Thursday, March 19, 2009

Munich Moments

As they say, high energy physicists are travelers. I realized that very well after joining Dresden - in the first five or so weeks, I have been spending three of those away from my new home. The first one was at CERN, mostly for meeting collaborators and taking care of paperwork needed to officially join ATLAS. Since I have been in Geneva before, I did not really try to explore the city much.

Next trip was Munich. Physics-wise, I have no idea why I was there, since it was the German Physical Society meeting, where most speakers felt it is their sacred duty to give the talks in German. But that was a convenient excuse for me to skip the sessions entirely and be a "tourist" again! Munich is like other German cities I have seen - with an semi-old part of the city with majestic buildings, skyline dominated by churches and lots of modern developments.

However, I have known Munich from my childhood days for 1972 Olympic games, partly for the then unprecedented gold medal haul by Mark Spitz, and mostly for the terrorist attacks and subsequent death of the Israeli athletes, which perhaps changed the character of sports forever. Unfortunately, when I landed up in the Olympic park, the whole area was closed due to some renovation going on.

I still however passed by the very simple memorial plaque and that was the end of my brush with history. Or so I thought. Next night, I was invited by a Max-Planck Institute physicist at his place, and it turned out they live in the erstwhile Olympic village, and more significantly at Connollystrasse 31, which was the exact same building where the gruesome events took place. Max Planck Institute apparently bought that building and made it a housing for physicists. It was an eerie feeling visiting that building at dark, and this would remain my overwhelming memory of this Munich trip.

I did the other usual touristy things too. I stood there in the heavy falling snow to watch the Glockenspiel, where little figures come out of the church tower and perform their little mechanical "dance" routine.

I climbed up to the top of "Alte Peter" church and savored the nice view of the city.

I spent half a day exploring the Deutsches Museum, apparently world's largest science and technology museum. I had the succulent Weißwurst sausage, and crunchy but delicious pork knuckle, all washed down with plenty of Bavarian beer.


kaichu said...

Weißwurst sausage ta sompurno poti-r moton dekhte lagchhe boss. maane there is NO other description. seriously.

kintu the rest was nice. good to know you're enjoying yourself being the tourist again.

dipthought said...

It was by far the best sausage I ever had!

I'll post the Moriond stuff next.