Sunday, December 16, 2007

Death by Munich

So I've been slowly recovering from my 29th birthday... and I think the recovery process will take a while longer!

Having spent my last two birthdays with my Calatrava flatmates and other IESE brethren, I decided that this year should be no different. First year was in Barcelona, second year in Manhattan, so this year we opted for Munich. My dad asked me what was the best part about Munich... and honestly, Munich is a nice place and the Christmas markets were cool, but the best part about Munich was that so many good friends were there.

Frenchy and I left on Thursday afternoon (nothing like having a Spanish holiday for your birthday!) and arrived in Munich in the early evening. We waited for Juha, who now lives there, to finish work and kept warm with some gluwein and sausages. :) And then relaxed Thursday evening at Juha's place with some champagne and pasta.

On Friday while Juha was at the office, we checked out the BMW Museum (which unforunately closed for renovations the day before) and then went to Marienplatz to check out the Christmas Markets and wait for the other arrivals.

Outside the BMW museum.


Christmas markets in full swing!

Francis was the first to turn up, fresh from London and ready for weiners. And gluwein.

And, strangely enough, my friend Corrado from Bocconi happened to be in town the same weekend for a massive Roland Berger party. Here I am with the Milan RB contingent.
After about 7 gluweins the shop signs started to entertain us. Wormland.... seemingly a fancy department store.

And T-Mobile Punkt!

After an all-too-short rest, we caught up with Diego and Sandra and headed off to dinner.

Juha and Diego. Marco arrived soon after with Axel, and then Lamberto and George showed up straight from the airport with their bags.

And off we went to Pacha, where the door guy thought George and Lamberto were Italian DJs.

And so the party started, with all the usual suspects.... and a few new ones.

Calatrava guapos

The crowdChristian and Axel

Then Axel got a little sleepy....

And about two hours later, so did the rest of us. I think this walk home is where I caught my never-ending cold...

Which brings me to Saturday. My birthday. The day I didn't go outside until 8pm because I was too dead from the night before! But I still managed to make it (barely) to my birthday dinner. As you can see, I wasn't quite ready for more wine....

But I made a miraculous recovery after a shot of ouzo! We went to this crazy Greek restaurant where everyone appeared very calm and posh and well-behaved when we arrived. But around midnight, the music changed, people started dancing on the tables, and the waiters started throwing napkins into the air. What a place. And what a birthday!

And it was made even better by the fact that Valerio finally arrived to celebrate as well.

Opening my gifts with flair.

Birthday team.
After dinner we went to another club called Baby, which from the outside appeared to be a very posh members-only club. But when we got inside we were shocked by the number of people wearing 80s outfits... And acting completely insane. One of the first tracks to come on was Dolce Vita, a Calatrava favorite. The beginning of another exceptional night.

And that takes us to Sunday, where we stumbled around the Christmas markets at Marienplatz for the last time.

Momoni and I tried out all the fabulous chocolate-covered treats.

Avec Frenchy at Marienplatz.

And the sunshine even came out for 4 minutes! So we needed photographic evidence.

Italian stand-off near the potato stand.

And that is the photographic story of the birthday I had to take pictures of to remember. An amazing weekend surrounded by fantastic friends in a city I'd never spent time in before (aside from the 11 hour airport sojourn last summer) at Christmas time when it's full - too full - of gluwein and holiday treats.

Thanks to all my friends for making the trip and for celebrating with me!!

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