Munich Arrival in Munich was again seamless. It was different being in a more commercialized city. We took an easy cab ride to our place, which was in a great centralized location. However, it was surrounded by construction which proved to be a bit of an annoyance at 7am every morning. I would still take the great location over the noise.
It was raining pretty steadily when we left Garmisch, but it cleared up as came into Munich. After we dropped off our things, we went for a walk around town. We saw the Glockenspiel and some beautiful old buildings and sculptures. After a bit of walking, we found ourselves at the Hofbrauhaus. It was just as I imagined it would be, huge, loud, and the beer was flowing.
We sat at a table with a few people and the table adjacent to ours was filled with some classic looking, older gents in full German attire. About one liter into the evening, two young girls sat down with us. They were both locals and were celebrating one’s departure for New York to study electrical engineering. They were very knowledgeable of the area and fun to talk with. I inquired about the men sitting next to us and she confirmed that they were indeed the real deal. They come dressed up every week in classic German attire. It was basically a man-date. I noticed the steins they were drinking out of and the girl told me that those are earned after drinking a certain amount of beers. Obviously, I had to buy one for myself after hearing that. We stayed longer than we thought we would and ended up back at our place to crash
The next morning was beautiful. Breakfast was laid out for us on the second floor and provided some good nourishment for Mike's Bike Tour. The bike tour was a blast! Our guide was from Australia and he was hysterical. We met several people on the tour and even a couple from the Chicago area. Small world. We met another family from North Carolina, a couple from Australia, and another from Richmond, Virginia. Everyone was super nice and the tour was very informative and fun. Lunch was interesting with liter beers and ribs. Not the best meal of choice when talking with a bunch of people, but the BBQ sauce more than made up for it. We continued our trek through the city, received some great advice on the places to see and the places to avoid.
After the tour, we ended up grabbing beers with the two couples and our tour guide. It was a lot of fun to just chat and hear about everyone's journey. Afterward, we ended up planning to go see the Oktoberfest grounds with Jared and Leigh from Richmond. It was an interesting experience trying to interpret Munich’s train system and heading across town with them. We even grabbed dinner at Keller Biergarden which was a spectacular place near the Oktoberfest grounds. We walked through the inside and scoped out the underground seating area. It was basically a giant brick cellar where they used to keep the beer cool. It was super crowded, so we decided outside was the place to be.
The next morning and the last full day in Germany was a wet one. It rained the entire day. We still ventured out to Olympic Park via train and it was cool to see, but we both were cold and wet after just a few minutes. We went into BMW World and scoped out some of the cars and exhibits. We even saw a motorcycle demonstration where the dude climbed the stairs and skidded around.
From there we decided to go back home and get dry and then we went back out to the Volksbad. It's an old pool with a sauna and it sounded like an amazing idea, but when we got out there we found it was closed for renovation. It didn't stop us from eating lunch in the cafe there though. After lunch, it was a journey back home again. Lindsay took a nap and I tended to some business online. By this time, it was already 5pm so we headed out to the local market and grabbed a drink. We also climbed the stairs of St. Peter's Church for an amazing view of the city. By this time, it had stopped raining.
There was a big street festival going on in the square and all the stores were open until midnight. They are usually obligated to close by 8pm so it was a big deal. We had dinner at Augustiner on the Plaza and then caught the best band ever performing in the square. JJ, Mina, and Yohan. Amazing – ask to see the videos. Lindsay could not stop laughing. We capped off the night with a street beer and headed to bed for our last night in Europe.
The last day began with another great breakfast of meat, eggs, cheese and the most delicious coffee cake. We packed up and walked around town. There was a costume store we stumbled into and contemplated getting our Halloween costumes, but decided online would be better for us. We also came upon St. Michael's church another amazing and elaborate work of art. We grabbed our last German pastries (Lindsay’s was stuffed with Nutella, of course) and headed towards the train to the airport – sad to leave, but ready to be home in our city.
It was a whirlwind tour. Let the planning begin for the next trip.