There really is no better way to explore somewhere new than with a local. They make you eat new food, try new things, and wear funny clothes!
I’d been to Munich before, but hadn’t really spent any time there (my biggest memory was drinking beer at McDonald’s, to give you a window into how old I was). Our trip seemed like the perfect time to visit an old friend and see a new place at the same time.
We were curious to see what “the village” looked like, or so Munich had been called by someone we met in Vienna; however, Munich is anything but. It’s Germany’s third largest city after Berlin and Hamburg, and home to about 5.8 million people in the metropolitan region.
Munich is a major centre for pretty much everything from business, to finance, the arts, science, and education. The city is routinely ranked in the top five liveable cities worldwide.
We decided we could live here if our jobs required it (not that local government would ever send us here!)
The weather on our first day in Munich was perfect, so we wandered around and ended up in a beer garden (where else would you end up in Bavaria?) Al jumped at his second opportunity to put on lederhosen (okay not really), which turned out to be perfect for wading through fountains.
We didn’t spend a lot of time going through museums or seeing various sights in Munich apart from what we saw wandering the street. We did walk past City Hall and through the former royal palace, and also discovered the Michael Jackson memorial (does every city have one?) But we just didn’t have time, and we preferred to spend it hiking and seeing a couple of famous castles in the surrounding region.
And when our friends were off work, they had other plans for us!
The first important task was to learn the age-old Bavarian tradition of opening a champagne bottle. This involves a bottle and a sword, and someone brave enough to hold the bottle for you if necessary.
Al managed to hold his own bottle and slice the cork off the first time, but it took me three tries. Okay, maybe this tradition is not exactly Bavarian, but it was pretty hysterical nonetheless!
The second important feat was to make it to the Hofbrauhaus and back without losing lederhosen, shoes or anything important in between, no matter how much beer or champagne people buy you.
The Hobrauhaus is a three-floor beer hall built in 1589. It was originally a royal brewery in the Kingdom of Bavaria, but today it is owned by the state. It was a good thing we had learned some German songs previously in Nuremberg, so we could show off our singing skills in the brewery.
I’m happy to report that we all made it to the Hofbrauhaus and back on our last night, although some of us walked in straighter lines than others!
Thanks for a great time, Micky and Kristie!