25.05.2015 - 29.05.2015
To get from Berlin to Munich we rented a tiny little yellow Opal – since there were three of us it was definitely the cheapest way of transporting us between these 2 cities. It ended up being a lot of fun because we got to take the little car (that we named Sally) for a ride on the Autobahn, and decided to test her limits. I got her up to a shaky 205 km/hour, while Colby took advantage of a good downhill and got her up to 215 km/hour. Even at those speeds, other cars were passing us! We made a detour to stop in Dresden for lunch, which did not work out well since there was construction that added a couple of hours to our drive. We had a quick lunch there, walked around a bit, and took some photos before firing Sally back up and heading straight to Munich. We got there pretty late, but still in time to meet up with one of our Australian friends that we had met in Croatia.
The next day was mostly consumed by our attempt to take the car back to the Munich airport. Colby and I had to deal with some crazy traffic, and then ended up at a worse version of the Boundary Bay airport, which was the wrong airport! By the time we found the international airport, dropped the car off, and took a 50 minute tram back to the city, our day was pretty much gone. In the late afternoon, we met up with our Aussie friend, Matt, and two of Ramsey's friends (who are our friends, too) and headed to the famous beer hall called the Hofbrau House. We ordered a couple of 1L beers (because we had to try the light one and the dark one!) before going to another famous hall called the Augustine House for one more. We then went back to the hostel to play cards.
Our next day was devoted to our go-to activity in a new city, a free walking tour! Munich wasn't nearly as fascinating as Berlin in terms of the history that I'm interested in (mostly WW2), but it was another good tour that took us to a lot of places. We went to some beautiful churches, including the Cathedral of Our Dear Lady, which is famous for the “Devil’s Footstep”. That is a black mark on the step just inside the door that was supposed to have been made by the devil, and there are many different stories about why it is there. One version is that the devil came to see the church riding on the wind, but he could not get past the first step so he stomped his foot furiously, leaving the mark He then stormed away leaving the wind behind, which is why it is always windy around the area where the church stands. The cathedral was heavily damaged during the war, but the mark survived. We went to the main square and saw the Rathaus Glockenspiel on the New Town Hall (actually over a hundred years old). It is a kind of cuckoo clock that had life size painted people in it that come out on the hour and spin around to music. The clock is supposed to be one of Munich's main attractions, but just like the one in Prague, was a little underwhelming. On the tour, we learned that our precious Hofbrau house is considered the sight of Hitler's first speech as the ruler of the Nazi party. Our tour guide taught us about the origins and ongoing success of Oktoberfest, which was quite interesting as apparently so many Australians lose their passports during the festivities that they open up a temporary embassy in town! That night, we went to another beer hall for dinner, and then back to the hostel.
On the Thursday, Colby and I went on a little adventure to their Olympic park. Along the way, we passed by a famous beer garden, so we had lunch and enjoyed a tasty brew. When we got to our destination, we found a beautiful park with some live music, kids in zorbs (big plastic spheres) in the water and a BMW museum! We took it all in before heading back into town to meet up with Ramsey and the rest of our crew. I know that I've been talking about beer a lot in this post, but it's what Munich is famous for! Again that night, we went to a beautiful beer garden, which lived up to its name as it was built within trees and actually resembled a garden. We had a good night there, before playing more cards back at the hostel.
Our last day in Munich involved saying goodbye to our Aussie friends, finding our final beer garden, and checking out the wave river. The latest beer garden was beside a large Chinese inspired building that had live polka music playing all day. With that, we had hit all the major beer gardens and halls in town! We had to walk through a huge beautiful park called the English Garden to get there, which made for a wonderful setting. It is the largest urban park in the world, bigger than Central Park. We then headed to a river that they had partially dammed to make an artificial wave. It was awesome to watch, as people took turns jumping on to their boards and surfing! I guess because the ocean is far away, they had to make their own surf!
We took a night train on Friday the 29th to our next destination of Bruges, Belgium.