München / Munich
Germany’s third largest city and the home of Oktoberfest
This adventure began with an alarm at 2:30am. Natalia and I sleepily got our things and headed out into the balmy (here meaning -3 degrees) morning. I’ve never woken up for a bus this early in my life. I mean, people were still in the club. Everyone else took Ubers to the bus stop, but I’m nothing if not a frugal lady. A fru-gal…(I’m sorry, I had to)
When the bus arrived, our group of 13 got excited because we thought it was empty, that we’d have it all to ourselves. Alas, it was full of sleepy people so we all split up and settled in for the 5 and a half hour trip to Munich.
A small anecdote: We stopped at some toilets halfway through and I decided it was a good idea to get off and go. When I came out of the cubicle the bus doors were closed and they started to leave. I had to run up and tap on the driver’s door so he would stop! If I hadn’t, I’d have been stranded on the side of a German highway at 6am without a phone or a clue. So that was fun.
We pulled into the main bus station at 9:30 and headed off to the hostel. It was called Wombat City Hostel and if anyone reading this wants to go to Munich, try and stay there because it was really good.
After we dropped our bags off we headed out for some food. I split off with the American girls (plus Maria, from Malta, and Daniela, our Austrian angel without whom we would’ve been totally lost. My level of German is below zero.) Brunch for me was a boiled egg, pretzel and coffee. The others had platters of cold cuts and bread with jams. Such a lovely and cosy place!
Without much of a game plan, we just wandered over to the main square, Marienplatz. We waited around to see the Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock which comes alive a few times a day with bell songs and moving life-size figures. Here are some photos from our wandering…
After looking around inside St. Peter’s church (pictured above), we all payed 1€ to climb 13 flights of narrow wooden stairs up its tower.
The view was worth it.
We wandered a little more, found some markets, finally found a cafe with enough seats and paused for afternoon tea. Three of us got hot chocolates that cost 5.20€ – that’s $7.80 for those of you back home. For that price I expect a whole block of chocolate to be specially flown in from Switzerland and melted over 3 hours in a golden pot. Still salty about it.
Later on we went out searching for a beer house that we had been recommended, and that the other half of our cohort had already gotten comfortable in. We went to the wrong place at first, got seated at someone’s reserved table, stole a pretzel and then left to find the right place. Eventually we reached the Augustiner Keller, a wonderfully spacious and traditional beer hall. Our friends were sitting on the stage, of course. And they were each a litre or two of beer in by the time we arrived. When in Munich, right?
Dinner was lovely (albeit super delayed for myself and Jenna): pork knuckle, sauerkraut, pretzels and potato dumplings. We thought the pretzels were free but alas, the world is cruel and our waiter didn’t seem to like us much anyway. Daniela recommended a beer for us all and it was great! Will I come home a beer drinker? Stay tuned.
After a lovely breakfast at the hostel a few of us went looking for the famous Englischer Garten. It didn’t disappoint! Kayla and I got separated from the others because we both take too many photos. But we ended up finding a gorgeous cabin cafe in the gardens, and the woman let us in to sit by the fire even though they weren’t open yet. What a lifesaver.
The last few hours I spent wandering around by myself, since half the group had gone home and the others were out at the Neuschwanstein Castle – since I’m going there in June, I decided not to join them. I honestly didn’t do much in those three hours, but it was a little hard since most things are shut on Sundays. We headed back onto the bus at 5:30pm, and this time we did have it mostly to ourselves. And it got back to Strasbourg 45 minutes early! A lovely way to end a fun and interesting weekend.
Until the next adventure