Munich: The best of Bavaria

Trip Start Dec 22, 2010
Trip End Feb 25, 2011

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Where I stayed
Wombat's Munich
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Munchen! =D  What a great city!  I really had a wonderful time here.  It really does have an easy going town feel about it and spending a week here just makes it all the easier to take it in.  That being said, we STILL didn't have enough time to see everything in this awesome city...I know right!  Beers, museums, palaces, crazy kings, beers, player kings, BMW, beers, lederhosen...did I mention beers? gotta love Bavaria =D

So we arrived after a long 6 hour train ride when tragedy struck and my precious glasses were completely and utterly me >.<  See, they fell behind the reclining train chair and guess what happened when I pushed my chair back...yeah, gg.  So anyways, everything in Munich was in a soft blurr for the first couple of days...though maybe things would have been a little bit of a blur despite things hahaha but more on that later =P.  Anyways, day one, we jumped right into things after arriving at our wonderful Wombat hostel and went out to see Munich.  Walking down Kaufingerstraße was cool and seeing all the buildings in Munich for the first time was a lot of fun, especially the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) which is just a massive and excessively decorated town hall in a Gothic style, good first impression. Had dinner that night at the famous Augustiner Braustuben, an authentic Bavarian beer hall with some very nice hearty German food...mmmm, schnitzel =D (Even though schnitzel is Austrian).  I say beer hall but it felt just like a restaurant with a German feel though maybe that's because we were there too early...oooh and I tried Weißbier (white beer made from wheat) for the first time which was quite cool.

Next day we took it quite easy, did the New Europe walking tour around and was shown all the main sights.  The FANTASTIC glockenspiel (not really) the devil's foot in Frauenkirche, was shown where Hilter's Beer Putsch took place, the 2nd most expensive street in the Europe (200,000 euro watch for sale D=) and was introduced to the player king Ludwig I and the mad king Ludwig II.  Good eh?  Interesting stories, Ludwig I slept with 36 of the prettiest women in town, had their portraits painted and hung up on one of the Palace corridors until he fell in love with a man eater named Lolla and was forced to abdicate his throne =P.  Ludwig II was a little bit crazy and very lonely, invited his horse for dinner and built the magnificent fairy tale castles including Neuschanstein, the famous Disney like castle.  But yeah, it was here that I really took a liking to this town, it's small and completely walkable so wondering around to all the sights was a lot of fun.  Met some very cool Australians after the tour as well, Simon, Clara and Chris, had lunch with those guys and our tour guide and chilled with the buy one get one free beer.  Hung out out at our hostel before meeting those guys again for happy hour at our hostel, 1.5L pitchers for 5 euros!  This was shared of course =P.  Went out to the Weisse Brauhaus for dinner with the gang and had a lot of fun chilling the night away, drinking beers and making new friends in a Bavarian beer hall =D.

Woke up day 3 kinda late and went out to see the Deutchesmuseum.  Awesome place, really AWESOME!  If you're an engineer, you'd love it, it's full of machinery, planes, ships, metal works, space...everything we know and love ^^.  Would've loved to have spent a longer time there, way too much to see and we spent like 5 hours in that place too...1/3 of it was also closed for renovations...this place really was massive.  Included the first steam engines, turbines, Me-109's and the Henkel bombers, model of the ESA space lab module, awesome holograms and an uber cool exhibit on nano and bio technology with touch activated exhibits =D  Loved it!  What an awesome day =P.  Went to do the beer challenge after a KFC dinner and met up with the others again (Chris etc)  Was a lot of fun going around to the beer halls in Munich but damn it was a struggle to finish all those beers after a full KFC meal.  We went to 3 all up, started off with a bottle of Augustiner, then went to the Paulaner beer hall, Hofbrauhaus where they only sold beers in 1L glasses >.< one more beer hall then back to a hostel bar afterwards to finish off.  Needless to say, the details of the night are a little bit hazy but I had fun haha.  Seeing the Hofbrauhaus was a lot of fun especially and fitted in exactly with the stereotype german beer hall with live brass band, people in lederhosen and of course, full of loud tourists XD. 

Day 4 we struggled out of bed at 8:30 feeling a little worse for wear (no hang over thanks to the experienced's advice for lots of water =P) to go on the guided tour to Neuschanstein, the famous castle that inspired Walt Disney.  Little advice, the tour is not really worth the 32 euros especially considering that entrance was not inlcuded!  grr and the information, while very interesting is nothing that you can't find on wikipedia if you were interested enough.  Still, we had paid and what's done was done so we might as well enjoy it.  On the way there the weather was absolutely amazing and the views from the train of the German countryside with the alps in the background were stunning.  The castle was especially cool being lit up the by sun but later on in the day, the clouds rolled in and killed the scenery slightly but it's still an amazing place to be.  Inside the castle we were taken on a tour around and was shown the ridiculously extravagant interior, the golden throne room, Ludwig's bedroom that took 14 capenters 4 months to complete and the Singer's hall, all with a different feel and style.  There was even a room with stalactites!  And the castle wasn't even finished with the majority of the rooms still underconstruction when Ludwig died.  You can see why the Bavarian government wanted to get rid of him when he wanted to continue building even after the country was millions in debt.  Stunning scenery all the same.  Went back and was GOING to have a quiet night in until Lee suggested to get some rum and "6%" fruit water.  Oh did he fool us all...was not too bad I guess, just hanging out and talking in our room but we were told to be quiet twice, so perhaps our talking was a LITTLE bit louder than whispers =P.

We woke up for the Nymphenberg Palace in the morning, oh that was a nice walk, especially through the gardens with beautiful weather and birds everywhere.  Really nice place to just relax and enjoy.  Saw a whole HEAP of swans too doing all kinds of cool things, ever seen a swan strech out its wings?  Or seen a swan take off?  How about a whole FLOCK of swans taking off?  Very cool.  Headed to BMW world after a sushi lunch and man is that place amazing.  BMW everywhere and cars galore!  Man were they nice, my favourite though was the old school mini bubble car where you entred from the FRONT, yes it was that small but it looked like a lot of fun to drive =P.  Spent a good part of the afternoon and evening there testing the cars, jumping onto the motorbikes and checking out their ridiculous engines.  A V12 in a sedan!?  They have it!  =O.  Cars aside, I really have to mention the architecture of the place, just an amazing work of modern architecture and it felt kinda unreal.  The curves, and glass and open spaces just worked so well!  Magnificent!  Saw parts of the Munich Olympic park afterwards which was really cool as well, looked like the ropes were pulling up a net before heading back home for our first PROPER night in.

Went with Yee-Ling, Paul and Michael to the Dachau Concentraiton Camp Memorial the next day, one of the first proper concentration camps where the Nazi's sent their enemies.  Was a big juxtaposition to have a beautiful cloudless day while walking around the concentration camp but the feeling was still there.  Took an audio guide this time so we had A LOT of information to digest but was important to understand everything that happened.  Not as intense as the tour of Sachsenhausen in Berlin but I definitely recommend it to everyone just because it's important to remember and understand what happened.  Met up with Lee for dinner that night, a place famous for their giant schnitzels and my goodness were they big XD.  Had to wait like 20 minutes for a table but it was worth it all the same, I do regret grabbing that beer while we waited cos had I known how big it was I would've saved up all the space in my stomach.  Still, we all managed to get through ours (even Yee-Ling!) EXCEPT Michael, the one who said he was so hungry he could eat 2 more big macs afterwards...haha FAILED =P.  And cos we waited so long for the table, we decided to make the most of it and just hung out there talking about GM foods, breeding choices and planes among other things, I know!  Intelligent conversations! =P  Said good bye to Lee later that night as he left the next day for Vienna...should be an awesome trip for him, eastern Europe then South America!  All the way around the world!

SALZBURG!  It was such an amazing trip that I think I'll put up a separate entry, so I will =P...One thing I will say, go see Salzburg, go to the hill and go to the the look outs, you will NOT be disappointed.

Day 7!  Wow we spent a lot of time here in Munich but thank goodness cos it's a great city.  Great night life (beer halls haha), delicious filling food, beautiful sights, rich history and an amazing science museum!  hehe =P  I think it's an awesome city that has just about everything you need in it without being too hectic or crazy like in Berlin (which is also awesome but in a different way).  Munich is very much less intimidating and feels like a small town despite the fact that it's one of Germany's largest cities...maybe it's the friendly people there (Special mention to the two very nice ladies who helped me get my new glasses in no time at all) or the fact that everything is walkable, or the fun memories I had there but I get a very nice feeling just being in Munich.  So yeah, that's what we did, while Paul and Michael went on their walking tour, Yee-Ling and I went and did a whole photo trip to all the nice places in Munich and more.  Discovered where the university was!  So many students =D and saw the english gardens and the nude 'beach'.  And amazingly, the weather had a turn for the better!  So some very nice pictures of Munchen in the sun underneath the blue skies =).  It's not the MOST amazing/beautiful place to see but Munich has something for everyone and it really is a very nice city to discover, not to mention an awesome base from which to travel around Bavaria and even Austria.  Ein weißebier bitte!

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