While the air was okay in the countryside, the pollution in Munich was bad enough to choke a horse.
Second hand smoke was everywhere there - in the smoke-free train station, with smoke drifting in from outside; in our hotel, where smoke from the poorly ventilated reception area spired all the way to the lift lobby on the sixth floor; on the streets, any street; in al fresco dining places; in the parks; and - get this - in petrol stations (yes, people actually smoked in petrol stations. Watching them, I feared for my own life.)
People also smoked while driving, cycling and around babies.
It is possible they subscribe to a national philosophy that too much fresh air is bad for you.
But I kind of like it that fresh air is odourless, so I was slowly asphyxiating in Munich. Until I arrived in Salzburg in Austria and encountered people smoking under no-smoking signs in restaurants, and waitresses who give you strange looks if you ask for a non-smoking section.
(And oh yes, the people in Salzburg smoke at petrol stations too).
Then, I was actually glad to get back into Germany, where at least people didn't smoke in restaurants and that I could eat a meal that smells like what it's supposed to smell like.
My last souvenir from the country was a lungful of nicotine-laden smoke, courtesy of a Frankfurt airport shuttle bus that lingered with its doors open for 10 minutes right next to a smoker's area.
Truly, this country takes my breath away.
Afternote: I have been traumatised so badly that until now, I cannot think of Munich without experiencing an increased heart rate accompanied by a gnawing sense of anxiety. The horror.