20.09.2007 - 23.09.2007 18 °C
We arrived in Munich in the evening of September 20. Immediately, an energy was felt upon arrival. After checking into our hotel, which we learned was on the corner of where Oktoberfest grounds were (sweet!), we decided to head over to the Hofbrahaus for our first German beers.
We ate dinner, with authentic German meals, at a cute restaurant across from the Hofbrauhus. Each of us tried some meat and dumplings, and of course the pretzels. All of which were very good! Then we headed over to the Hofbrauhaus....WOW!! What an experience....best way to describe it: family style benches, lots of drunk men singing and cheering, people standing on tables, the sound of clanking of the liter sizes (and glass) steins all amongst the sound of the local polka band playing on a small wooden stage to the side. So cool!! We met some cool travelers there...one of which was finishing up hie trip around the world. And successfully, we downed one stein before the doors were closing for the night.
The next day we decided we would first go to Dacchu and see the Jewish Concentration Camp. This was right outside the city, and one of the first concentration camps established. The whole experience there was very somber. Much of the original facilities were not there and had been reconstructed for museum purpose. It was very hard and moving to read about the everything that went on there. All I can say is sick and disturbing to know that people could be that inhumane and cruel to others. We left there somewhat depressed...it was an awful thing that happened.
Later that day we walked some of the areas, just trying to get a feel for the city, and hoping to run into Mikes Bike Tour to do our city tour. The plaza and churches and architecture we saw were just amazing. Very baroque and castle like. I really enjoyed the architecture of the city. As we were shopping in on of the squares, strangely enough, we ran into a tour guide with Mike's Bike Tour. We decided to follow him to the shop and the next thing we knew, we were joining a personal tour the left in the next 15 minutes! Ha! The bike tour was awesome!! I would totally recommend anyone who visits Munich to do it. Our tour was an evening tour, so it lasted well until the sun was down, which made it even more entertaining. On the tour, we rode all throughout the city on there bike cruisers. It was quite the funny scene for all of us. Our tour guide was awesome...this guy from Ireland who was so funny. He had us roaring as we rode our bikes through the city at any sight of a lion (city symbol). About 3/4 through the tour, we stop at this beer garden, where Sarah and i tried our first Bavarian sausage and we all proceeded to drink a stein (or two). By the time we got back on our bikes (mind you the sun has set now, and we have no lights on our bikes), we were all feeling a bit tipsy from the beer and giggling at the fact we had to ride in the dark. All I can say for the rest of the tour....ha ha...laughing all the way. What a fun time!!
The next day was the opening ceremonies of Oktoberfest. Sarah and I decided to get up early and go see the opening parade. So cool!! They paraded all 6 of the breweries kegs for the festivities to be tapped by the governor of the city. There were so many people dressed up in those cute German outfits, horses all done up, and music and more.
That afternoon, we started off the Oktoberfest festivities by going to the Augusteiner Beer Garden (not in the festival), then headed over to the festival in the early evening. Our whole night was spent in the Hofbrauhaus...out on the porch and then in the tent. CRAZY!!! To sum it up: 7000 people, drunk, naked, steins and beer everywhere, singing, standing on benches, anything goes here!! More crazy then derby. It was so much fun. We met some cool people from New Zealand and Australia there...it was really a fun experience!
The next day was our last day there, and we were going to spend the day traveling by train back to Prague (it was a 7 hour trip). I learned that morning by email that my grandfather had passed away. It was extremely difficult to read the news...it just made me so sad to not have been there. I called my mom and learned that the service would be on the Tuesday (I arrived back in the states on Monday), so I was grateful to be able to make it home for that.
Our train ride back to Prague was long....very long. When we arrived, we decided to have one last meal putting an end to our trip....we decided on Mexican! ha ha! Then we departed the next morning back for the states.
I had a wonderful trip and loved all the countries I visited. I would love to go back and visit these areas again!