Children take their pet dogs on the U-Bahn. Everywhere, bicycles and their owners. There is a hint of spring in the air. The cold does little to deter the surfers on the Eisbach in the Englischer Garten. Though the trees are still skeletal, the sun sets past seven. Schwarzfahren is ridiculously easy (but I bought a ticket!) Yellow brick seems to denote grandeur: the Residenz, the towering church at Odeonsplatz, the Stadtparlament. The colour of one’s Oktoberfest Dirndl blouse seems a popular conversation topic, even in April. Fraulein Grüneis, our favourite cafe in the park, still exists. Horse-riding in the Englischer Garten is perfectly acceptable. The fanciest offices are on Leopoldstrasse. The bookshops are full of people reading – not a single spare seat. How wonderful! A nation that reads! Marienplatz will always be busy. The Hofgarten may be my favourite garden in the world. You can always count on the Haus der deutschen Kunst for a laugh. Bavarian nationalism is still going strong. The Hauptbahnhof at nine in the morning is very quiet indeed. Rush hour on the U-Bahn ends by seven.