Saturday, March 9, 2013

Good times Munich!

A Pint at the Hofbrauhaus, Munich!
     So next stop is Munich! Yay! As we were not able to make it to Munich for Oktoberfest I still wanted to go to Munich and see what kind of a city it was (and of course I knew that they would have some of the beers still available for tasting).
First up Munich is beautiful. Albeit it was largely destroyed in WWII there still retained some beautiful architecture and land marks. (Some of the main landmarks were not destroyed during the bombings because they were used as navigational tools for the pilots). When I arrived by train I was left to wander around the city for about 4 hours by myself before I could go to the house of my next host, Stephan. So during this time I just chose a direction and went for it. I ended up finding myself on the main shopping street full of name brand stores and many, MANY gift shops. I wandered around these parts for a few hours before grabbing a quick lunch at a beer house called “Weisses Brauhaus”- home of the Schneider Weiss Beer. Although it is a local brewery it is not native to Munich, thus not being allowed to participate in Oktoberfest (which is probably why they have a restaurant there so they can still profit from the tourists). This was one of the only restaurants where you can eat the odd parts of an animal- cows head, hoof, tounge, etc. – awkward. However, the food AND beer was fantastic. I chose to try the Bavarian version of Grunkohl (a native Northern German dish) and the brewerys original brew. The Grunkohl was fantastic and true to the flavor and the Original brew was actually a damn good tasting Hefeweisen (if you are not sure what is a hefeweisen this is the point where I URGE you to just google it). During my meal I overheard a tour that came in and sat at a table near me. The guide was hilarious and had me laughing from two tables away while being informative about what he was joking about. I decided then to find his tour services and take the tour.

Bavarian version of Grunkohl and the house brew!
   When I was done with my meal I still had about 2 hours left to roam so I went next door to a Dirndl and Lederhosen shoppe, gritted my teeth, and bought myself a (rather expensive) dirndl. It is a beautiful piece that I plan on making a NMU coloured apron when I return to the States and wearing it beneath my graduation gown during the ceremonies. ;) And yes, there WILL be photos of this.:) By the time I had purchased my dirndl, found a wifi hotspot, called my mum and dad it was FINALLY time for me to be able to drop my stuff off and relax for the night. Stephan had given me directions to his place using the metro but not from the metro station to his house. So I got myself lost for about half an hour before a nice fellow noticed me trying to figure out where I was on a map while standing in the middle of a mini-blizzard. I think he felt bad for me because he told me just to tell him where I was going and he would look it up on his mobile which would be more accurate and quick than me figuring out that the part of the city I was located in is not located on any of the Munich city maps. Go me. By the time I finally found Stephans I was an hour late and he and his brother were so hungry that I walked in, dropped my stuff, and they ushered me into the kitchen to help them cook. :p That night I was too tired to actually do anything so we all stayed in and watched cheesy youtube videos on his large projection screen.

The Munich Rathaus. 
    The next day I woke up, fund the tour from the previous day (it was a free walking tour with Ozzytours) and headed out to the meeting point at the Wombats hostel. The tour was supposed to be exclusive for the residents of the Wombats but because I was couch surfing he let me join along. The guide (and owner of the tours, Osbourne) was a very lively and cheery individual. He took us around for about 4 hours describing monuments and crucial Munich history to us. He even took the time to describe the Birth of the NAZIS and explained where they came for, why they did what they did, and their demise in terms that were very easy to understand and grasp (he used a lot of modern-day references). Overall it was a fantastic tour full of information that soaked in like a very dried out sponge. To anyone that is going to Munich in the future I would recommend his tours to those who actually want to learn more than what the average tour book would teach you.

The Munich Victory Gate. 

     After the tour I was cold, hungry, and in search of a good place for lunch. I found a local Paul Anders restaurant and sat down to try some of their Oktoberfest beer and some of the local grub (a cheese dip that I forget the name to). The beer was good, cheese decent, and the service was far from great (I got stuck with an older lady with a serious attitude problem). I spent a good 2 hours here relaxing, drinking, and generally warming up before heading back to Stephan’s for the night. When I did end back up at Stephans I was not feeling so good so I went to bed quite early and feeling guilty because Stephan had invited me to go Ice Skating with his friends. As much as I wanted to go I felt it necessary to stay home and make sure I would not get ill before I met up with Ashley in Freiburg the following morning.
     Well that is all for Munich! I hope you enjoyed my brief but lengthy tales of my travels around Munich. To any who are going to Munich a few tips: Take the Ozzytours (you will not be disappointed), Try the pretzels, beer, sweet mustard, weisswurst, and cheese dip thingy; keep a map on you at all time and try to keep a watchful eye on your possessions (it is a heavily tourist area and full of pickpockets).

XOXO Emily

Look what I found outside a restaurant!

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