A summer weekend in Munich

Quick trip stats:

  • Dates traveled: July 9-11
  • Transportation: Air Berlin
  • Hotel: Hotel Bavaria

Day 1: Our flight arrived in Munich at 11:45 Saturday morning. We headed to the hotel to drop off our bags and then hopped back on the train to start exploring. I grabbed a Starbucks coffee since we don’t have Starbucks in Naples. It was yummy, but somehow it kept leaping from the to-go lid airspout onto my shirt. I allowed myself about two minutes of annoyance, then decided to rock the coffee stains rather than make a fuss.

Once we arrived in the heart of the city we discovered two important things;
1) It was Christopher Street Day – essentially gay pride weekend.
2) Odeonplatzhad a big TV, moonbounces and beer carts setup for World Cup games. In my opinion, not enough parties include beer AND moonbounces.

We ventured over to Marienplatz and found a crowded marketplace just beyond it. After finding a seat, two beers, two sausages, one huge pretzel and some mustard, we enjoyed lunch at what was definitely the place to be. I’ve never seen so many strangers sharing tables with such huge beers in my life. I went to an SEC school, so that’s saying something.

After lunch we found some yummy cheese topped with fig at a market stand and ventured back toward the Christopher Street festival. A big parade had commenced, so we stood and watched for a bit before following the clubbish music back to Marienplatz with a couple more beers.

Our big questions after watching some the “costumes” go by were: Why would a man want to wear shoes that women loathe, and why would a woman want a mullet? If you’re not attracted to the opposite sex, why would you want to dress like them? Oh well, who cares? Everyone looked amazing!

After a long day traveling and exploring, we returned to our hotel for a much-needed nap before heading out to an amazing dinner at El Gordo Loco. If you ever find yourself in Munich, this restaurant is a must. From the chips, salsa and guacamole to the burritos and tamales, it was all deliciously authentic latino food.

Day Two: After breakfast at our hotel we took the train to Dachau. We were excited to see a dalmatian in a neighboring seat on the train. She had even brought a blanket. I am a fan of any city where dogs are welcome on trains and in restaurants. I should also mention that the dog’s owner was mixing jagermeister with nestea at 10am in the seat across from her. Guten Morgen!
At Dachau, rented audio guides. It was so powerful listening to survivors and liberators recount what went on at the camp. My heart hurt, but I am definitely glad we went. The hardest moment for me came when I entered the “showers”/gas chamber.
What’s so shocking is that the camp was essentially in the backyard of an adorable town and yet people claimed to not know it was there. When the wind turned it’s said that you could smell the death, but people ignored it either in fear or because they were comfortably brainwashed and didn’t know what their own fate might be if they admitted the horror that was going on.

After Dachau we went on a walking tour of Hitler’s history in Munich. I had no idea his initial passion was for painting.

The walking tour ended just in time for the USA vs. Brazil match. We were going to watch it in Odeonplatz, but it was raining on and off, so we hit up the Hard Rock Cafe.

Initially, I was watching because my husband really wanted to see the game, but by the end of it I was leaping and screaming after having been glued to the TV with a churning stomach for more than two hours. It was emotionally exhausting, and so worth it! Go USA! Against the odds we played a man down for half of the game, and there were some crazy, questionable calls from the refs, but none of that kept us from a gorgeous victory. Note to refs…

Sorry Marta, we’re SMARTA (everyone in Atlanta giggles, everyone else just thinks I’m a giant dork)!

Another long day had us pretty tired, so we found a cute German restaurant and ordered some food. I had no idea what I was ordering when I pointed to one of the specials of the day, but it turned out fantastic. Who knew German fare included pumpkin seed crusted shrimp over a salad with a sweet chili dressing. The pairing of the salty, seeded breading with the sweet spice and greens was delicious.

Day Three: We checked out of our hotel, stored our backs at the central train station, and rented bikes to take in the English Garden. The weather was mild since rain had cooled it down – perfect cycling weather.

Along the Eisbach we found surfers using a standing wave created by a hydraulic pump for river surfing. A perfect, constant wave with no danger of sharks is my idea of a good surfing experience.
Further into the English Gardens we watched a man and his dog perform spectacular sheep herding before finding a mini Hofbrauhaus.
Compared to the large establishment everyone is familiar with, this one is easier to find a table, filled with locals instead of tourists, outside, and everyone brings their dogs. It was lovely.
After lunch and a beer it was time to return our bikes and head to the airport. The trains were all exactly on time, which we aren’t accustomed to in Italy, so our planning had us at our gate three hours early. Gotta love the Germans. Aside from a large historical “hiccup,” they’ve got it together.