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DAY 32, JUNE 18

(MATT) We arose around 7 a.m. to Sam's alarm (at least I did and since misery loves company, they rose soon after.) It was raining again and we were very surprised. (That was sarcasm to you readers back home that are still unable to read between my words.) We packed up the wet tent and semi-wet bags and headed for Munich in hopes of finding Mass. We could not find the town center. This was a new problem for us. Usually, we couldn't help but find the center and once there were at a loss to get to where we wanted to go. Well, after 1/2 hour of driving aimlessly, we saw a church and stopped. It was Catholic and the signs seemed to indicate that it would be a high Mass with a choir--at least that's what we guessed it said in German. We were right. An hour and a half later (after a very beautiful Mass, we were outside again waiting for Chris (who went to a different Mass.)) We were hoping that he would find his way back to where we were because we did not know where we were (well, we knew we were somewhere in Munich) or where Chris was. I thought perhaps that if worst came to worst that Chris would call his parents to use them as a base. I mean that we also would call them and they would help us to find each other. There was only one catch to this last resort: We could not remember Chris' parents' number. But alas, all our worries were for naught; Chris, being the true wandering soul that he is, found his way back to us and once reunited we continued our quest for the now-almost-mythical downtown of Munich.

118.jpg (18036 bytes)We had learned from the sudden school of experience, which is sometimes not forgiving, that nothing is open on Sundays in Munich. We had also learned from a German peasant woman (we would call her a simply a woman in the States so as not to degrade her social class... although, now that I mention it, peasant is very close to pleasant which has good connotations, but that is not the point so stop changing the subject.) We learned, as I was saying before, from her that the only place to make Weschel on Sundays in Munich is to go to the train station downtown, that is if you cannot find an individual on the street to make Weschal with you. Now before any of you get the wrong idea, Weschal simply means change... changing money, that is, for the purpose of one currency to the next, that is all, now stop looking at me like that.

So we knew our best chance lay in the downtown train station. It was now around 1 p.m. and we were getting hungry. So around and around we drove in search of that ever-elusive downtown Munich and its Garden of Eden--the train station. We followed road, we followed train tracks, we followed cars and buses and hikers with backpacks, but we couldn't find it anywhere even with Sam, our man. (We, in our defense, had no map of Munich.) Eventually, we just gave up and moved on. This being what later turned out to be an almost disastrous decision, but alas what choice had such ones as we but to go on. There was no going back because we did not know where we had been. So we bought gas and prepackaged sandwiches at a gas station and headed to a beer hall/monastery we had read about on the outskirts of Munich hoping for two things: That it would be open and that we could finally get some weschal there. Alas for us, the worst of all possible scenarios came true; they were open and looked great with huge beers, giant ham hocks, and even bigger pretzels, but no weschal anywhere and no visa. So we bit the bullet and took off bitterly disappointed.

We decided that since we had no marks and were very close to the border, we would drive into Austria to spend the rest of our Austrian schillings. We were also hoping that some place at which we could buy some food would be open. It turned out that Austria was much like its neighbor regarding being open on Sunday. We found one open place which turned out to serve desserts and drinks and were very near to giving up altogether when we spied a McDonalds. In our defense, we had tried every trick we knew for substantial local food and had been defeated by the Lord's Day. So since McDonalds is a company which fears neither God nor Austrian culture, we were forced by the emptiness of our bellies to patronize them.

We had a night and a day to kill before vie could go to Maria Seiffert's house in Lickenstein so we looked to our books to see what there was to see. "The Back Door" mentioned a family that had a cliffside lager (beds) with awesome views so we decided to go for it. We drove to Waddenschwell (EDITOR: Wasserauen) and tried to take the trolley up to the top of the mountain it was on, but, to our dismay, we had missed the last trolley by 20 minutes. We milled about, joking about walking to the top and decided on a whim to see where the road led on to and discovered that it turned into a walking trail. We backed the car down and asked some passer-bys how to get to the top. She told us that there was a trail but it would take 2-3 hours and would not advise it because we wouldn't make it before dark.

We asked another girl in a restaurant and she said that it was open but advised us that the trail was very difficult and dangerous and we might not make it before dark. She said it was 1 1/2 hours walking very quickly. We had a quick debate and decided to go for it. We took only jackets, cameras, and the water bottle so as not to weigh ourselves down. We went up the first leg very fast and a little slower toward the top. It was a tough hike with awesome views and very steep cliffs on the sides,119.jpg (11522 bytes) but we made it in 1 hour, 15 minutes, beating the official average time by 1/2 hour.

The place was really neat. Built up against the cliff with the cliff above protecting it form rain. We were way, way up. We played with their kids (they had five) for a few minutes and then they were sent off to bed. We talked to a couple from Canada and had a drink before retiring to our rooms for the rest of the relaxing night. Sam also stayed up late and talked to Dominic, the little boy, and wrote postcards. We piled on some blankets and drifted off to sleep.

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