Munich, you came around. I wasn't sure about you yesterday, but damn. The day started relatively early with us grabbing some coffee and a sando at the Bahnhof, a quick stop at a local music shop to wiggle my fingers on a few Spanish-made nylon strings. Then, just as D'Animal had dreamed, we rented bikes and took a ride to Englischer Garten, a serene park which stretches from the city center to the northern limit. By the entrance you see a nice looking standing wave where local surfers take turns to ride in a city with no access to an ocean. Kinda reminiscent of the artificial surfing found in a water park, only with much scenic background and no kids peeing in the pool. After we spectated for a few minutes, our bikes ran along local joggers, weekend cyclists and a series of gorgeous streams around river Isar. Fucking beautiful. So peaceful that it completely evaporated the frustration from yesterday.
FlixBus drop off back in Munich happens to be nearby Augustiner Keller, a massive beer garden where D'Animal watched a 2010 Worldcup game, needless to say a memorable day. So we make this our last stop in Bavaria, but by the time we get there the place looks dead; beer garden is more of a daytime hang. I do see a crowd inside the banquet hall, so I take a peek while D'Animal visits the boys room. The party is definitely winding down but it is before midnight - I ask a tall older gentleman behind the bar and ask for beer. Slightly taken aback by my English request, he calls for an older lady in a St. Pauley outfit who also speaks little English. By the time D'Animal finds me I'm doublefisting liter-steins which makes him ecstatic. As we sit at a long table where some of the wedding party are still hanging out, we hear a random snare drum roll in the distance and tap my fingers along. Almost immediately I notice an older lady next table is doing the same thing and we notice each other. She says there was a local high school marching band that performed earlier, and we got to talk. Barbara, an art gallery owner, turns out to be a straight-talker and a delight to converse with, and the first one to ask us about the current US political turmoil. I'd say she's not left-leaning, a conservative in a traditional sense, but sure does not say anything positive to say about our Racitst Cheeto.
Throughout many conversations I have on this trip, I would learn (or reconfirm) that the rise of nationalism and the pushback against globalization are very prominent, but they do not align with what we in the US call "conservative" or "the right." Not one person I talk to has sympathy for what went down in our election, let alone the man-child in the Oval Office. Make a case for them making observations from across the Atlantic, not fully understanding nor with all the information as to what's going on, but the fact remains; he is despised. Looked down on. The fact that has a very serious and real consequences because, no matter how tall a wall we build around us, we cannot isolate ourselves from the outside. We cannot escape into our suburbs. If they're confident in what they're doing, they have to convince the rest of the world that they are, cause no one (except for oil and weapon traders) is buying that.
Upon telling her how awesome my last trip to Franconia was, Barbara goes "Ugh, we don't like too much Franconian." Just had to hear her say it ;)