Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The next stop on the journey was to the capital city of Bavaria, Munich. The bus drive from St. Goar to Munich was incredibly long and we arrived in Munich around 3pm and headed into the city together around 4pm. Our first stop when we got to the city was to visit the infamous Marienplatz and the Glockenspiel which is a large cuckoo clock that chimes at 11am each day and reenacts two stories from the 16th century. Since we arrived in the city after the Glockenspiel had gone off, our tour manger got our group together (now imagine this with 51 people in the middle of this plaza in Munich) and had us reenact what the Glockenspiel does each time it went off. It was a very entertaining moment and several other tourists stopped to watch us an take our pictures.

There are many things that you can do to spend your time in Munich. Right off the plaza are quite a lot of streets full of wonderful shopping. If you want you can stop by a store and get yourself a ledenhosen to wear to impress and maybe pick up a local. If you are interested there are also many beautiful churches and catherdrals in Munich that you can visit including the Peterskirche which is located closest to the Marienplatz or you could visit the Frauenkirche. If you would rather you can also visit the Residenz palace complex which now serves as a museum which also contains the treasurery. If you want to get away from the city center or if you are a sports fanatic, you can stop by the impressive Munich Olympic site.
Due to the fact that we arrived in the city around dinner time, a group of us decided to head out to find somewhere that we could enjoy the local delicacies of Munich. After wandering around for quite a while, we finally settled on a beer hall. The atmosphere in a beer hall is amazing and when you are in Germany visiting at least one is a must. Our group sat on large benches around a table and each of us attempted to find something local that we could eat. Some of the most well known local delicacies in Munich include Weisswurst (white sausages), large pretzels, pork knuckle, and Apfelstrudel (Apple Streudel) for desert. You can get platters of different sausages with kraut or you can play it safe and just have a pretzel and desert.

After dinner our group decided to head over to the Hofbräuhaus which is one of the oldest breweries in Munich and one of the largest and most famous beer halls in Munich. The Hofbräuhaus, like the beer hll we ate dinner at, has the most amazing atmosphere that is almost hard to describe in words- this is a place you have to experience for yourself when visiting Munich. The beer hall is filled with long tables and benches where locals and tourists unite and bond over German beer, large pretzels, barwhences in lednhosen, and the music of the opmpah pah band. When we first arrived at the Hofbräuhaus the beer hall was packed for dinner and we couldn't find anywhere to sit. Disappointed, we decided to go find another beer hall to drink with the plan to return to the Hofbräuhaus in a few hours.

You would think that in Munich it would be easy to find a beer hall to drink at, but during the dinner rush, if you aren't eating, you won't be able to get a seat in a beer hall. Yet again disappointed, we headed to the one place in Munich where we could easily get drinks and easily find a table- the Hard Rock. Please do not go to the Hard Rock when you are in Munich. Yes they made good mixed drinks and yes they were not busy, but who goes all the way to Munich and just goes to the Hard Rock? You really won't get to experience the local culture there unless you end up like me and get hit on by an 80 year old German man who makes you dance with him and then proceeds to lick your arm. We stayed at the Hard Rock for a couple hours and were feeling quite good when we left and headed back to the Hofbräuhaus.
When we returned to the Hofbräuhaus we were able to quickly find the rest of our group and after a little bit of bartering with some very intoxicated Italian men, we were able to find a table to sit at right next to our group. We ordered quickly and started getting into the atmosphere of the beer hall. What amazes me about Germany is the size of the beer that you get. This is serious beer not wimpy beer from back home. Beer in Germany is served in litre steins and to my amazement, I was able to finish two. What is also great about the beer halls in Germany is that Jager is incredibly cheap. For $2 I was able to get a shot of Jager, so of course we decided to try a few of those as well. In the beer hall, after people get a few drinks in them, a lot of dancing, singing, and standing on tables starts to occur. For our group in particular, some of our tourmates were really getting into the singing, dancing, and cultural experience of the beer hall, and our group was removed by security before 11pm. According to our tour manager, he has never been kicked out of beer hall in Germany with a tour group especially that early in the night.
After being kicked out of the beer hall, several of us decided to continue the evening and experience even more of the German culture by experiencing the night life. We loaded into taxis and headed to a park to dance the night away. This may be the strangest and sketchiest place that I have ever been in my life. Basically the nightlife that we experienced were a bunch of dance clubs right next to one another in what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse park. Each warehouse was a different club that had dancing and drinks. We all had a ton of fun mingling with the locals and dancing with one another. It was a great way to end the night in Munich. I recommend experiencing the nightlife while in Munich, but there may be a better place than the warehouse park to go to.

Or if you are smarter than we were, you can stay at one of the beer halls in Munich for the night.

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