Derek is tiring me out!

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This morning we had to get up early because we were headed to Munich. We left the hostel by 8 am, walked across the river and then took a bus to the train station. We caught the 9 am ICE train to Munich. It's a high speed train that got up to speeds of 150 km/h (~90 mph). It only took 1.5 hours with no stops so that was awesome.

When we got to Munich we went straight to the hostel to drop off our bags. It was only a five minute walk from the train station, so that was awesome. Then we headed off to explore Munich. We walked down a pedestrian street full of shops, stopping to go inside St. Michael’s church. The outside was entirely covered by scaffolding, but inside it was very beautiful.

We continued down the pedestrian street to the main square of Munich, Marienplatz. The square was ringed by beautiful buildings—the huge New Town Hall with a Glockenspiel, St. Peter’s Church, and the Old Town Hall. We got there about 11:30 am and the Glockenspiel was playing its show at noon, so we decided to take the elevator up the tower of the New Town Hall. The view from the top was pretty good. We could especially see the Frauenkirche very well. It’s the most famous church in Munich and known for its twin onion domes.

When we got back down to the square it wasn’t long before the glockenspiel started playing. It had two rows of figures that moved along with different songs. But it started by just playing a song. That confused both of us because we were expecting the figures to start moving and they didn’t. But then it played a second song and the figures on the top row started moving. There was a king and queen overlooking a row of heralds that marched by. Then out came two jousting knights. During the third song the bottom row of figures started moving. It was some twirling dancers. And then it played a fourth song without any movement.

When the glockenspiel was done we walked over to see the Residenz. It’s the palace of some famous Bavarian rulers called the Wittelsbachs. We got to tour over 90 rooms, much of it restored after WWII. But it was quite spectacular, and probably the best palace interior of scene, largely because of the volume of rooms we got to see. The best room, though, was the antiquarium. Just look at the picture, it’s impossible to describe how magnificent it was.

After we finally finished the Residenz (it took a while), we wandered back to find the Hofbrauhaus and the Hard Rock Café. We didn’t have a very detailed map, so we didn’t know exactly where they were. But we managed to find them. Of course, they are right across the street from each other so we really only had to find one.

We next went back to Marienplatz and did the tower climb at St. Peter’s church. It was a climb up 306 mostly wooden steps. My legs were tired from being on my feet all day, but it was still nice to get some real exercise. And the view from the top was well worth it. There was just a metal cage around the outside of the tower, so it felt like we were really high. And the views of the New Town Hall and the rest of Munich were incredible.

Our next stop was to see the Frauenkirche. I was surprised when the inside was very plain. There were huge white columns with little decoration. But then we saw the pictures of how much the church was destroyed in WWII. The whole roof was collapsed and there was major damage to one of the walls as well.

After all that walking I needed a break. We had literally been on our feet from the time we arrived at 10:30 am, until we finished St. Peter’s about 4:30 pm. Plus we needed to do some planning for our next two days in Munich. I wasn’t walking back to the hostel (it was about ¾ of a mile), so we took the S-bahn ( a commuter train). It was very fast.

When we got to the hostel we checked in and went up to our 3-bed room. We had free wireless there, so we got on the internet to check train schedules for going to Fussen to see Neuschwanstein Castle. It took us a while to figure out what to do, but we finally decided that tomorrow we stay see the rest of the sights near Munich, and then go to Neuschwanstein the next day.

Once all that was decided, we promptly headed off to the Hofbrauhaus to enjoy some beer in the most famous beer hall in the world. The main beer hall seats 3,500 people, so we were both kind of expecting it to be just one really, really big room. But we were surprised when it was kind of separated into different rooms so it didn’t seem like it was that big. They only had big wooden tables about eight feet long, so you pretty much had to share a table. They were kind of crowded, but we were able to find a table with only two other people at it.

We promptly ordered some food and a liter of beer. They actually only sell beer by the liter at the Hofbrauhaus, except for the Hefeweissen which comes in a half liter glass. The food was really good. Derek and I both got the sausage platter that came with four different sausages. And I got it with potato salad, which was amazing—the best potato salad I’ve ever had.

After we ate we continued to drink beer and enjoy the oompah band playing traditional German beer hall songs. I ended up drinking 2.25 liters and Derek at 2.75 liters (because I couldn’t finish the last Hefeweissens we ordered).

When we tried to take the S-bahn back to the hostel, we kept going to the wrong platform for some reason and the trains were going in the wrong direction. This may have had something to do with how much beer we’d had, I’m not sure. But eventually we figured out how to get to the right platform. We made it back to the hostel by 11:30 pm and promptly fell asleep.

Auf Wiedersehen!

P.S. I added pictures to the last two entries, and updated the city to reflect where we really were (i.e. Salzburg). So please check them out!
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