enjoy the palace and treasury. From what I have seen, the Wittelbachs wealth, despite being accumulated over 400 years, cannot ever be compared to what the Hapsburgs had and what is on the display in Vienna.

Residenz, Munich

One of the highlights of the trip to Munich was a visit to Hochbruennhaus, a traditional beer market, where one usually orders Bavarian white sausages, a pretzel and 1L beer pitcher! Pretzel is traditionally eaten in Bavaria instead of bread. Hochbruenhaus was fun, and one of my cousins did have too many pitchers that day. No, I didn’t get drunk nor did I went to a church afterwards. Those things happen only in Spain. lol…
Despite the fact that German diet consists of everything I like (sausages, cheese, chocolate and pastries), I got a bit concerned about my diet. Their diet is very heavy, and the usual vegetables that one gets in a dish are cooked sauerkraut and potatoes. It’s incredible how North Americans would order Caesar salad as a main course while in Germany salads are served if specially ordered. Luckily I still fit into my bathing suits after all that food, so I shouldn’t worry much. lol…

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

In between all the family functions and dinners that we had to attend, we managed to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, and the only way any of us could describe it is by saying ‘wow’. All five of us said the same thing on the first glance of the castle. I have seen many palaces across Europe, but this one truly is from the fairy tale – situated in the Alps behind a waterfall and decorated with motifs of dragons and swans.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

King Ludwig II being a huge fan of Wagner’s operas, built the place based on the musical pieces, and subsequently not only did he go broke but was also diagnosed as mentally unfit to rule. Despite being considered kitsch, the castle definitely is worth the visit and the walk up the hill through the forest in order to reach it. My sister and M.M. were acting like dragons on the way through the forest and only some pictures and video clips will do the justice to the silliness that they did. It was also wonderful to see how the castle along with the mountains was changing its colour turning from stone white to gold yellow and finally pink as the sun was setting down.

Alpsee, Bavaria

Both the civil and church wedding ceremonies went very well. The civil ceremony was in Kempten, and only the closest family members attended it.
The church ceremony was held in a baroque church in front of 120 guests the following day. All this would be fine if I didn’t have to say a part of the blessing during the church ceremony since I was the best man. I was already excited about the wedding, and the fact that I had to speak publicly in German made be extremely nervous. My readings apparently were done well, and Tobias’ father gave me a nod afterwards meaning that everything was alright.
Later on several people asked me where I was from because I APPARENTLY have FRENCH accent when talking in German!!! I honestly don’t get it at all! It seems that I have French accent when speaking any language aside from Serbian. lol…
The subsequent reception went well, and the food was delicious. However, the program was too long, and the first dance didn’t start until midnight although the dinner was served at 7.30pm! The only thing that I minded was the music. The groom listens to old rock and alternative, and that’s all they played whole night. Most of the songs are fine to listen, but one can’t dance much to it. Anyhow, that was not my wedding, and as long as the newly married couple had fun, it’s all good.

Most guests left on Sunday, and so did each of us. My sister went with my aunt up north and later on to Berlin; one cousin came back to Toronto while the other flew to Amsterdam to continue his holidays. On early Monday morning, I left Germany and flew to the Greek Islands via Athens to finally enjoy some hot summer weather. I’ll write more about this in the upcoming days because the best is yet to come. 😉

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