Germany: Castles, Kebops, & Beer Halls
Trip Start Jan 19, 2012
23Trip End Jun 04, 2012
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This will be a longer post describing the entire trip but just to spark notes the blog for those of you who are lazy and will most likely not read the whole thing I will summarize by paragraphs: Bus ride / getting to the hostel, castle tour, beer halls and night life, beer challenge, exploring, and finally final thoughts.
The bus ride was decent for the most part and only included one major mishap, which was not made by anyone in our group thankfully. An Asian woman who spoke decent English was on the bus and for some god forsaken reason she thought that when she was traveling from Zurich through Prague and onto Munich she would not need a passport. When the German boarder patrol stopped our bus and came on board I had a feeling that it would be quite a long detour. They went through each passenger on the bus inspecting the passports and travel visas of everyone. Of course they found the girl with no passport and order her to get off of the bus and go talk with them outside. She was talking with the German officers for a good half hour before they eventually allowed her to continue on to Munich. This is where I say my comment on how some people are just idiots and shouldn't be allowed outside of their homes. We arrived in Munich a little later than expected and from the bus station navigated our way to the metro where we painfully tried to decipher some German and buy the right metro pass in order to get to our hostel. We got to the Wombats hostel around 7:15 in the morning and were able to wait in their wifi room until 2 when we would be permitted to check in.
The first day in Munich we were all pretty tired and slept for a good part of the day. We eventually mustered enough strength to go to lunch at the Augustiner Brew house which served some of the best food I have had in a long time, although the prices did reflect the quality. The beer there was very good and the group decided to stay there for about 2 and a half hours while we drank and shared hopeful thoughts on what we wanted out of this trip. One thing that was immediately noticeable was the kindness that the German people had, which honestly I was not expecting at all. After lunch the group decided to go on a hazy stroll throughout the streets surrounding the hostel, where we found an old church that was impressive to say the least. Following the small adventure we returned to the hostel to get some much needed napping in. Later that night we all gathered up enough strength to go to the Haufbrahaus, an enormous beer hall in the old town that holds 8,000 people. This place was exactly what you would imagine it to be; the staff dressed in traditional German clothing, an old band playing the German drinking songs, and a whole lot of people drinking beer by the liters ( 2 normal sized beers) all the while enjoying the food, company, and surreal atmosphere. It truly was a perfect way to end the first night of what would be an amazing trip to Germany.
The group had decided that we all should go on the fairy tale castle tour. This tour would go to the legendary castles constructed under the order of King Ludwick II. The two castles the tour visited were Linderhoff and Neuschwanstein, the latter being the same castle that Disney modeled their castle after. The tour left the main train station at 8:30 and would be 10 and a half hours long in all. The first stop was Linderoff, a small yet incredibly over the top castle, which was lined with over 14 kilos of gold as well as being the only castle finished while he was still alive. The castle was Coco Baroque style, which basically means that if it can be over done, it will be. This was one of the most intricate and highly refined buildings I have ever seen in my entire life. After the short tour we proceeded to a small village where we visited a gift shop and strolled around before getting back on the bus and heading towards the main castle.
The bus ride to the main castle was absolutely beautiful as we went on winding roads through the snow covered German alps, and eventually arriving at the small yet ornate village surrounding the Neuschwanstein castle. We had lunch at the village in a traditional Bavarian restaurant before making the 30 minute walk up the hill to the castle. The Castle was one of the most impressive buildings I have ever been in, and it truly lived up to the fairy tale name. The inside of the castle was even more impressive than the outside and was built in the fashion as to best fulfill Ludwicks fantasies. The castle was never finished and after 17 years of straight work the project was stopped after Ludwick died, with only 1/3 of the castle being completed. After the tour we got back on the bus and made the 2 hour drive back to
The next day was meant for exploring and and getting a better grasp of the city before the beer tour that night. We went through the main pedestrian streets where we first tried the amazing and legendary Kebops. This decadent street food is one of the tastiest things to ever graze my pallate, and while you might be thinking this extreme I assure you that I am speaking the truth. We also were able to go exploring through the English gardens where we came across surfers, yes you read that right, people are able to surf a naturally occurring wave in the river that runs through the gardens. It was an awesome sight and somewhat reminded me of home. After the exploring we returned to the hostel and relaxed a little before getting ready for the beer tour.
The Beer tour was not the tourist trap we expected it to be. In essence the tour went to the three main beer halls in Munich and we got good seating as well as two free beers. It was nice that our whole group was able to attend the tour, making it a really awesome experience for us all. After 5 liters of beer and many discussions pondering the meaning of life, as becomes custom when one has a few beers in them, the group proceeded to the final stop on the tour which was a bar in a youth hostel 2 doors down from our groups hostel. There the group finished the night and elected the winner of the beer challenge, yours truly of course. I am not going to divulge on how I won the challenge but for those lucky enough to have been there it was one of the funniest and happiest nights of my experience so far.
The final day in Munich was dedicated to further exploring of the city as well as visiting the Carnival that was taking place on the main pedestrian road in the heart of the old town. A group of us were also able to climb up a church tower where we were granted 360 degree views of all of Munich, which was an extraordinary sight to say the least. Kinsey and I were also able to go to the park where Oktoberfest is held and explore that area a little bit, as well as a few cool churches that were incredibly massive.
After four days in Germany I have a completely different perception of the German culture than I did before. The food was amazing, mainly the Kebops, the people were friendly, the architecute and city was beautiful, and the people I went with completed the trip making it an awesome adventure. I also have to thank Kinsey for the trip as it was her birthday present to me. Munich was a great place to visit despite the high prices, but I am glad to say that I am back in Prague and ready for more experiences.
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