Jeremy is back and we got on a plane to Munich.
After some delays we arrived at München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Central Station) quite late at night. Thankfully our hostel was quite close by because the area wasn’t the nicest after midnight.
Found the hostel then zipped back out for a late meal at a truck, something called “currywurst”… basically it was German sausage covered in curry, with chips[/fries] on top. Went back to the hostel and to bed in a dorm room that kind of smelled like feet.
The next morning was very bright and sunny. I wasn’t feeling well (this was to be a theme for the whole trip) so I bought some ibuprofen and we carried on with our sightseeing. We walked down to the main pedestrian shopping street which was criss-crossed by narrow winding streets leading to various landmarks in the city centre. From here we saw St. Michael’s Jesuit Church and the famous Frauenkirche, which was unfortunately covered in scaffolding. Both of these were nice, but St. Michael’s was unlike any other church I’d been inside before—so neat on the inside.
This street also led us straight to Marienplatz, which featured the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and its strange dancing clock.
From the Marienplatz we went to the Viktualienmarkt, a square with stalls set up selling all kinds of traditional Bavarian foods, drinks, and goods. We wandered around and found our first beer garden (or biergarten)… but held off because we wanted to find the panoramic view of the city beforehand. We’d heard from our hostel about the church of St. Peter’s, which had around 300 steps—almost as many stairs as there are up to my “penthouse” flat, ahah—to a great view of the city. It was right beside the Viktualienmarkt so we found it and started the rickety climb up.
When we got to the top we were not only rewarded with a beautiful view of the city, especially the Frauenkirche, but in the distance we could see the snow-covered Alps! So incredible to see, though unfortunately they were too far away to be visible in any of my photographs.
This complete, we went back to the Biergarten Viktualienmarkt for pretzels and litre-sized jugs of beer (I still wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t even have any beer in Germany 😦 ). The atmosphere of beer gardens was totally foreign to us though, and we loved it. Also, the way they serve beer is very different in Germany. They just pump out jug after jug of the same stuff, leaving head at the top (filling up to lines marked for either the litre or half-litre measurement) and leave it on the counter—people just walk up and grab one and pay then walk off. Interesting.
After spending some time there we went to the Englisher Garten. On the way there, we passed some interesting sights such as the Royal Residence, and the Odeonsplatz—this latter is notable because it is where Hitler and other socialists had tried to take over the government by force in 1923 (which led to his arrest, and his subsequent composition of Mein Kampf in prison). There are flowers there now. Anyway, yeah, we got to the beginning of the Englisher Garten which was marked by a tall fountain and a wee river. At one of the entrances to this giant park there is a culvert which creates a permanent wave that attracts surfers who spend hours in the cold water surfing. Note: yes, *surfers.*
We then wandered through the park. There is a Greek monument in the middle called Monopteros, which is nice. There are also loads of little rivers and cute bridges over them; obviously, we played Pooh Sticks. Then in the middle we got to the Chinese Tower, which was a biergarten with a pagoda-style tiered “Chinese” building off to the side that we weren’t allowed to climb up (laaaame). We decided to grab lunch there, so we got in line.
Jer grabbed another litre of beer, in a jug that was almost too heavy for me to lift. When we got close enough in line to see what kind of food they had, we saw there was basically all the types of meat; they had chickens on the spit, pig knuckles (apparently a German specialty—if I’d have known I might have tried it), beef of various kinds, and SO MUCH SAUSAGE. Anyway, I thought the chicken looked good so I pointed to it and the guy grabbed half of an entire bird and put it on my outstretched plate. I’m sure my jaw must have dropped. Chicken meat for days. Jer pointed to the ribs… and got two full racks tossed onto his plate.
I also grabbed a pretzel on my way out, because duh… Except this pretzel was a foot wide. Sweet salty jesus.
We then spent a few hours there trying to actually finish our meal…
Then wandered down to another park called the Maximiliansanlagen where there was a nice pebble beach. Jer read for a bit and I took a nap in the warm sunshine, it was lovely.
Woke up really groggy and clumsy though, and stumbled our way down past this tall golden statue called Friedensengel then back to our hostel. I still wasn’t feeling well despite the wee nap so I bought some juice and downed the whole thing, and we hung out for a bit before heading out to find a traditional Bavarian restauraunt called the Augustiner Bräu Haus… which we didn’t end up finding. But we were actually both pretty sick of eating just giant slabs of meat and pretzels, so we hopped into the Bihn Mihn Viet-Thai-Sushi Restauraunt for pad thai… ahahah. Then we went back to the hostel for what we hoped would be an early night before our early train ride to Prague the following morning…
Right as we were trying to fall asleep, we heard a guy yakking up his guts in our room… from the top bunk over the side. Gross. There was a poor little Chinese girl in the bunk beneath him who got her shoes covered in vom 😦 the hostel crew cleaned it up, but not before the room started smelling, and it definitely meant that we didn’t get to sleep for a while as people were in and out for at least an hour. And I’d thought the smell of feet the previous night had been a less-than-ideal hostel room scent… Yargh.