Thoughts from Munich and London

6 February 2008 at 09:27

Some random thoughts from my trip last week to Munich and London:

  • Flughafen München is the cleanest and quietest airport that I’ve been through in recent years. It’s a striking contrast (and a bit eerie) to sprawling complexes like LAX or or LHR.
  • Corporate rivalries play out in interesting ways. Just after the giant BMW grille in the baggage claim, there’s an Audi S5 on display right by the exit and enormous Audi banners in the outdoor square of the airport. Seems like a bold move given that Munich is BMW’s world headquarters.
  • Bread is generally very good in Germany. I would eat brötchen all the time if I could get something comparable here in California.
  • There’s nothing like the sense of déjà vu that you get when you return to a city that you were last in years earlier. In my case, strolling down Kaufingerstraße and ending up in Marienplatz brought back a flood of memories from a trip to Munich a decade ago.
  • The street cars in Munich are Prius-sneaking-up-on-pedestrians quiet. The N-Judah that runs by my flat in San Francisco sounds like a stampeding herd of buffalo by comparison.
  • London Heathrow, unlike the Internet, really is a series of tubes. Catching a connecting flight at LHR involves a series of moving walkways connecting a seemingly endless sprawl of terminals.
  • The EmPower power outlets built in to many airplane seats seems rather customer unfriendly. Is there actually a good technical reason for not providing standard AC outlets in-seat instead?