Saturday, May 15, 2010


Where; Vienna
Listening to: Stereolove

We got in to Munich on the 13th of May. We went out that night on the Beer Tour, which we felt was appropriate since Munich is the beer capital of the world. Before we began the tour, we learned the traditional song with only four repetitive lines.We started out at Hofbrauhaus, the world famous brewing house. It was huge!! They have two stories and several different floors. The main hall, the Schwemme is where we ate the following day and where they used to brew the Hofbrauhaus beer. There are tons of tables and 120 of them are reserved for regular guests. They usually have an umpapa band playing traditional German music—some men were actually wearing leiderhosen! After Hofbrauhaus, we went to a swank beer lounge called Park Café. Our Australian friend let us try some of his currywurst, which according to Rick Steves travel is a popular German dish and it was absolutely delicious. A guy named Brian took to liking us and stayed with us the whole night much to our displeasure. He was creepy and way too personal for someone we had just met. He asked if we were single and was amazed to find out that I was since everyone he’s met “either has a boyfriend or fiancé even!!” For some reason, I don’t think that was a coincidence. Park Café had fabulous décor and was a complete change from the Hofbrauhaus with its chandeliers and taupe walls. There we tried a wheat beer, Muncher Wiesse, which had a sparkling, slightly spicy taste with a hint of fruit too. Then we went to another open and airy beergartern which was by the Oktoberfest grounds. Ironically there was a church festival going on there. We learned the next day that Oktoberfest began as a birthday celebration for Teresa who was married to King Ludwig. We didn’t sample any at this one. Lastly we went to a bar at a hostel where we had Austiner which a guy at Hofbrauhaus said was the best beer in the world. We didn’t stay there long, since, go figure, we were tired. We grabbed a slice of pizza and walked home in the rain. We ate it in bed, warm and snuggly and couldn’t have been happier.

The next morning we woke up early and grabbed the continental breakfast, which was at a Thai restaurant underneath the hostel. Then we went to catch the free walking tour of Munich at the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz. Munich was 87% destroyed after World War II. The people of Munich knew their city would inevitably face ruin since it was the headquarters of the Third Reich. So they methodically took pictures documenting all of the old buildings so that they could be precisely recreated. Because of this, Munich’s atmosphere was completely different from Berlin. Munich felt much more “German” in style—the Bavarian culture helped too! We saw Alter Peter with its eight clocks on its tower and the Royal Residence (picture). We also saw a few of the 122 memorials to WWII that are placed around Munich. The people of Munich chose to do this so people would notice these little things placed throughout the city and looked into what they were. By researching these memorials, they in turn would learn about the war, hopefully learning more and more as much as they can. We saw the National Theater and the Maypole in the Viktuallenmarkt, an outdoor market that takes place every day. Maypoles are not for dancing. They are for climbing in Germany anyways. The towns try to steal the maypoles and if they do it successfully, the rival town must throw a party for the theives in order to get back their maypole. Once again, Germany is weird. The tour showed us where Krystallnacht was planned. We walked down the same road that Hitler walked down the same road when he first tried to overthrow the government during the Beer Hall Push in 1923. Munich was a happy place so it was hard to imagine this city being Hitler’s adopted home. Our tour guide did a good job of telling us about ways the people resisted and how they have worked to overcome WWII with education now in order to prevent it from ever happening again. You could tell she was really passionate about Germany and wanted us to love it just as much as we did.

Rachel and I went back to Hofbrauhaus for lunch. We saw Brian come in and we tried to hide from him so he wouldn’t come sit with us and possibly follow us to Vienna. Which would probably very typical of him. Once we finally finished with our lunch of Bavarian beef accompanied by the band, we headed out to our next and final trip, Vienna.

Prost (cheers) to you Munich for a great time! Rachel and I at lunch at Hofbrauhaus.

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