Sunday, July 31, 2011
Sam and I spent three lovely days in Munich from 7/17 - 7/19 2011. If it looks like all we did is eat, that's pretty accurate. We ate, and we walked, then we would eat, then we would walk around some more. Munich is a lovely city full of beer halls and crowded pedestrian malls and parks. The entire city was leveled during WWII, so much of Munich is new construction designed to replicate the older city before the war. It gives the place a crazy feel of old world Europe with newer plumbing and niceties. The beer was delicious, and it was pleasant to be in a place dominated by outdoor socializing as opposed to tons of museums and formal sightseeing.
The Marienplatz, or old town square, has a life sized glockenspiel that tells a story in motion at the top of some hours. I imagine in the days before electricity, this would have been an utter marvel.
After a long nap on our first day in town, we hit the Hofbräuhaus for an introduction into beer hall culture. Complete with an Oom-pah band and locals in lederhosen, we drank away several liters of beer and ate some sausage with sauerkraut.
We visited the BMW Welt Museum and showroom to admire the modern innovations of luxury car manufacturer, as well as a bunch of art cars painted by famous artists, such as this Andy Warhol BMW.
Pretzels and beer in the Chinese Garden in Munich English Garden.
A snack of bratwurst and beer, mid afternoon. I don't know how those German's stay on there feet with all that beer. They pack in those liters like they're nothing but water.
The view from the top of the glockenspiel. It's hard to believe that just 65 years ago the entire city was in rubble after the bombings. Today it is a mix of new designed to follow the grid and architecture of the old.
On our last night we dined in the Augustine Beer Garden with about 1,200 happy locals. I enjoyed potato salad, pork knuckle, and roasted chicken along with a pretzel with cheese spread and a huge beer. This place pours their beer from wooden kegs, and you can hear them tapping a new one every 10 minutes or so. Shortly after finishing our beers, we were caught in the most torrential downpour I have ever experienced, soaking us from head to toe (along with the other 1,200 jovial beer garden patrons) just in time for our 10 hour train trip to Berlin!
We took an overnight train from Munich to Berlin, paying a hefty price for the private coach. We anticipated traveling in luxury. While it was very comfortable, the entire space was about 17 square feet total, including the bed, which meant for cramped quarters in our sopping wet clothes. It was a funny experience. Plus, they served us potted liver mousse for breakfast!