Tag Archives: munich

Munich: Day 5 – Part 2

The rest of our day in Munich was very laid back as we were all feeling pretty emotionally spent after our morning at KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau Concentration Camp. We went back to the market and found a beer garden where we had a lunch of chicken, more potatoes, beer, and cokes. The usual German fare. Afterwards we just putzed around the market until it was time to get our bags and head to the train station for our long overnight train (in tight quarters) to Venice (!). We loved Munich and can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of Germany! Auf Wiedersehen!

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This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich | Nuremberg: Day 4 – Part 2

For the first part of our day in Nuremberg, click here.

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Our love for Nuremberg continued as we stopped in front of Albrecht Durer’s home, who mapped the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres and produced the first printed star charts. We loved the sculpture of Der Hase (The Hare), in homage to Durer and a satiric take on his watercolor painting, Der Feldhase.

We then walked along the Medieval wall (!) that surrounds the city and past Sebalduskirche, one of the oldest and most important churches in the city.

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Since Nuremberg is known as the toy capital of the world, our visit wouldn’t have been complete without seeing the Nuremberg Toy Museum or Spielzeugmuseum. There were no pictures allowed, but it really was neat to see four floors of the history of toys going back to the Middle Ages until now.

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On our way out of the city there was a little market/festival going on that we were sad to miss, but we had things waiting for us in Munich and more importantly, a train!

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When we arrived back in Munich at 9pm, we had laundry to do so we found a laundromat semi-close by which was easy to take care of. What was not easy to take care of was getting in to the bathroom in the laundromat and I had a bad case of the you-know-what. Not gonna lie. I thought that was going to be the day I had go in an alley in Germany. Luckily, just as I was thinking and feeling the worst, the owner of the laundromat showed up with the key to bathroom and all was right in the world again! I know you wanted to know that story, but these are the things you are faced with while traveling! On a dead commercialized street, no restaurants, no public restrooms, and too far from our digs! Moving on.

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After laundry we went for a late night dinner to the famous Hofbrauhaus (the notorious meeting of Hitler’s newly launched German Workers Party in 1920). Boy was that an experience. Loud. Clinking glasses. Singing. Music from an oompah band. Rude “beer maids”. Yelling. The worst meal of entire trip. But it was an awesome experience. We made the mistake of ordering 4 beers because we thought the waitress was asking us how many people in our party. No, she was asking us how many beers. How many MASSIVE beers. 30 euros worth of beers. Oh well. It was fun, nonetheless and I tried it! Proof below. Dan got to try headcheese based on Andrew Zimmern’s recommendation (he did not like it, Andrew!) as we got a little meat/cheese plate and the only thing edible on it ended up being the bread and butter.

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And then we walked home to the pension. It was really cool to see the city at night, still wet from the rain and mostly empty. Oh and we saw another German spider.

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We went to bed starving and could not wait to wake up and eat some of Christophe’s delicious breakfast at the pension.

The next day would be a somber day as we viewed Dachau Concentration Camp.

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich | Nuremberg: Day 4 – Part 1

We spent most of our fourth day in Munich/Germany on a day trip to Nuremberg. Often regarded as the most German of German cities, it truly lived up to that. From the time we stepped off the train it felt like we were in Germany. More so than any other city we had been to yet. It was the perfect little Medieval city (with castle and walls and the whole shebang) and throw in the toy capital of the world making it a super fun and interesting day.

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Our first stop was St.-Lorenz-Kirche as we ran right smack into it after getting off the train and into the city center. It was an example of Gothic purity, inside and out. Covered in details. I can’t even include everything from inside the church. Interesting to note that it was pretty much destroyed after WWII by U.S. bombs, along with 90% of the city (since it had unfortunately been chosen as the place of the Nazi war rallies during the 1930’s and many other crimes during that time).

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We then went into a shop upon my insistence and bought a little nutcracker for our Christmas tree. They had a famous shop here called Käthe Wohlfahrt from the famous Christmas/Medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and I have a real nutcracker from them now! On my tree.

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There were so many interesting fountains and statues. Here’s just a couple. The first one is called the Fountain of the Virtues, depicting the seven virtues of the Middle Ages. I just discovered it is considered one of the most inappropriate fountains in Europe. Score! The second was really cool. It is called the “Ship of Fools” and is based on Sebastian Brant’s 1494 bestseller “Das Narrenschiff”.

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Here we are in front of Hospital of the Holy Spirit; one of the oldest and largest hospitals of the Middle Ages. Lepers were actually kept here away from the rest of the patients and it was founded in 1332. We just thought it made a lovely picture.

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And then we found the city’s main market, Hauptmarkt. I just love German markets. They make my heart happy. Nuremberg’s was especially lovely with the red striped canopies and the contrast of the colorful buildings and roofs. Also below is Frauenkirche and Schöner Brunnena 14th century fountain and one of the city’s main attractions.

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And then there was lunch at this fine restaurant out in an open terrace on this side street off the market. We tried the traditional Nürnberger Bratwurst which is shorter and thinner than other bratwurst sausages along with sauerkraut for Dan and on a roll for me. And tasty. And the most delicious potato soup I’ve ever had. Still. And of course some soft and yummy pretzels, beer, and coke. A perfect German lunch.

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We then made our way to Kaiserburg Castle which was the official residence of the German kings and emperors from about 1000-1500. We took the tour of the unimpressive Tiefer Brunnen (Deep Well) so that we could climb the Pentagonal Tower (the oldest portion of the castle dating back to the Salian kings). The view was spectacular. I just loved all of the German buildings and roofs.

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This graffiti made me sad to see. People are sick. This was inside the tower we climbed which dated back to 1050.

So, that’s enough for this first post of Nuremberg. I’ll be back with the rest of our day in Nuremberg and our evening and night in Munich in Part 2!

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich | Salzkammergut Lake District: Day 3 – Part 2

Read about the first part of our day in Salzburg here.

As promised, here’s the second part of our day in Salzburg. This was a 4 hour tour that started at 2pm. We got on this bus, like I said which was very touristy (the most touristy thing we did) but we went in knowing that and we were totally okay with that because we wouldn’t have seen the Lake District on this trip otherwise. Looking back, I am so glad we did it. It was so nice to have somebody else take charge for the day, tell us where to go, what to see, and us just go along for the ride. Really, to see Salzkammergut was such a once in a lifetime thing that it didn’t matter how I saw it. We sort of thought of this area as our Telluride-Ouray-Silverton, Colorado except on the most MEGA of steroids, but it’s the only thing I could remotely compare it to that I’ve actually seen. After all, they do call Ouray the “Switzerland of America”.

Our bus ride was pretty comfortable. Comfortable enough to take a snooze on the way back to Salzburg anyways. Here we were, excited to begin our tour (and couldn’t help snapping a few pics of the rolling hills and picturesque houses on the way) and see the sights of the Salzkammergut Region!

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Our first stop was St. Gilgen, birthplace of Mozart’s mother and sister and the first lake we saw which was Lake Wolfgangsee. We didn’t have long here. Just enough to stretch our legs, snap a few pictures, and watch the holiday-ers enjoying their time on the water and on the dock. It was beautiful. The air smelled clean, fresh, and we were definitely high up in altitude now! It looked like such an amazing place to vacation for like a week or two just relaxing on your porch, boating, swimming, shopping in the adorable shops, eating the delicious food. This just makes me want to go back…

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Okay, so our little ferry that took us across the waters; it was really crowded at first and we didn’t have a place to sit. Which was fine. But as people got off at their stops we eventually got us a little table and it was really nice and peaceful to just sit and stare off at the incredible scenery. They served food and beverages on the ferry but we were still fine from our lunch earlier in Salzburg.

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How would you like that personal dock? Oh the water… it was extraordinary. Crystal clear, turquoise, blue, green. Every color in that spectrum and so inviting. I wanted to dive right in.

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Really wishing I had a wide-angle lens for this day!

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After our 45 minute boat ride we arrived at the little market town of St. Wolfgang. Apparently we saw the White Horse Inn which has some social-historical significance but I don’t remember it! What I remember is tasting the freshest mountain water I could ever think imaginable. There were these fountains where you could fill your water bottles up (much like many other places in Europe had, i.e. Paris & Rome) for free, but this water was like straight from the snowcaps.

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After our time at St. Wolfgang where we walked around, window shopped, sat and watched the water, we got back on the bus and then took a short stroll along Lake Mondsee to its namesake, the town of Mondsee for some more perusing. Mostly we were done for the day and ready to make the drive home as we were pretty sleepy, but alas we made time for one more cathedral in Mondsee to see the Mondsee Abbey where the wedding took place in The Sound of Music. That was pretty neat. It really was beautiful. And Dan picked flowers for me there which I don’t ever want to forget. Salzkammergut was wonderful. Definitely one of the many highlights of our trip. :)

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And I don’t have anymore pictures from our day as once we got back to Salzburg it was a mad rush to get to the train station (due to some fellow tour mates who lost their husband/wife and kept us for over a half an hour and our guide ended up having to leave in Mondsee!) to make our train back to Munich and while running through the town, darting through traffic, we got a torrential downpour which soaked us and I do believe we all almost got taken out by a car at one point. That was scary. But we’re still here. Onwards!

Next up: Nuremberg!

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich | Salzburg: Day 3 – Part 1

It’s been too long since I’m posted. I am going to split this into two parts because it was such a full but absolutely beautiful and amazing day for us. As with all of my Europe posts, this is going to be very photo heavy. I’m sure you won’t complain. :)

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We spent the day in Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart, and the Lake District which I am SO glad we did. It wasn’t just to check another country off our list, because I’d hardly say that we got to check Austria off our list with this one day (side note: can I really check any country off of our list after only a few cities or days?). I had a coworker highly recommend Salzburg as well as one of my relatives so with our five days in Munich, we thought we could spare one day to spend there. And we were SO glad we did.

We left Munich via the Bayern train at 8:30am and arrived in Salzburg at 10am. We had planned to just spend the day in Salzburg but at the last minute we decided to take a Lakes and Mountains tour of the Bavarian Alps of the “Sound of Music” fame and not to spoil it for you, but we were not disappointed. This was the most touristy-tour we did of the entire trip, mind you, where our guide wore typical Austrian attire and there was another guide in the back translating just for the massive group of Chinese tourists. We still weren’t disappointed. The bus ride gave us the opportunity to sit, relax, journal, *gasp* nap, ignore the tour guide, but the rest of the time when we were off the bus, we did our own thing and we got to see some of the most beautiful country we’ve ever seen.

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Anyways, back to Salzburg. It’s such a fairy tale city with its horse drawn carriage rides, the beautiful pastel colored buildings, the sleepy feeling it gives off, the food, the shops… oh I just love reminiscing about it! Our first stop when we arrived was the Salzburg Cathedral or Salzburger Dom located in Old Town. It’s been around since 774, but in it’s present state since the 17th Century and contains the actual baptismal font in which Mozart was baptized. This cathedral and its dome were massive. Lots of white other than the colorful baroque murals that littered the dome and facade, the rest of the cathedral looked pretty sepia and drab. Still beautiful and impressive and it was very cool inside which was nice as we were already baking!

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I found the fountain outside to be very interesting. It was called the Immaculate Column and it was supposed to depict the Immaculate Conception (one of life’s greatest mysteries, eh? yeah right…). The statue of the Virgin Mary is surrounded by allegoric figures on four sides; the devil, an angel, truth (wisdom), and the Church. The mystery of the Immaculate Conception was so great that the devil growled in envy, the angels were delighted, human wisdom vanished, and there was rejoicing in the Church. Blows. My. Mind. But, it was a pretty cool fountain.

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Afterwards, we had time to mosey through the still sleepy town as the herds of tours and school field trips hadn’t yet made their way to Mozart’s birthplace. We did some shopping as they are known for cuckoo clocks and their eggshell ornaments. We would have loved to have brought back a clock but our backpacks did not allow for such things, so we picked up an ornament for our tree as we did in most cities we went to. I just loved the beautiful, clean architecture here and the pastel colors of the buildings.

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As usual we stopped in the markets and marveled at the goods and then found a little sausage/sandwich stand where I had the best sandwich I have ever had. I don’t know if it is because I was hungry or if it was really that good, but I notated it in my journal, I put it on Facebook, and I still remember how freakin’ good this sandwich was. A fresh croissant, turkey, some kind of cream cheese (NOT Philadelphia!), lettuce, tomato, and sliced swiss cheese. I was in heaven. Dan loved his sausage and horse radish.

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And then we found it. This. This stand of fucking amazing chocolatey bready goodness.

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And I had to have one of those, too. It was everything you think it was.

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Okay, so after our little food stop in front of this church which I can’t remember and it’s not worth really sharing pictures of because they are so dark, we made our way through the hordes of people who had finally poured into Salzburg and awakened it, to Mozart’s birth house. Or Mozarts Geburtshaus. It was bright yellow and right next to an H&M and other shops. We didn’t go in.

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And finally, we made our way to the gardens of Mirabell Palace which were gorgeous. Greenery, flowers, fountains, paths, and boxwood mazes everywhere. We sat around and snapped some pics while waiting for our bus to come and pick us up for our afternoon tour. Our travel mates were both feeling a bit under the weather this day. Julie had a headache and Jason had a cold so we don’t have many pics with them in Salzburg. Interesting fact, the scene in “The Sound of Music” where Maria and the children were singing do re mi  was filmed here in front of the fountain and on the steps of the Mirabell Palace (not pictured). Fun!

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Oh and that’s Hohensalzburg Fortress in the back of the last picture. Would have loved to have seen it, but not enough time in our one short day. Oh well, next time!

Next up: the romantic lake district of Salzkammergut and the incredible scenery!

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich | Neuschwanstein: Day 2

Day trip to Füssen/Hohenschwangau, Germany: Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles

You can read about our first day in Munich here, here, and here.

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We spent most of the rest of our time in Germany doing day trips outside of Munich which was fine by us as there was really truly so much to see in Germany. While planning our trip we specifically bumped our time there up to 5 days for this reason. So. Worth. It. We loved every minute we spent in Germany. It was our favorite country, closely followed by Italy. In my opinion, Bavaria was the perfect introduction to Germany. Such a beautiful country, and from what I’m told, Bavaria is like its own country! If we go back to Germany again we’ll do Berlin and see more WWII sites and then of course I’d love to go even more East. And also to the village my parents lived in and where my brother was born, that would be pretty amazing.

We took the train to Füssen (using the group Bayern ticket) leaving Munich at 9:51am and arriving at 12:13pm. We then took a very short bus ride to the small village of Hohenschwangau, where the castles are located and where we were to spend our lovely day.

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Schloss Hohenschwangau was a 19th Century palace built by King Maximillian II of Bavaria and the childhood home of the Mad King Ludwig II and Otto I of Bavaria. King Ludwig II is well known for his extravagant palaces like the Schloss Neuschwanstein that he had built a stones throw away from his parents’ castle and also Schloss Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (which we did not see though we would have loved to if we had more time in Germany). I highly recommend checking out the Wikipedia pages that I linked for Neuschwanstein at least, as I couldn’t take pics of the interior and they have some pretty spectacular pictures of it! I found the whole story of King Ludwig II to be fascinating (and his brother as it turns out – mental illness definitely runs in the family, don’t I know it?!) and we are definitely lucky to be left with his pretty amazing obsession with the Middle Ages.

Our tour of the first castle, Schloss Hohenschwangau started at 1:30pm. I bought our tickets online so we got to skip the line of probably hundreds of people and just pick up our tickets at the ticket counter and make our way up the smaller hill to the castle. The tour was small and personable (as most people skip the parents’ castle and opt only for the famous Neuschwanstein) although as was the case in both castle, no pictures were allowed. Apparently, everything in the castle is copy written and the only pictures allowed from within the castle were of the view outside the windows. But what a lovely view it was!

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These bathrooms were a funny moment for us; Dan and Jason both had to use the bathroom and the men’s was full so they both went into the women’s for quite a while together while we stood watch and pretended like we were in line to deter any women who might want to go in!

After the tour was over, we had time to hang around the village, stop and get some (pretty mediocre) pizza and cokes with one ice cube, shop for hats, and kill time until we had to make our way up the daunting hill to the eventual bus stop that would take us the rest of the way to Schloss Neuschwanstein.

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That walk was not fun once the bus dropped you off. And the whole way up (and down) we were behind the typical European smoker – something I just did not understand. Why would you be smoking as you trek up this ridiculously steep hill? The air was thin and my asthma was already being tried, I just remember being annoyed as hell. But we got there. I did read about the horse ride that you can take but we chose not to. For one, it’s expensive, and more importantly, I read nothing but bad things about most of the tourist horse rides in Europe and about how the horses are worked all day long, often without any water in soaring temperatures up grueling and steep roads. And this really wasn’t that hard for us to just bite the bullet and walk the rest of the way once the bus drops you off. We waited in front of the castle for our 3:40 tour to start. The views were stunning. We were entertained by the hang gliders soaring down the mountain down to the valley below.

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The tour of Neuschwanstein wasn’t as personable or enjoyable as the Hohenschwangau because it was an enormous crowd and we were shuffled from room to room and you could hardly hear the guide of you were in the back and your group was particularly loud. However, the castle was beautiful. Every inch. And I got to see the King’s toilet. Wow. Talk about a porcelain throne. Well worth it. And the views – these people were so lucky.

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After the tour we walked down to Marienbrücke to see the picture perfect view of Schloss Neuschwanstein. It took me a little bit of convincing myself to walk across it, but I finally did it. This picture looking down at Pöllat Gorge does nothing for how terrifying it really was. If you see the picture of the bridge below, you will see how far down the gorge actually was.

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After Marienbrücke we followed the trail of smoke to the bus that took us down the hill back to the village where we hopped on the bus to Füssen. We had a little bit of time before our 7:05pm train back to Munich, so we decided to have dinner there. We got a recommendation for a place that served hamburgers and we initially rolled our eyes at the thought of hamburgers because it sounded so American but this person explained that hamburgers actually came from Germany. In Hamburg, no less! We had a lovely dinner (these were great burgers!), but unfortunately got no pics of that. Interestingly enough, I have since learned that a man named Louis Lassen sold the first hamburger in the U.S. in 1900. We got home a little before 10pm. We were tired and went right to bed. Or at least that’s what my memory is telling me. I wish I knew where my travel journal was!

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It was an awesome day and I am so glad that we got to see Neuschwanstein. My parents had told us about their visit to Neuschwanstein growing up and it was truly a treat to finally see it myself. The views of this area; the Alps, Austria, Bavaria, Forggensee Lake – all of it were worth every second, every breath of smoke that I had to inhale, every step up that steep hill, my one ice cube in my coke, my mediocre pizza, the throngs of people we had to endure – they all made up for it. And these castles were better than any Sleeping Beauty castle, trust me.

All pictures taken by either us or our friends Jason & Julie. I forgot our SD card on this day so I had to borrow theirs about half way through. So I’ve borrowed some of their pics for this post.

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich: Day 1 – Part 3

And lastly… part 3 of our first completely fun-filled, tiring, but thrilling and enlightening day in Munich. Read about Part 1 and 2 here and here.

After the Residenz we moseyed through the Englischer Garten (#4 on TripAdvisor) which is a large park, actually larger than Central Park in NYC. It was beautiful. Rabbits, birds, swan, and surfers everywhere. No, seriously. They have this little spot where there is a standing wave and the locals like to get their surf on and it was quite amusing (and totally surprising) to catch in the middle of a park – in Munich! We so enjoyed our time and each other’s company here. We stopped at the Chinesischer Turm and had pretzels, beer, brats, the best chicken EVER, cokes, and fries. It was delicious. As we were leaving, it started to get really dark and everyone around us started leaving in a hurry so we did, too! I believe we got rained on on the walk home, but it wasn’t so bad. We survived. :)

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Our first day in Munich (and I believe our only full day?) was awesome and our hearts were already starting to fall for Germany in general. Up next: Neuschwanstein, Nuremberg, Salzburg, and Dachau.

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich: Day 1 – Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

It’s about time I try to finish this day off. However, I couldn’t quite fit it all into one post. We did SO much this day and took way too many pictures. Your gain. :)

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After the market and lunch we walked down a busy street until we ran into Asamkirche (my intention of course, as I put it on my list to see at the very beginning of our planning stages!). Asamkirche was a private church built by the Asam brothers in the 1700’s, although they were later forced to make it accessible to the public after much resistance from citizens. This place was beautiful. Wood, gold, and frescoes adorned this place in every nook. It’s rated #2 on TripAdvisor’s places to see in Munich and it was in our top 3 church/chapel/basilicas that we saw on our entire trip. I highly recommend it as it doesn’t take very long since it’s no bigger than a couple of bedrooms (1 row of pews) and it’s free!

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After that we headed back to our room to shower and change clothes as we were finally able to officially check in. Our room was tiny but adorable and had such character and like I said before, our host, Christophe was the BEST. I think I was here trying to either blog or write an email to our parents. Note: there was a shared toilet room down the hall with the other guests (although our traveling companions were the only other guests) and each room had a sink and a shower. It was exactly what I thought of when I thought of Europe!

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After relaxing, we headed towards the Residenz (#17 on TripAdvisor) and toured the Palace of the Bavarian royals. I tried to only include the “important” pics as we took entirely too many here of things (jewelry, crowns, furniture, beds, etc.) that as I look back now, I really don’t care about, but you know, it was one of those moments when you’re there and you just get carried away!

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Don’t get me wrong, it was worth every minute we spent there, and we spent a lot! We didn’t do Versailles in Paris or the Pitti Palace in Florence, so this was just fine a taste of palace life for us. We spent several hours at the Residenz – maybe 2 or 3 and it was room after room after room of over the top opulence. I was impressed with how much was open to the public and how much original furnishings they still had there. We did the residence and the treasury. We saw the highlights: the antiquarium, hall of mirrors, the grottenhof, the ancestral gallery and the great family tree, and of course saw all the crown jewels and Saint George’s statue in the treasury. It was a great glimpse into Bavarian history and I was very glad we stopped in. It was relatively inexpensive at $12/pp and was not crowded at all so we could roam as we please.

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Statue of Saint George

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The OG Crazy Eyes.

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The solid gold plates they ate off of. What???

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The Antiquarium

Antiquarium

The Ancestral Gallery; where the king took his guests through first to impress them (other parts of the palace were very barren).

Ancestral Gallery

The Grottenhof

Grottenhof Museum-Goers

The Bavarian Family Tree… whoa!

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Theatinerkirche

Theatinerkirche

Statue of Maximillian I

Maximillian I Lastly, we did Englischer Garten and the Chinesischer Turm beer garden for dinner before turning in. But I’ll save those for their own post. :)

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Munich: Day 1

I had better intentions of writing this post sooner but I seem to have temporarily (I hope anyways) lost my travel journal that I wrote while in Europe. I know, right? I have been looking every night after work through different boxes in the garage and I’m trying not to freak out, I know it’s somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet! So, I’m writing this post on pure memory here. Forgive me if it’s sketchy. This was a big day so it’s probably going to be at least 2, maybe 3 posts. Be prepared.

Sleeping on the train was… well, okay. It wasn’t a great sleep but it wasn’t awful. I was kind of anxious the whole time about sleeping in and missing our stop even though I was pretty sure that the conductor wasn’t going to let that happen as they wake you up check your tickets in the morning. Still, a fear. But we got there early in the morning (7:15!), figured out how to get to the city center (Germany’s transportation was very nice!), and then the fun began. I say that with a little bit, no a lot of bit of sarcasm… we had such a hard time finding our Pension (the lovely Pension am Jakobsplatz). It led to a lot of frustration between the four of us and probably got us off to a rocky start in Germany. I think the least amount of time we could do with those heavy packs on our back, the better, and not being able to find our “place” to set them down was not helpful. But, like much things on this trip (and in life), we found it and everything worked out. We couldn’t check in yet that early, but our host, Christoph was wonderful and he let us drop our stuff off while he readied our rooms and we went and got some breakfast. I can’t say enough about him. He did so much for us.

So, breakfast. This was my second favorite breakfast of the trip. I still crave and salivate at the thought of the buns that we ate that morning (and a couple others that we went back for during our stay in Munich). So. Good. I have been telling myself for the past, oh, almost 3 years that I am going to make some myself and I still haven’t gotten around to it, but I will. We found this place on a side street not too far from our pension – I have no idea what it’s called, so I’ll just include a picture of the outside of it called Café Frischhut – Die Schmalznudel. In fact, I’m going to include entirely too many pictures of our breakfast because I loved it so much. It was seemingly nothing special, but these buns called, Krapfen, were like magic. Warm yeasty buns filled with apricot jam and dusted with sugar. I could have eaten a dozen. And a hot chocolate for me, coffee for Dan.

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After breakfast we headed through the big market, Viktualienmarkt and did a little sensory tease while we continued to wait until about 10 for our pension. There was everything here and it was beautiful, delicious, wonderful, colorful, stinky (cheese!), friendly, floral, and we couldn’t wait to explore it even more later! This market completely put the market we went to in Paris to complete shame.

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After our quick glimpse of the market we went to the Marienplatz and saw the Glockenspiel on the Neues Rathaus and then we climbed the tower of Peterskirche which is the oldest church in Munich and perhaps the originating point of the entire city. There was a service going on so everybody was being shushed and we couldn’t take any pics up close of the beautiful altar or the relic of Munditia but that’s okay. The climb was my first of the entire trip and it was rough but I’m so glad I did it. The views were fantastic. We couldn’t see the Alps like some of the reviews said (maybe it was too cloudy?), but we still saw enough to make our jaws drop and just seeing the skyline and the rooftops of this German city was amazing and absolutely worth it.

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After that climb we made our way across the Marienplatz to another church, the Frauenkirche, or the “Pamela Church” named after the two spires you can see in the picture above. ;) It was nice and cool in there and we rested on the pews for a bit. Afterwards we watched the Glockenspiel (very touristy attraction of marionette-like puppets and music) and we listened in on a tour as I was videotaping where I learned that there are a million videos on YouTube of it, so I promptly stopped. Below you can see the large crowds that gather to watch the Glockenspiel.

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Typical Bavarian attire: Lederhosen

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And afterwards we were good and ready (aka hot, sweaty, and tired) for some lunch: beer and brats. So we went back to the glorious Viktualienmarkt and found a beer garden and had some delicious food.

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And then we explored the market a little more and loved it even more. I think it was one of my favorite things in all of Germany, if not my most favorite.

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And that’s where I’ll leave you for now. Because the market place is a good last image to have in your mind. In the words of Finn, “Yum! Yum!” We were well on our way to loving Munich (and Germany!) and have much more to share from this day!

Update 5/3: OMG one of my most favorite bloggers, the everywhereist.com just blogged recently about her wonderful experience at my favorite cafe where she tried another pastry that we didn’t. Oh well, next time we’re in Munich! And KT – heed both of our advice, try them both and GO THERE!

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!