. While Hofbrauhaus is a definite tourist destination there are also huge numbers of locals who also frequent the establishment. There are large cages on the walls that hold hundreds of personal steins. People wash their steins out after they finish with them and then lock them back up on the wall until the next use. We happened to sit in between two tables of local men enjoying the afternoon sun in their lederhosen. It seemed like these men and many others must meet here regularly as they were toasting often and then started playing cards. Some of the steins looked similar from afar but even those had subtle differences that distinguished them personally. We liked Hofbrauhaus so much that we came back for dinner that same night. The evenings are so warm here that we have sat outside to eat at every chance possible and that has been a lot, so with another evening enjoyed in the garden included many pork knuckles to eat and many steins to drink, we all had a great time!
This morning we left early for the small town of Ettal, home to a Benedictine abbey, founded in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria. The monastery produced fruit liquors, brandies and beer which we were able to taste after we finished touring the courtyard and chapel. From Ettal we made our way out of the Alps and reached our final road trip destination…Munchen!!! Munich is the capital of Bavaria and with it's 1.3 million people is certainly the largest city we have visited yet. We ended up wandering around the old district as we looked for the same parking area James had used before and it was a miracle that we didn’t run over any pedestrians or bike riders because the streets are packed. We parked in the Marienplatz in the oldest part of town and made our way by the Neues Rathaus and Altes Rathaue (New and Old Town Hall) on our way to the Hofbrauhaus. This is the most popular beer hall in Munch and can hold over 3500 guests at a time. This inn was built in 1830 after King Maximilian II gave permission for a beer hall to be built that could sell beer to the public (before that beer halls were only for the nobility)