Bavaria is Awesome!

Trip Start May 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 15, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23rd Munich

We all woke up pretty hung over and satisfied from a great night of raging. We had planned for all of us to catch the 11 AM free walking tour provided by our hostel, but Joe needed to visit the airport to change his flight reservations and Matt had to deal with a "lost" bike rental he left back in Florence. So Rob and I got up and ready for the tour that was meeting in the lobby with about 45 other travelers.

The tour guide was a really cool guy named Ossie (?) who was a Bahamian-German black 29 year old; a rare sight in Munich. Very well spoken, funny, amazingly informative and a great attitude Ossie gave us a wonderful tour of what is now a much more interesting city to me. He shared very surprising history of Munich and definitely made his biased clear by touting his beloved Munich/Bavaria over the more “recognizable” German city Berlin. Munich, being the origination of the Nazi movement, provides deep history and fascinating details about a city not focused on as much as its capital Berlin. Germany and Bavaria in particular, is an intensely divided nation by its people, culture, structure and politics.

Ossie walked us for over 3 and a half hours to see cathedrals, Karlslatsz (popular meeting point), Augustiner/Neuhauserstr (main shopping district open to pedestrians only), the Frauenkirche, Marienplatz with the Glockenspiel (we made it just in time for the noon show), Hofbrauhaus (the infamous drinking hall favored by Hitler), Odeonsplatz/Feldherrnhalle (where the Beerhall putsch occurred in 1923 marking the declaration of the Third Reich by its leader Adolf Hitler) and finishing at the Hofgarten (Palace Gardens).We learned all about this city and its fascist past which gave me so much more appreciation for the history it holds. The Glockenspiel show that symbolizes the victory of Germany of France and the “Coopers” who made beer barrels but through their dance brought the city wide fear of the Black Plague to an end was fun to watch. We learned about the 30 Years War and resulting geographical divide of more Protestants in the north while the Catholics stayed south in Bavaria and so many other interesting historical facts about the city, its people and their distinctly prideful culture.

After the amazing tour Ossie invited a few of us to join him for some beers at one of his favorite local spots. We followed him to a nice pub that had wonderful beer and great sausages. Over drinks and snacks we shared our personal histories, travel stories and learned more about each other and our origins. By the time we were done with a few beers Rob and I needed to get back to our hostel ASAP because the USA Cup Game was starting in 30 minutes. I bought a USA flag from a street vendor along the way and proudly wore it as a cape to showcase the American spirit! Back at the hostel Joe still was not back from his flight change situation and Matt had not been able to settle his bike rental affair which costs him a pretty penny. Our hostel, for some ridiculous reason (probably because we're American) has 4 different plasmas including the large projector screen all showing only the England game! We didn’t want to argue about it and instead found just as great a spot to watch our game 2 doors down at the Youth Hostel which was showing it in a separate room within the bar.

At least 40-50 Americans from all over our great nation were packed into this room that had our game available on a nice 42 plasma, and along with 2 Euro beers at the bar we were ready to get wild. The game was INTENSE! If you had the pleasure of watching it you know exactly what I am talking about. After being robbed on another bullshit off-sides call the Americans under leadership of Donovan thrilled us all with a game winning goal right before the match ended to advance us in the tournament. The room exploded as we all jumped and hugged in sheer excitement and merriment. We filled the entire place with more shouting, chanting and drinking than they had seen in some time. What an amazing game, Go USA!

After the game we made our way back to the hostel to change and have more beers. We had planned on maybe checking out a few different clubs/bars but by the time Joe finally made it back after 8 PM he and I just stayed at the hostel bar where we had met a bunch of great Americans to enjoy beer, pool and pizza. Matt and Rob both made different ventures into the night ending slightly more entertaining with Matt visiting a few clubs and not getting into most of them because the group either wasn’t “dressed appropriately” or more likely again for being American, and Rob visited the Augustiner for late night beers.
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