This post is Part 2 of my short trip to Munich last weekend. For Part 1, click here.
My friend John John and his girlfriend Stacey successfully made it to Germany and met up with us at the apartment. I was surprisingly happy to see them (not in a bad way) and it made me realize how much I miss so many people in my life. Moving all over the world is great and all but it sure makes for a lot of people to miss. In other words, it was great to see them again!
The center of Munich is pretty amazing. There are a lot of the historical buildings and, in some ways, it reminded me of the older parts of Barcelona with its small, curvey cobblestone streets. We wandered around for a couple of hours checking everything out, including the impressive Rathaus (city hall). Hey Rowdy, is that you on the left???:
There's a tradition in Europe to go all out for Bachelor and Bachelorette parties where they'll dress up the bride/groom in some silly outfit while the rest of the group wears some other outfit. You can see the groups on weekends in the center of lots of towns. One of the things that the bride or groom needs to do is sell items to "earn money" to pay to get back home, to buy drinks, or whatever. The things for sale are usually small bottles of alcohol, condoms, or some other silly trinkets, which are sold for a "donation" of a euro or two. It's kinda' silly but, overall, it's (usually) the outfits that really make it awesome. To see a couple of funny photos, check out the photo at the bottom of this story from back when I was in Granada two years ago and the middle photo in this story from when I went to southern France to visit Carcasonne and some other castles.
Anyway, this group (sans great outfits) approached John while we were walking around and got him to buy some stuff. He didn't have any change so he ended up buying a few candy bars and gave the guy five euros (John's a generous guy!):
John really wanted to go to the Hofbrauhaus, which is apparently the classic beer hall to visit when you're in Munich. Since my tastes go more towards wine, it's not something that I probably would have done if they weren't with us...
...but, as with most opportunities that I just say yes to, it ended up being a great experience. They've got a live band playing traditional, regional music and a food menu that was full of interesting things to order. And, best of all, the prices were relatively cheap, especially when you consider that the place caters mostly to tourists. Our dinners were delicious and it's one of the handful of tourist sights that's definitely worth visiting. Thanks for the recommendation JJ!
I didn't know it when we went in but John had a secondary motivation for the visit. I guess that a bunch of years ago, he visited Munich and the Hofbrauhaus and took a photo that's been in a frame in his bedroom ever since. He wanted to recreate the photo on this trip. What he didn't know is that Stacey had brought with her the original photo, which you can see next to John in the updated version:
I think that I really like Munich and Bayern (the state in which Munich is located) in general. The people are friendly, the scenery is great, and GIANT soft pretzels are available everywhere (!!!), including Saturday evening at the Hofbrauhaus:
...as well as Sunday afternoon in the Chinese Beer Garden:
Yep, it's carbo-lover's paradise! Actually, the food and drink at the Chinese Beer Garden (confusingly enough, located in the Englisher Garten city park) were equally as good and, even better, they had Apfelwein on tap! What a combo -- pretzels and Apfelwein!
After leaving the Chinese Beer Garden, we walked through the park back towards the center of town. I was amazed at what we saw in the park, but I'll write about that in the next story. From there, we went to the BMW Museum, which, again, is another story.
The BMW Museum is across from the Olympic Park with its Olympiturm tower. JJ and Stacey really wanted to go up in the tower to see the view. I'm glad that we did it as the view was spectacular. This photo is looking towards the center of Munich and the Alps beyond on the horizon:
We managed to squeeze a lot into our day for sure. I have to hand it to John John and Stacey for their ability to fight off jetlag and power through the city bus tour, drinking in the park, a full museum, and a trip up in the tower, among other things! Klase!