Sunday, June 07, 2009

Munich (Day 15-16)

Our Europe Adventure Part 1 is coming to an end... we are at our final destination! It seems so much faster when you are blogging it later, but I remember distinctly that it was about this time that Phoebe and I were ready to pack it in and head back to London.
I was however excited to visit Munich again... not just because I had SO much more that I wanted to see, but also because since I had been here before there wasn't the fear of the unknown. The main part of the town was pretty familiar and that made me happy.

But before we get to Munich we must journey out of Salzburg. Breakfast consisted of a chocolate pretzel (so very Austrian) and easy train ride to Munich... Munich is not even 2 hours away from Salzburg, so this would be a quick jaunt across the German border.
After we checked into our hostel (6 bed female dorm) we headed to the Marienplatz for food... lunch was at KFC where we watched music videos in German on the KFC TV

This is not Almdudler, but it was still delicious and German
Then Phoebe and I splurged on Hagen Daz ice cream... I felt sick after eating it cause it was SO RICH!!

We had time before the Glochenspiel went off at 5pm, so we hopped back to the hostel, laid around, met our roommates (american girls who hadn't slept in 4 days and were therefore half asleep), and then headed back out for the Gloch. show

This is the #2 most OVERRATED tourist attraction (after the Prague clock) voted not by me, but by people who write tourist books... it was cool to see cause I had heard so much about it, but it was lame. It consists of a wedding feast where people dance around the bride and groom and there is a joust between France and Bavaria... Bavaria wins! Then there are the coopers who spin around beneath the wedding scene... they are famous for being the first to come out into the streets after the plague and they did a little dance. The King then liked the dance so much that he decreed the dance must be performed every 7 years for the rest of eternity!! Ah, to be King.
After the Glochenspiel had done its thing Phoebe and I finished out the night with the Hofbrauhaus!!! This is the most famous beer hall in the ENTIRE WORLD!!! Note: it is also the sight of the formation of the Nazi party... but we won't get into that just yet!
Phoebe and I sat down not really knowing how this whole thing worked, but a waitress told us to sit and that someone would come around for our order. We were soon approached by one of the GRUMPIEST old ladies I have ever met. She seemed incredibly annoyed at the fact that we were foreigners. Why would one choose to work at the MOST touristy place in Munich if one hated foreigners?? Phoebe determined that it was because she was wearing a wench outfit and was in her 70's... after thinking about that, I would be annoyed too.
We eventually got our order out with the little German we knew and her yelling at us in annoyance... and here is what we got!!

Now don't get excited... I didn't finish it... I barely got half way... I'm sorry, I just don't like beer, even though this was REALLY GOOD BEER!

We also got pretzels to go with our beer... I finished that off no sweat and even finished Phoebe's too
Phoebe on the other hand drank me under the table!! She was determined to finish her stein (1 liter) just out of sheer principle... success!

Being a beer house, the Hofbrauhaus is definitely a place to make friends... drunk friends... Phoebe and I made nice with a group of older gentlemen who were sitting near us. They were from the States and we bonded over tourist stories and the fact that our waitress hated them too. Munich tourist unite!
We also got caught up briefly in a truth or dare game with a group of college students also sitting near us... they had to take a picture with random people around the hall and we were selected!

Phoebe and I finished out the night strolling slowly back to our hostel down the main shopping streets... disappointing to us was that they were all closed due to it being sunday... we also discovered at this point that all the shopping we were gonna do the next day would be thwarted due to a Catholic Holiday!!!!! BUMMER!
We got some free internet back at the hostel and we watched some German MTV in the common room... then bed.

The next day - our last day of Europe Part I!
We had learned of a free walking tour of Munich the night before and were VERY keen to go - This was THE BEST walking tour I had EVER been on... the guy Matt was from San Francisco and was a history scholar! He knew EVERYTHING there was to know about Munich and he was interesting too! Seriously my history professors haven't been as good as he was! Phoebe and I wanted to just hang out with him all day if we could. Oh and Phoebe and I met a girl who worked for the tour company who happened to be a student at RoHo on her year abroad... haha! Small world!
Our tour began with the Glochenspiel again... and then on to the Frauenkirche

This church was almost completely destroyed in World War II... the towers survived, but almost the entire remainder of the buidling has been reconstructed along with almost 90% of Munich. Prior to WWII photographers took to the streets to photograph buildings in preparation for the anticipated attacks on the city. After the war finished all the historical buildings were rebuilt to look just as they did before, but they are still less than 70 years old.
The Frauenkirche is also known for having the devils footprint in the entry way. The story goes that the architect of the church tricked the devil over a matter of windows within the cathedral... the devil was so peeved that he stomped his foot and this remains

In truth it is only the architects signature on his work.
This church is ALSO famous for being the home church of the current pope!!

On our tour I discovered that there were 3 other Arizonians in our group! didn't know any of them, but it was cool.
On the tour we got a little history lesson and quick run down over WWI and WWII and learned about the economic problems of Germany leading up to the election of the 3rd Reich and Hitler's rule. Apparently at one point $1 (USD) was worth 54 TRILLION German Marks... people were burning money instead of buy wood cause it was cheaper!
Other tour info
- Hugo Boss designed the uniform of the Nazi storm troopers
- we discussed the famous 1972 Munich Olympics when the group of Israeli citizens were killed
- Hitler's life story - how he was an artist who was denied to art school because of his inability to draw people - funny how he became known for the annihilation of millions of people!
-We heard about the resistance in Munich against the Nazi party
- the many memorials around the city
- how at one point Hitler almost died before he even wrote Mein Kampf in Prison... he was shot at in the Beer Hall Puts in Munich, but his bodyguard took the 11 bullets on his behalf.
- The White Rose resistance at a University in Munich and how the people involved were eventually sent to a Concentration camp
It really was an incredible tour that last 3 hours... great spots around the city too!! We saw SO MUCH
The Residenz Palace

Lion statues out in front of the Residenz Palace... if you rub 3 our of the 4 statues you with have the wealth of Bavaria in either love of money... if you run 4, you're just greedy

the famous Munich Opera House

The view from the top of St peter's church tower

Munich is SUCH a gorgeous city and I still would love to go back and roam around some more! It was a wonderful place to end our first European Adventure!!

Well that's it folks... Europe #1 is complete!!!


linda t said...

Those beer steins are seriously bigger than your heads! Great pics. Great memories.
Now hurry home!

NanAZ said...

I still think that you, Amy and Kevin would make amazing tour guides. Can't you just imagine doing a 3 hour tour in some amazing city, like DC or L.A. or somewhere? Maybe you could spend your summers there doing tours.