|Pretzels + Beer = Munich|
We unwound at our apartment, while trying to make a game plan for the rest of the day. It was snowing, big wet, relentless, puddles of snowflakes, and many of the things I had listed for us to do were outside (i.e., go on a tour, drink beer outside, eat food outside, go to parks, eat a picnic with beer at a park, etc). We finally settled on going to the city center and exploring,
We took a nice long walk through the city center, stopped by some shops, and ended up at Weisses Bräuhaus for a late night snack and cold brew. I ordered a pretzel soup while Eddie ordered some sausage, and we got two different beers to sample as we snacked. A perfect little first dinner! And by first dinner, I mean, we later went home and ate a second full meal/dinner. If I were to give Munich a theme, it would have to be sausage (bratwust, weisswurst, bierwurst,) bretzels (pretzels) and beer. Our diet was almost exclusively based off of those items during our stay here.
Day 1: Getting to know Munich
|The lady on the right!!|
After the tour we walked through a cute little market, where I posed by some pretty flowers and some angry woman scolded me and said "NO PHOE-TOES". Funny how that seems to be a universally known phrase in every country. We also walked up a tower at Peterskirche which, per my count was 307 steps but according to Eddie, 295, and according to real facts, was 306 steps (WINNER WINNER WINNER :D )... There were some great views of Munich from here, but unfortunately a cage preventing us from getting any Cynthia-approved couple photos. Still got a nice self photo with the New Town Hall, as well as a view of some traditional Bavarian buildings, which I love!
|New City Hall|
|Bavaria! (Old City Hall)|
Next, we took a hike to visit the Alte
Pinakothek art museum. I was super excited because it's one of the top rated things to do in Munich, but we came at a baaaad time because half of the museum is under renovation! Famous artists like Rubens, Rembrandt, El Greco, da Vinci...all their stuff happened to be in the part that was closed. It was still great to wander around an art museum, though!
We ended the night with a soccer match!!!!!!!!!...on television. I wanted to watch some German soccer but Bayern Munchen wasn't playing in town that weekend, so we watched it on the big screen at a local bar! It's fun to compare the different level of emotion expressed by football fans across Europe. In Spain, it's nonstop old men cursing at the screen for ninety minutes of soccer. In Munich, the fans would cheer loudly after a goal for a solid 20 seconds, then resume their normal seated positions. To each their own!
Day 2: Neuschwanstein Castle!This was perhaps one of my favorite days of our whole three-city trip. We were off to visit the castle that inspired the Disneyland castle! We loaded up on German pastries then got on a train where we trekked two hours westward toward Fussen, Germany. The landscape grew continually more mountainous the further we went. Once we arrived at the train station, snow capped mountains were all around us. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the cutest village that sits beneath the castle! And we saw this beauty looming high above us :)
I should really be more clear and note that there are actually two castles that we visited in this same area. The first one is Hohenschwangau, and it is...basic. Look at me, a snooty little princess-wannabe saying that Hohenschwangau castle isn't good enough lololool. It's just not as magical looking as Neuschwanstein. And I think that is a fair judgement. See for yourself!
|Loved the mountains surrounding the castle!|
|A carriage ride down from the castles|
We were exhausted after going to the castle, but we had to muster the energy and intelligence for the last task of the night...HintQuest!! This was a really nerdy but thoroughly enjoyable experience... it's a live escape game, so, pretty much the hosts of the game lock us in a room with no directions other than "look for the clues and solve the puzzles and you'll find out how to escape". I've never done anything like it, so it was awesome! I can't go into details of the procedure, because that could ruin the surprise for other people, but if anyone is curious just ask me about it in person :)
Day 3: Relaxin'
Our last day we packed up our stuff and headed out for a couple more stops in Munich. First up was Paulaner am Nockherberg! This is the place where the famous Oktoberfest takes place! We ate at the restaurant, where I got to try the dark beer that was currently in season. Not my favorite German beer, but I drank it all anyway. It was finally a nice, warm, sunny day and it was great to just veg out on the terrace of the restaurant. We left this place around 3pm...and we noticed that many traditionally dressed young people were starting to fill the main plaza area. Munich has the famous Oktoberfest at the end of September, but in March, when we were there, they have a "Starkbierfest", or a dark beer festival. Essentially the same idea as Oktoberfest, but on a smaller scale. So all these people were starting up the party at 3pm!
We ended our time in Munich with an afternoon stroll in Englischer Garten. We got some ice cream, listened to some music, and sat in the sun. This huge park and the activities going on there reminded me a lot of Grinnell's Mac Field during the Spring. People were sprawled out on blankets, others were playing frisbee, having a picnic, or sharing a brew! It was great and made me somewhat nostalgic.