Monday, July 4, 2011

Eurotrip 2011 - Day 14 (6/30/2011) - München

We were dressed and ready to head out around 9:15, and were planning to be in Marienplatz @ 10 for the Sandeman's New Munich "free" walking tour. We didn't remember seeing any cafes on the way there the night before (though we were wrong) so we reluctantly decided to pay the €4.80 for the hostel breakfast.  After eating we headed out in the rain.  We weren't sure if the walking tour would still happen due to the weather, but it did - though the guide made it clearly known that she would be screwed over if any of the 8 of us left early and didn't tip her (she actually wanted a minimum of 9 people).  The tour covered Marienplatz, the Neues Rathaus (this building is an interesting mixture of old gothic architecture with modern shops on the ground floor) glockenspiel (we saw the 11:00 "performance" - some say it's the most overrated attraction in Europe, but it wasn't to me since I didn't know anything about it in the first place; you shouldn't expect much from it, though), Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady), St. Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church), Viktualienmakt (a big outdoor market), the Residenz (the former Bavarian royal residence), and Odeonsplatz, among other things.  She was probably the least good (I hesitate to say "worst" because she did an adequate job) tour guide that we've had, especially in terms of historical knowledge, but I gave her the biggest tip so far because I felt bad about the weather diminishing our group.

After the tour Galen and I went back to the Residenzmuseum and had a look around for a while.  The palace is so huge and has so many rooms (I think 90 of the 130+ were open for viewing) that we were "palaced out" after about 1.5 hours (even with the included audioguides helping).  The next stop was St. Peterskirche, where we climbed the 330 steps to the top of the tower (this was the first time in Germany that Galen was not given the student rate, €1 vs. €1.50, for not having his student ID).  Next we headed to the beer garden in Viktualienmakt to grab a late lunch - I had schnitzel (which was OK) and potato salad (it's kinda like American potato salad, but with only potatoes, and bigger chunks of them).  After eating we did a little shopping - I bought a Mesut Özil Germany away jersey and Galen exchanged some socks that were too small at H&M.  He also continued in his unsuccessful quest to find Adidas Sambas that are cheaper in Germany than in the USA (they are significantly more expensive in Germany, and that really ticks him off since he could have bought them back in the States but instead chose to wait, reasoning that they would be cheaper in the home of Adidas).  By the time we were done it was too late to go to the Deutsches Museum, so we instead walked to the Englisher Garten (English Garden), which is a *huge* park in the northeast section of the city. We walked through part of it, including a stop at the Chinese Tower, before cutting across and back toward the hostel.

We did not stay long at the hostel before heading out to grab a couple of döner at a nearby restaurant. There we met a Californian named Courtney. After eating with her, we all walked over to the Augustiner bar that we had stopped at the night before (Galen loves how they tap the wooden barrels right in front of you). And after a couple of drinks there we hopped over to the Hofbräuhaus (they had Galen's favorite beer in München, as well as a polka band), where we sat with a group of 4 from Seoul (South Korea). There was merrymaking until the place closed at midnight, at which point we parted ways. I walked Courtney back to her hostel, which was next door to ours, while Galen and one of the Koreans went in search of some more good times and liquid refreshment.

Surprising factoid about München - there is either a significant Muslim population residing there or a lot of Muslims love visiting there - I saw a lot walking around.

Some pictures from the whole trip:

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