Sometimes life takes you somewhere through total serendipity.
For Sinterklaas my dads gave me two guidebooks. One to Barcelona and one to Munich. The Barcelona one I jumped all over and quickly.
Munich lounged on my bookshelf through a couple months of insane work hours and focus on matters of the head and the heart. When I came back from San Diego in May, I was in Amsterdam for a blink and then headed out to Lugano for five days of escaping reality.
When I came home from the lake and the pasta and the views, I found myself restless and ready to barely bother unpacking.
I picked up the guidebook for Munich and flipped through. Would there be anything worth seeing? Is summer the right time to go?
And then an inscription caught my eye – Opera Festival.
Two google arias later… I’d booked a ticket for myself to a performance of Rossini’s Cinderella in Munich. I could do a with a little Cinderella magic in my life.
I know… I KNOW what you are thinking … Spoiled little Sh-t.
But what else to do in July when I can put my work into my pocket to pull out at a table anywhere, and when the sun wasn’t too eager for a visit in Amsterdam.
So I went.
I had ended up booking four nights in Munich. And I’m glad I did. Not only because there is so much to see in the city, but it gave me four nights of sitting on terraces. Four nights of walking to the hotel in the warm summer air. Four nights to enjoy the crisp Bavarian Rieslings.
And it gave me the chance to discover other music too.
One afternoon I was at a museum at Point A… I wanted to get to Point B. And you know my directional skills. I was certain, based on my map, that if I went straight here, left there, straight, right, left, right, left, back, upwards, left, straight… I’d get where I wanted to be.
The universe had another plan for me and took me where I SHOULD be.
I turned a corner and discovered a team setting up for an open air concert that was going to be held that evening. The theme: A Night in Italy… Italian opera arias. In the open air. With the backdrop the incredible Loggia built on Odeonsplatz.
I don’t like making a fool of myself. But in my broken German slash English slash Dutch and a few “Grazie, signore” tossed in… I was able to figure out where to buy tickets, what they cost and where I had to come back to in 4 hours for the concert.
Am I glad that I got lost!
One of the things that you envision when you do something like move from California to Europe is moments of magic and amazement.
Yes, I’ve been in beautiful opera houses (and the very next night I WOULD be in a beautiful opera house listening to Rossini) and I’ve had the privilege of hearing music in incredible concert halls… but there… sitting with the sky purple-blue-gold and the sun setting behind the twin domed towers of the Theatinerkirche, with the wind in my hair and the warm air on my skin, not knowing a single soul around me and yet not alone, pink and blue lights shining on lions that were ageless, and gorgeous choir voices rising through the air…. THERE… I felt like a dream had slipped into reality. Here’s where magic becomes tangible.
They were worried about rain, so they changed the program to do the most beautiful pieces first. The break was skipped. They were going to perform until the rain came down. And no one in the audience minded.
Two and a half hours of beautiful music later… I floated back to the hotel with a heart full of gladness that I came to Munich.