Munich: and so much beer

Posted from Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

I’ve been planning on visiting Germany for years, but I could never get out of the airport. I’d have connecting flights in Hamburg, Munich, orFrankfurt, but that’s all the interaction I’d get with this country. But then the opportunity presented itself. Following a trip to Egypt, which you can read about here, I flew to Munich. Why Munich? Because this was to be a six-city tour and it had to start somewhere. And I had nearly three weeks before I had to be at work in Sweden.

The train ride from Munich airport (€11.20) to the the main train station is 45mins long. While it makes a few stops along the way, the airport is quite some distance away from the city centre. I had two large bags, and was able to take them nearly all the way to the train platform, which was great, however, I had a problem. I would not have a cart to get them to my hostel. Wombats Hostel is less than a block from the train station, so I’m not saying it was a miracle, but somehow I managed to lug my two big bags (thank goodness they both had rollers) up the escalators, across the tram tracks, and into the hostel lobby.

Munich

I could find my bike in a sea of bikes. Seriously. Europe is so cool.

One of my bags was to be collected the next day by a luggage shipping company called “Send My Bag” who I paid to have it sent to my friend’s in Sweden. Needless to say, I was happy to have one of my bags leave.

So on that first night, I went out in search of food. I ended up buying a bowl of phõ, seeing a big police bust – no idea what was going on, and discovering that wine was crazy super cheap in German grocery stores. I couldn’t believe the price. How is the whole country not alcoholics?

Munich

Neuschwanstein Castle is so picturesque.

The main reason I went to Munich was to see the idilic and fairy-tale like Neuschwanstein Castle. You know the one. After a 2.5 hr train ride (€27.50 – return DAY PASS) to Fussen, I then hopped on the bus waiting outside the train station to go the further 10 mins to the castle. I read that going inside was over-rated, and being that I’ve been in plenty of castles and mansions, I agreed.

So I walked uphill for 30 mins to the famous bridge to take a photo, and got a good sense of how out of shape I am. There are horse-drawn carts one can pay to take you up the hill, but the hike is half the fun. On the way back down, I stopped at the castle to take a good gander, bought some mulled wine, and warily made my way back down, spilling warm wine all over my hands. It was worth the trip.

Munich

You can’t see it from this angle, but the facade of the castle was being restored, so there was scaffolding all over the place.

Munich has loads of beer gardens, beer halls, museums, walking streets and churches, all of which are a photographer’s dream. As well as a beer lover’s paradise.

On my last day in Munich I went walking through the city with a Brazilian girl for hours upon hours. The architecture is amazing and of so many different styles, Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, neoclassical etc. Most of the time I’m walking the streets looking up, which made for some near collisions.

Munich

We had a nice big beer, and listened to the band play.

We visited a beer hall called Hofbräuhaus, located near Marienplatz. The interior is really classical with murals on the ceilings, and there’s even a Bavarian band playing. We sat at a table with a few elder locals, whom seemed amused that we were sitting there, but also a little chuffed to have to share the table.

Munich

A lovely spring day is the perfect time to enjoy a beer in the park.

The beer garden (we just had to visit as well) was at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden. At the gardens you must pay a deposit for your glass. We saw a tourist pocket their glass because €2 was cheaper than the souvenir shop.

We looked at churches, markets, and found some rather unusual things. Namely, a Michael Jackson shrine.

Munich

The MJ shrine caught us completely by surprise. It went around the entire monument.

The majority of our exploring was through the walking streets and the gardens, but somehow over five hours we managed to cover an amazing amount of ground. We had dinner at the train station, which, while not very German, was better for our wallets. We had drinks at the hostel bar in the evening. A male choir was staying at the hostel and spontaneously broke into song. It was pretty awesome.

So many different styles of buildings marked the skyline.

Munich

The walking areas in Munich were wonderful. We walked for hours upon hours.

Munich is a really cool city with a very liveable vibe.

From Munich I travel to Salzburg, an ancient little town in Austria that was the setting for the Sound of Music.

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