An adventurous girl cooks, eats and explores in Europe.
After the hike, we drove to Munich on a route through Austria. We dropped off the rental car and checked in to the hotel with enough time to do some exploring before heading to dinner. We found a small Italian place tucked away in a little square between big buildings and busy streets. It was a nice break from German food, which is good but very, very heavy. We stopped for beers on the way home, and headed to bed pretty early.
The next morning we started with a three hour walking tour of Munich, seeing everything there is to see in city. It was our first time on the subway, riding a few stops down to meet up with the rest of the tour group. We started in Marienplatz, a main square in the city, where we watched the Glockenspiel on their town hall. The giant cuckoo clock goes off at 11 every day and moving figures display the famous wedding of one of their Dukes, and followed by the coopers dance, originally done to keep spirits up in the time of the plague. We saw a few churches, so many old buildings and statues, the palace grounds and gardens, and the start of the Englischer Gartens. We did not expect to see surfers on our trip- but surfing the river is actually a new big thing in Germany. We ended at their big market- they had stands with ready to eat food, produce, wine, oils, and crafts- everything you could think to buy was there. It was interesting to go on the tour since you got so much more information about all the buildings and history. So much had to be restored and rebuilt after the war. We stopped at a place nearby for lunch, before walking around to do some shopping. We went to get drinks at a place called Zum Durnbrau, where we found out what Fanta and Coca Cola mixed together tastes like after Marcus ordered a drink we thought was a beer. (For those wondering what it tastes like, sweet and strange, but not that bad is really all I can come up with to describe it).
On our second full day in Munich, we went to the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial site on a walking tour. Dachau was the first concentration camp and the model for all camps to follow. Our guide was a Political Science student in his last year, studying in Munich. We took a train out to Dachau and a bus to the site. It was a town known for art and culture before, and it is trying to get its identity back. As tough as it is imagining what it’s like for people to live there now, it is even more difficult thinking of all the people who lived there while the camp was occupied.
Our tour began entering through the front gate, which had a sign above reading “work will set you free.” It was a very heavy experience from there out. Though most of the original camp had been torn down, some rooms were still up and some had been rebuilt to show the conditions provided. They also played a film filled with pictures and stories of the experiences in the camp and after. There are now many different memorials and art pieces on the grounds. Four of these are chapels from various religions. Another two include a sculpture outside the administrative building and “never again” written along a wall in 5 different languages. I am glad that we went out to see the memorial. It was a very informative tour- I learned some new things and also came to a better understanding of many things I already knew. It was emotional but very educational.
The rest of the day we were pretty laid back. We stopped for lunch and then went to the biergarten in the Englischer Gartens. It was a traditional open beer garden, and we had a great time enjoying the drinks and amazing scenery. We went back to Zum Durnbrau for dinner since we hadn’t had any food the last time. The food was great and we even had the same waitress. We hung out awhile but went to bed pretty early to catch the train to Salzburg.
Munich was such a great city and I had a wonderful time exploring it. I know a lot of people who have gone only for Oktoberfest (which is the only time Marcus had been) and many people asked why we didn’t time our visit with the event, since we were just a week or so away from it. We were very happy to miss it, as all Marcus saw on that visit was the inside of tents. The city is beautiful and has so many great sights, and I’m pretty sure the tents at the mini celebrations in every other city look close enough to the real thing, so I don’t feel like I missed out on much. I loved our time in Munich, and it was a perfect end to our trip through Germany.