Thursday, October 20, 2016


We've had our first guests in Munster! 
Our first was Ben, who came on a Friday afternoon. I didn't realize until just now that he is not in any of these pictures, but he was there! He's one of our Fulbright friends from the language class. He's based in Cologne right now, which is two hours southwest of us. 

We met him at the train station, where we spotted this coffee vending machine. Very cheap and lots of options. I just wonder if it's good!

We walked through the Altstadt and ended up at Pinkus Muller, the oldest and only remaining brewery in Munster. It's 200 years old this year!

The restaurant was dark and quaint with beams and old pictures on the walls. If I were to have pictured a "German restaurant" this is exactly what I'd see in my head.

We met up with some ETA Fulbrighters at the street food festival at Coconut Beach (yes there is a place in Munster with that name, although it strikes me as so funny). There was sand on the ground and everything... and there we all were in our coats and boots. We sat at a table and talked and had a drink before eating.

Once it was time to eat, there were lots of choices. Carson and I split an order of tacos and meant to go and have something else after, but we were sort of full.

We walked along the river a little bit. This is a part of town I'd not visited. I didn't actually know there was a lake here!

We went to a casual pub and sat down to warm up a bit while having a hearty and surprisingly civil conversation about the election.  

We walked some of the girls to the train station, waited with another until her train came, and then headed home. Our new couch that is large enough for a person to sleep on wasn't due to arrive until Monday, so we only had a sleeping bag pad for poor Ben to sleep on. He said it was comfortable, though I'm sure he was lying. The next morning, we got up and went to Cologne, where he was the tour guide!

Our next guest came the following Tuesday!

Jordyn is another Fulbright researcher who you'll recognize from several of our adventures. She was in town for a PhD defense and since she knew us here, she decided to stay the night and see Munster. She offered to stay in a hostel, but that was silly, and since our new couch had arrived the day before, we actually had a better spot to offer her than we had for Ben (I still feel bad about that).

She was finished with the defense at about 5pm, so Carson met her at the train station where she'd left her group and I met them about halfway between our apartment and the station. We walked back to the apartment to drop off bags and for me to grab a warmer coat because I felt rain coming and expected cold with that.

It did rain, unfortunately. We had dinner at L'Osteria, a restaurant in the Altstadt. It was a very tasty dinner! We stopped by Rewe on the way home and picked up some snacks and then sat around talking. I asked what she was doing for Thanksgiving and we all said we wanted to travel or do something (and travel sounded better because no one has a very big kitchen or a spot for lots of people to stay), so we started looking up cheap places. We called Jaime to see if she was on board, and she was, so we booked the cheapest flights we could find. So we're going to be travelling for Thanksgiving. Jenna has since joined in, and we might have a few others.

At the grocery store grabbing snacks, we came upon the horror of hot dogs in a jar. They may taste exactly the same, but the presentation was a liiiittle freaky.

Carson went into the office the next morning, and Jordyn and I left at about 9 to get her ticket for that afternoon. From there, we searched for a coat for her (successful), for jeans for me (successful) and we also visited some museums.

Our first stop was the Picasso Museum. I guess there was someone who lived in Munster who had a private collection, so he offered it to the city (I think) if they could find a nice building. So now there's a Picasso museum here. It's quite small, and not a big collection, but they have exhibits from other artists often. There was a Japanese art exhibit when we went. Most of it was pretty tame and not bad and actually really neat and detailed. Saying this might cheapen it, but I loved all the details and some of the art reminded me of a Where's Waldo. Not in a bad way, but it was fun to look at because there was a lot going on.

There was also an exhibit of Japanese erotic art. I'm not sure what I expected since it was from the 18th century but... yeah, very graphic. We moved along quickly.

I'm not a big fan of Picasso, which I feel bad saying, but I will say that with the caveat that I know nothing about art, and I really like pretty art and detailed art. Those aren't words I'd use to describe anything from Picasso. I do like the graphic sort of style he used. The paintings in the museum were all poems written in artsy cursive and illustrated with red lines. If that doesn't make it sound like I'm clueless about art, I'm not sure I know how else to convince you! Jordyn and I took a selfie and a couple of pictures because we saw other people take pictures and figured it was okay. It turns out it wasn't, and a lady came by a second later (we were no longer taking pictures) and told Jordyn it wasn't okay to even have her phone out. I understand that and it's a good rule but at the time we were using our phones to translate the plaques and the poems. I'm glad she didn't catch us in the middle of picture time even though we didn't know the rules.

We headed back into the cold, wet day (oh yeah, it was SUPER rainy and windy and miserable). We visited the Hall of Peace inside the Historic Rathaus, where the Treaty of Westphalia was signed and the 30 Year's War was ended in 1648.

We met up with Carson outside the weekly market in front of the Dom, walked around the Dom, and then had lunch at a cheap pasta place nearby. From there, we headed toward the train station, where we took a picture and then said our goodbyes before heading inside the ticket office to purchase a ticket for me toward our next trip.

Our next visitor is already lined up! And more on the way!

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