Bourbon and Burgers – Way too expensive for what it is


Give the Montage credit for calling a dog a dog. Bourbon and Burgers says – we’re serving burgers. And knowing it’s in the Montage, one of Deer Valley’s seriously expensive hotels means you have to know it’s not going to be cheap.

But over $150 for 5? For Burgers? We didn’t even have any Bourbon.

But you pay for luxury – and the Montage serves that up in spades. Driving up the windy road into the mountains that surround Park City, you turn into the Montage access road – and are immediately surrounded by glowing trees on all sides. The impact is magical. Continuing the experience, a valet greets you at the entrance, a concierge welcomes you to the Montage and directs you to your destination.

The location of Bourbon and Burgers is upstairs a bit from the Apex, the Montage’s high-end restaurant. It has a commanding view of the surrounding ski slopes, totally dark of course at this time of night. Deep dark wood, a roaring fireplace, a full bar, and elaborate service – even if they are only serving burgers.

The menu – true to its name – consists primarily of burgers. I totally enjoyed the ahi tuna ‘burger’, the rest of our group ordered more standard fare – the double burger and the classic. We also ordered an appetizer of fried pickles which was very disappointing, and every one ordered a different flavor of fries – I had Sweet Potato Fried – but there were also orders of Truffle Fries and Garlic Fries. None were outstanding – all were seriously expensive.

After dinner we wandered the public spaces of the hotel, spending most of our time in the Vista Lounge. Huge space, giant fireplace large enough to stand in, luxury games including a wooden version of Clue that featured inlay rooms, and offerings of Fondu, mulled wine and mulled cider. Best of all – the quite enjoyable piano player who unobtrusively provided background music. The Vista Lounge was definitely the best part of dinner.

Bottom line – if money is no object – go and enjoy the burgers. As for the fries – Montage – you need to up the anty on those. And either fix the fried pickles – or take them off the menu.

Shabu Shabu – Fun – but 5 minutes later you are still hungry


Park City is a very cool place with a wild geography. There’s an awesome Main Street – with tons of restaurants – all with prices to match. So while you can count on quantity of options, and probably some pretty decent quality – you are also going to be paying the price of being on Main Street.

Getting off Main Street offers lots of options but not things are definitely going to be further apart. About 7 miles away towards the highway is an area called RedStone. It’s really an outdoor mall (there’s a Best Buy and a Bed Bath and Beyond) with a collection of restaurants – one of which is Shabu Shabu.

We opted for the drive because the price was very right – and the restaurant promised to be a bit different from what we’d been enjoying. And different it really is.

One Park City Restaurant Observation – despite the cold weather, Park City Restaurants do not believe in Vestibules or curtains over door ways. So every time a guest walks in – so does a cold draft. The trick is to pick a table far from the door – preferably around a corner.

So – since the Shabu Shabu is long and thin with no corners – finding a table away from the draft proved impossible. Annoying, yes. A reason not to go back? No. But do choose your seats careful.

On to the food concept. The idea of Shabu Shabu is individual cooking pots. Holes in the granite table tops are specially designed to hold good quality cooking pots securely on flat top cooking elements. The pots contain water which the water seasons according to your taste (mostly soy sauce), and then you pick your dinner protein off the menu. There’s beef, pork, chicken, various fish, even Kobe Beef. Each protein option is presented with vegetables, udon noodles and rice.

You take your platter of protein and veggies and pop them into the hot water. Instructions from the waiter tell you to put certain veggies in earlier – other protein in later depending on the cooking time. Since all the proteins are sliced extremely thin cooking time is minimal. Also since they are sliced so thin, it’s hard to tell exactly how much meat you are getting – but given how hungry we were shortly after leaving the restaurant – I’m guessing the portions are a lot smaller than they appear.

Price depends on Protein type – ranging from a low of $14 for a ‘Regular’ portion of Pork or Chicken to $26 for a ‘Large’ Portion of Kobe Beef. The amount of veggies and noodles didn’t seem to vary.

You cook, you eat, you leave. Meal done.

It’s quite social since it takes time to cook and you can chat during the cooking time – and it’s quite good. But you are cooking yourself, and you are in control of the seasoning, so it’s hard to tell how much effort the ‘chef’ contributed.

The only problem – and it’s easily solved – we all ordered ‘Regular’ portions – and honestly – ‘Large’ would have been a better option. While we were full when we left – I’m not kidding about being hungry 5 minutes later. Good think we had ice cream in the fridge.

So choose your seat carefully to avoid drafts, order ‘Large’, and enjoy.

Windy Ridge Cafe – Bill White for the Budget minded


I’m still in Utah – having gotten myself a nice ‘boot bruise’ which trust me isn’t much fun. So I’ve been keeping myself interested by watching TV, answering email, Skyping with anyone who calls – and eating out.

So tonight we decided to try Windy Ridge Cafe. The deciding factor was a 2 for 1 entrée offer from the Bill White Group – that and the no reservations required vibe.

The restaurant is not on Main Street. Which means that you are going to go by car or bus – which in Park City is ‘off the beaten track’. This probably keeps the prices reasonable – and on a Wednesday night – the crowds away.

The menu entrees run between $20 to $30 dollars – with my Utah Red Trout crusted with almonds was just $23. Nice price – and it came with 2 sides, veggies and my choice of potatoes. My fish was a bit overcooked – but the Sweet Potato Fries made up for any lack on the fish. Other entrees at the table included a Ruben Sandwich, a French Dip (bread was gummy – but the meat was great), pesto salmon over linguine and my favorite on the table – a mushroom crusted Sirloin which was seriously yummy.

Desserts – while relatively low-priced (just $5.50 each) were ok – but honestly nothing to write home about.

Bottom line – casual atmosphere is great, food is good to a bit better than good, but dessert is better eaten at home (sorry Windy Ridge).

Windy Ridge Cafe on Urbanspoon

Bangkok Thai – A must enjoy if you go to Park City, Utah


My husband and I have been fortunate enough over the last 10 years or so to spend at least 2 weeks enjoying the skiing, the people, the scenery, and the food in Park City, Utah.

Home to the Sundance Film Festival, and some completely amazing ski hills, Park City hardly lacks in restaurants to enjoy. Unfortunately, many of them are seriously expensive – and during Sundance time – incredibly crowded. So every year we tend to stay out of the main city area during Sundance – but the one restaurant in Park City that we always make time to enjoy is the Bangkok Thai.

Main Street in Park City during Sundance is definitely a must see and a must walk. There are people everywhere, and outlandish dress is the norm. Fur is every where – as are high heels (in January – in Ski country?), there are celebrities to see, movies to watch, and lots of free stuff to grab. I particularly like the L’Oreal booth which offered free min-make-overs.

But this blog isn’t about Main Street and Sundance – it’s about our fab meal at the Bangkok Thai!

The restaurant itself is tiny, and normally seats maybe 50, but for Sundance they cram in extra tables – beefing up the number of people they can serve to around 100. Yes – it’s crowded, but never mind – the food is worth it.

The Bangkok Thai offers 2 tasting menus in addition to its elaborate menu. Feeling hungry, we opted for the 9 dish Signature menu since it had all the standard yummy dishes – including a to-die-for sea cod dish. We checked that they were willing to do the tasting menu – even during Sundance – and once we got an ok – we sat back to enjoy the meal.

First up was a lobster spring roll, delicate and light. Next was one of my favorite dishes – a tuna tartare – served on a crisp cracker. Yum. I also really enjoyed the Pad Thai, the Gentle baked Prawn, and the curry was outstanding – sweet and spicy at the same time. It was actually hard to be sure to leave room for the Sea Bass 3 ways – but I did. The only let down was the desert – which one has to wonder why they bother.

Service – given the crowded conditions and demanding clientele – was actually excellent. Fast when we wanted it to be fast – and slow when we started to feel full.

Bottom line – if you get to Park City – check out the Bangkok Thai – it’s definitely worth enjoying!

Bangkok Thai on Main on Urbanspoon

Tarahumara – Impossible to pronounce – but awesomely good Mexican


I’m in Park City, Utah – home of Sundance Movie Festival, Deer Valley Ski area – and some pretty incredible Mexican food. And the very best of the bunch is not located in Park City – it’s actually in Midway!

Located in a small shopping mall, this family run restaurant literally packs people in. We tried to go on a Friday night – too many people. We tried again on a Tuesday – and things were lots better – crowds had dispersed – and it was family night. There was a clown doing face painting – free – but you don’t go for the family entertainment.

Nope – you go for the food. On the blackboard over the simple counter is the list of intriguing options – from Mango and Pineapple Chicken Quesadilla to Mole Poblano, Scallops in Passion Fruit & Tomatillo Sauce to a selection of Burritos and Tacos.

You line up to order – get handed chips to carry back to your table, along with your table number. A quick trip to the 30 item salsa bar nets you a selection of different salsas – from ‘kids salsa (my favorite)’ to 3 fire versions that are clearly way hotter than I’m willing to try!

Weaving your way past table after table packed with families on a Tuesday night out, you finally score a table – make sure your number is visible, and wait. Sooner rather than later, your order arrives – more food than you can possibly eat at a price that makes you want to come back the next day. Can you say – Wow?

I got the Mango and Pineapple Chicken Quesadilla – and it was outstanding. Other dishes that appeared on our table included the Scallops, a Mole Pablano, and a yummy Ceviche. For dessert we shared the home-made cherry pie – gently warmed. And I picked up a giant-sized cookie to take skiing with me the next day.

Inexpensive, delicious, memorable, and fun. A prefect recipe for a repeat trip!

Tarahumara on Urbanspoon

Take a Trip on the WildSide! Well worth the $$


I know – it’s been over a month since I’ve done a post. And it’s not because I wasn’t busy doing stuff – it’s just plain old lazy if you ask me.

But tonight was exceptional – and it ends next week (Jan 15) – so you must hop right on this band wagon.

Billed as the hottest thing in Montreal in January (which given that today was a warm -7 – and yesterday was a much colder -30 is possibly true) – the WildSide Festival at Centaur has always had a warm and fuzzy place in my heart. At just $15 a show (down to $10 if you are a subscriber at Centaur – and buy the super pass) – it’s a steel. And this year two of the three plays we saw were absolutely outstanding.

V-card – which features 4 of Montreal’s most talented young performers wearing masks so that they portray over 20 different characters is a tour de force you do not want to miss. Not for the easily embarrassed – it’s a lively conversation about when you lost yours. And it’s fantastic. Go.

Iceland is even better if that’s possible. The 3 performers alternate telling a story – which starts off with a murder – and well – ends in an uproar. In between you get to meet the characters – who engage with the audience to tell their sides of the story. It’s a fab performance, brilliantly written to be both entertaining and enlightening. And trust me – you will come out the wiser for the experience.

Centaur – Wildside – Go!

Fluff – but fun fluff! St. Leonard Chronicles at Centaur Theatre


Sold out houses – night after night – says something about this fun to watch, and slightly heart warming play about an evening with an Italian extended family in St. Leonard. And it’s been extended to December. You have time to get tickets and join the crowd singing it’s praises!

There’s the young couple, their parents, and the mother of the mother of the husband – aka: Grannie. They are sitting around a dinning room table – behind them is a view into the kitchen that they can not see – being family. The direction alone deserves kudos. Roy Surette has managed to imagineer a small room with walls that yet is open to the theatre seating. You get completely the fact that this is not a huge home – in fact it’s a duplex/triplex – the young couple have renters that they manage below and above. By setting the kitchen above and behind the table, it is very easy to keep your eye on the action there – and yet build up unseen walls separating that action from what is happening in front.

The story unfolds as a string of conversations – starting with the Grannie who regales – for the hundredth time – her family with the story of what happened when she arrived in Canada.

Keeping with the Italian tradition – of course she and her young husband stayed with cousins they had never meet – living in a walk up served with an outdoor curving staircase. And of course the husband slips with the trunk half way up the stairs. Equally predictable are the reactions of the non-italian neighbors – Go home Wop! Maudit Italians!

Listening to the banter, laughter, and tall tales being told – you get a good idea of what life for this kind of extended family must be like.

There is a story of sorts – the kids are trying to make their lives better, the parents see any changes as change for the worse, and the old lady drinks wine and nods off from time to time.

I won’t ruin the play by revealing more of the story – but bottom line – the acting is terrific, the play itself a wonderful effort, and naturally the production values at Centaur is fabulous.

Join the troops – see the play. Everyone deserves an easy night out!

2 Star Michelin Restaurants – Seriously – are they worth the price?


Hard to say actually. We only ate at two 2-star restaurants this trip – the fabulous Atelier in Munich has only 1 star.

The first was the Essigbratlein in Nuremberg, the 2nd was the Fischers Fritz in Berlin. Both are seriously expensive, very elegant, service intensive restaurants – both are clearly intended to offer ‘blow-you-away’ food at prices that will dent your pocketbook.

First – the Essigbratlein. Nuremberg is not Berlin, and one wouldn’t expect either Berlin prices, nor Berlin quality – and you’d be exactly right. The meal at the Essigbratlein – a tiny 10 table hole-in-the-wall located within spitting distance of the Nuremberg Castle – was good – heavy on veggies (unusual in restaurants of this type) – and generous with the wine. But the courses blur together in my memory – delicious why we enjoyed them, but except for the Brussel sprouts with mandarin – not worth blogging about. The one exception were the Brussel sprouts. Not a vegetable I would quickly assume I would enjoy – and in this case – I’d be very wrong. This was a stunning dish. Light, flavorful, full of texture – completely delicious.

And I must compliment the restaurant on the wine service. Traditionally – I don’t order the wine pairing – it’s a lot of money for a lot of alcohol I simply can’t drink. But at the Essigbratlein they went ahead and poured me a sipping portion of each wine served at the table. I could taste, enjoy – and they didn’t charge us. Cool.

Second – the Fischers Fritz. This is a much larger restaurant – more servers, more tables, more space. And located as it is in the Regency Hotel in Berlin, I’m going to guess a much much larger kitchen. The result is as should be expected – a superior experience. Highlights included the Sea Bass in Sel (an entire fish cooked in a flour/salt pastry shell so that the juices are sealed in), and the Cheese Course.

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I adore a cheese trolley – and their trolley was outstanding. On the other hand – they did not accompany the cheese with as many treats as did the Atelier in Munich – so I can only give them a B+ for that course. I also loved the first appetizer – a tartare of sea bass with avocado and quickly fried mini-octopus.

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Wonderful texture, delightful favors, plus it looked great. Unfortunately – the desert was a disaster – I think the Fishers Fritz needs a pastry chef – bad! The ‘franchise’ on the other hand were delightful tiny bites of chocolate truffles, jellies, and treats. They were as good as the desert was bad.

I must admit that while the Fischers Fritz was the better of the two, the Atelier in Munich trumped them both. Oh well – you never know if you never try!

5 Hotels – 5 Cities – all different – all definitely European!


In Europe, the price you pay and the value you get seem quite independent – I say this because we’ve been in Germany and Switzerland for 4 weeks now – and stayed in 5 quite different hotels. All except the last have been ‘middle’ of the road quality – not brand names – not super spectacular – just well located.

Our needs were simple – in each of the cities we visited – Munich, Zürich, Nuremberg, Leipzig, and Berlin – we wanted the best possible location at a reasonable price.

In Nuremberg, Zürich and Leipzig – we had one further requirement – we needed parking.

We used only 2 ways to get our reservations – Hotwire (Berlin) and Booking.com (all the others). The rates we paid varied considerably – and were definitely not in line with the quality of the hotel! I’m guessing it’s more a question of the city and maybe timing than the hotel itself. In any case – despite staying in really quite similar properties for size, location relative to featured attractions, double rooms in all cases with bathroom en-suite – the prices actually doubled from our lowest price option to our most expensive night stay. Amazing.

And in several of the hotels – namely the Atlanta in Leipzig, the Goethe in Munich, and the St. Gotthard in Zürich – our bathroom didn’t even have a tub – just a shower! An acceptable one in all cases though – and I have to say often I prefer a shower to a tub. Easier to get in and out of if you are seriously tired!

Our least expensive hotel is the Eurostar in Berlin. This is a fabulous hotel – 4 stars, with a breakfast price point to match (17.50 Euro – per person). But over priced breakfast buffet aside, the hotel is extremely well located – right next to the haufbanhof (Main train station), and a 5 minute walk to Museum Island in one direction and the Brandenburg Gate in the other. Ideal for exploring Berlin – although restaurant options – while plentiful, are hardly cheap. In fact – that’s probably my biggest complaint! Our room is on the top floor – with a glorious view of the city. The front desk is extremely pleasant and easy to deal with – and the spa – while lacking a whirlpool, has a lovely indoor swimming pool and 2 – count’m 2 – saunas. Both are clothing optional if you must know. I’d definitely rate this the best hotel we’ve stayed at – and it’s by far the least expensive. Under $100 a night. Go figure. Internet is free – although fussy – you have to sign in separtely for all devices, and repeat the sign-in everytime the device goes to sleep. Bottom Line – 5 Stars and a Definitely Stay here.

Next lowest price – the Hotel Atlanta in Leipzig. In this case – I’m not surprised at the price – just surprised we could get it that cheap since we stayed there during the Battle of Nations celebration. Everything was full! I suspect our great rate is more due to the length of our stay (4 nights) than anything special we did. And it included breakfast – which was absolutely perfect. Unlimited coffee, cereal, fruit, meat, cheese, lots of different breads and rolls and cakes, crepes, sausages, bacon, meatballs, and boiled eggs. I particularly liked the cheese selection – from Baby Bel’s to herbed cream cheese to traditional sliced cheeses. It was yummy. The location for our purposes was perfect. There was a free parking lot – and the hotel was just a 7 minute drive from the bivouac area for our re-enacting group. The spa offered a whirlpool bath (lukewarm – not hot), and a sauna – definitely clothing optional. But the spa had a nice sized resting area – and a lovely view. Room was nice and large – I could have used a fridge with more space – I had to remove their ‘charge’ items to put in my bread and fruit. And if I had to be fussy – the fact that you had to know to ask for bathrobe was weird. We only found out the hard way – went to the hot tub area – and everyone had one but us! Internet was an additional 17.50 Euro’s a week – but at least we only paid once for all our devices. And TV was additional too – if you wanted more than the basic channels. Bottom line here – 5 Stars – and a definitely Stay Here.

Next up – and it’s a big jump – (175 Euro a night) was the Hotel Agneshof in Nuremberg. But location, location! It was a wonderful location – off a quite side street – right under the eves of the Nuremberg castle, and right around the corner from a great antique shop selling discounted pewter mugs. Oh did I enjoy that shop! The Agneshof also offered parking – at 15 Euro a day – but an essential if you drove into Nuremberg with a car and no assigned parking place. Breakfast was a reasonable 7 Euro per person – and quite ample. They even offered my Cafe Macchiato – my favorite. The Spa was in the basement – rather cool whirlpool, but nice and clean, and a glorious sauna. Oddly the fitness equipment was in the same space – hard to exercise in a room full of steam and clorine. We spent every day out on the town – and quite enjoyed our stay. Bottom line – another 5 stars, and a definitely stay there again – but try for a better rate.

Top dollar prizes (Over 220 Euro a night) go to the hotels in Munich and Zürich. And I have to say – the hotel in Zürich was clearly worth the price – of the hotel in Munich – I’m not so sure. I’ll bet other people were staying there for a whole lot less.

In Munich we stayed at the hotel Goethe – picked because it was a middle of the road price – which says something about the prices of hotels around Octoberfest time if over 200 Euros is middle of the road! It was located in a very ‘mixed’ neighborhood, right by the main train station. I call the neighborhood mixed because our neighbors were either Casinos or shops selling sex toys. Walking the streets was an experience as well – there were ladies in full burka with only their eyes visible walking slowly past the bums and homeless you’d expect to see next to a train station. And most annoying – particularly for the price – the hotel is doing a major renovation – so there was no elevator. The front desk clerk had to carry our suitcases upstairs – thank goodness we were only on the first floor! Plus there was scaffolding outside our window – blocking both the view and the breeze. Most annoying – the light in the bathroom was on a movement sensitive switch. If you didn’t move enough while sitting on the toilet – the light went off! Quite a surprise the first time, let me tell you. No Spa, No fitness center, No Whirlpool. Just a tiny sitting area near the front desk, and an equally tiny breakfast area. Speaking of breakfast – at 7.50 Euro per person per day – it was quite a bargain. No fancy coffee – but there was fruit, meats, cheeses, eggs, sausages, and a selection of rolls and sweet breads. I particularly like the Stollen. I know it’s a Christmas Cake – but hey – you cut it, I’ll eat it! Thank goodness we didn’t have a car. Because of the construction – which took out the garden of the hotel, not to mention the entire front of the building – there was barely room to drive by the hotel, let along park. I certainly would have expected a better price given the challenges we had – but I suppose they charge even more when not in the midst of reconstruction. At least the internet was free. Not very powerful, but free. Bottom line – 3 stars and I’d definitely look for somewhere else next time I’m in Munich.

In Zürich we stayed in the Hotel Gotthard. Breakfast not included – and at 32 SF (about $32 per person) not happening for me. I just don’t eat that much food. Awkwardly – the first morning we walked the wrong way – and were in the ‘expensive’ part of town – no breakfast spots to be found. We ended up at the breakfast buffet of a ‘lesser’ hotel – and paid 22 SF ($22 per person) for breakfast. It became my personal goal to locate a better option. Eventually we walked the right way – into the train station – and for just 10 SF ($10) found a lovely breakfast place – they even included my cafe Macchiato for no extra charge. I love you for that! The hotel is an older grande dame – rooms aren’t huge – but they are comfortable, and for our purposes the location and car parking option, which while pricy, totally worked. I won’t say it’s the nicest hotel we stayed in (That definitely goes to the Eurostar in Berlin) but it was comfortable, had 2 elevators, and the staff was very nice. Internet was free – a nice bonus. So a clear recommendation – just try to get a better deal on the price!

So – not a terrible place in the lot, even the Hotel Goethe had its location going for it – but some clear favorites. And I’ve learned something I didn’t know about German’s and Austrians – Clothing is definitely optional in whirlpools and Saunas. So come prepared!

Picture below is our room in the Eurostar –

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Deutsches Museum in Munich – less than the sum of it’s parts


Don’t get me wrong – the biggest ‘Technology’ and ‘Science’ Museum in Germany is well worth visiting – it’s just that the parts are so large – it’s hard to focus.

The Deutsches Museum is all about ‘size matters’. Unlike most museums that are content with models, or electronic aids – this Museum wants the real thing. So there’s a life-size section of a Lufthansa Passenger jet showing the typical 2 – 4 – 2 seating- with the luggage containers below. There’s a real U-boat – the last of its kind, saved from destruction in 1919 by the founder of the museum, and sliced open so visitors can see the insides – from stem to stern. There are full-sized water wheels, running of course – even a full-sized sail boat used for fishing off the North Atlantic sea. At one point, you walk into the staterooms and then onto the deck of a cross Atlantic steamer – circa 1950.

It would be impossible to list all the stuff crammed into the museum – let alone see it all. But I did have one favorite part – and it’s wasn’t even on the must see sections!

To me the highlight of the museum was the Mining section. Why – because they devoted basically 1/2 the basement to full-sized, walk thru, mines. Dark, dripping with water, dirt or wooden floored as appropriate – these ‘mines’ felt like the real thing. And since I’ve been in the real thing several times – I feel justified in saying that.

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To trace the changes in mining technology over the past 200 years – they have created mines worked by hand, complete with miners using lamps to claw coal from the earth. Exit that mine – and you are in a salt mine – with life-sized miners using pick-axes to cut salt ‘cubes’ from the walls. Walk a bit further, and you are in more mechanized times – horse-drawn sleds, tracks running beneath your feet, electric lights. Just a bit further – and you are face to face with gigantic mining machines with bits larger than a human. This is a truly impressive bit of display work – it would be hard to leave without a feeling of pity for anyone who would have to earn their living under the earth!

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Another truly fascinating section dealt with nano-technologies. This section used the very latest in museum technologies – you passed your hand over an object – and in German and English the object was explained in quite significant detail. Neat technology – but not the best at conveying information. Because you had to pick what to learn about – it was easy to by-pass important things, and get intrigued by something less critical. Basically a confusing exhibit – but very cool technology.

Another exhibit that couldn’t help but admire – but have to admit that the designers went so far – and then dropped the ball – was in the Pharmaceutical section. There you see a picture of a naked woman (this is Europe – no clothing, no problems), are forced to focus on her eye, from there to a piece of skin above her eye, and from there to a skin cell. You then turn right – and actually enter the cell – blown up 10000 times to make room for probably 30 visitors at once. So far – so cool – but then the designers ran out of ideas. Once in the cell – it’s back to basic explanation – mostly in German. Oh well. I did like that one section of floor looked like cell wall – I think the entire floor should have been made like that – it would have been far more impressive.

There’s also a model train layout – huge of course – HO scale – that is ‘animated’ 3 times a day. When animated, the cameras on the front of the trains are turned on – and you see the scene from the perspective of the engineer. A very neat effect.

Under the – scare the wits out of people heading – they have a huge exhibit on static electricity – which ends with a house bursting into flames from a lightning strike. Very noisy – but not something I haven’t seen before.

The very highly reviewed Physics section has every mechanical advantage demonstration tool I’ve ever seen – very hands on – very fun – but limited explanations. I was left thinking that kids probably press the buttons – pull the levers – and roll the balls – and then walk out – none the wiser.

Bottom line – Do go. It’s way cool to see the full-sized planes, boats, power tools, printing presses, telephone exchanges, even an old IBM 360 – the computer I learned to program on in 1966. Be sure to visit the Mining section – you’ll have to hike down stairs quite a bit – and then gradually work your way up thru the various exhibits – but it’s truly amazing. Don’t be surprised at the lack of English – some sections are well labeled, others have nary a word of English. And Don’t expect an audio guide. You will be disappointed. But I’d rate the Mining section alone a must see in Munich. I’ve never seen anything better anywhere – and that includes really coal and silver mines!