Tuesday, June 21, 2011
D and I arrived in Munchen from Brussels by train. we have decided that train is by far our favorite way to travel. It's easy, relaxing, and you get to see some beautiful scenery. And, for those who are rich and thirsty, they even have a bar car where you can chug booze until your heart is content. I love Europe.
We made it to the place we were staying with no problems at all. The city wide transportation system was the easiest we've found so far (although we learned by our host that we could have been in a world of trouble because we didn't activate our tickets properly that first ride to her place). And that first night we decided to hit up the most well-known beer garden in all the world: Hofbrauhaus. All the waiters and waitresses were dressed in traditional German clothing and musicians played traditional German music. Seating was seat yourself family style... meaning you normally sat next to strangers on a long bench. I guess after a few beers you don't really care who you sit by. Daniel ordered schweinshaxe (grilled beef knuckle... I don't think it is actually knuckle, unless pigs have huge knuckles) with a liter of the original brew, and I or the HB sausage platter with saurkraut, pretzels, and a half-liter of a Radler (half original beer and half lemonade... perfect girl beer). The beer house was an awesome experience, and we were both really glad that we spent our dinner there. After dinner we walked home. After we told our host what we did that night and that we walked home, she looked at us with a surprised looked and exclaimed, "Are you guys really American?!?!"
The next day we spent exploring the BMW museum, dodging the rain, napping for 2.5 hours, and then finding the only restaurant open after 8pm (that wasn't sit-in)... Subway. I'm going to let Daniel enlighten you about the BMW Museum in the coming days. We both had a great time, and for different reasons.
On Sunday we decided to take a short train and bus ride to the Dachau Concentration Camp. Unprepared for what we were going to see and learn, we left the site with a completely different understanding of WWII. The unjust treatment of innocent people was the hardest part for me to understand. How could anyone purposefully torture, humiliate, and kill innocent people on a day to day basis for years? Daniel and I left the camp in awe and wonder. Why didn't God intervene? The pictures, videos, and places we saw are forever engrained in our heads. Though we left with heavy hearts, we still strong encourage anyone to go if you have the opportunity. It brought a new, very real, aspect to the treatment of "others" during WWII.
Sunday night we decided to get off the train at a random stop downtown and walk until we found dinner. One thing we have found that we love about Munchen is the fact that there are always festivals, good food, beer, and markets. It took about 50m of walking until we found a huge festival with multiple musicians set up along the street and awesome food to be had. That night we experienced schnitzensimmel (flattened pork, breaded, and grilled/fried on a wonderful bun) from two places. The first one was horrible and cold... but once I saw a man carrying one from another place that was hot and crispy... I had to try it again. We also got another radler from the beer garden. We continued walking around. Daniel got some roasted cashews from a man that made fun of my accent, and we stopped to listen to an Irish rock band perform before taking the train home.
Munich was an amazing city. Daniel and I both agreed that of all the places we've had the pleasure to visit, that Munich felt most like "home". We loved the culture, the people, the food, the music, and the city vibe. We really hope that we can return to Germany again in the future.