Hellllo Munich! When handed a free weekend, I was faced with two choices: relax, catch up on sleep, and chill on campus. Or travel some more. I know you all know what I chose!
This weekend, we became Münchens. That’s the Deutsch way of saying “Munich”, but every time I read it I thought of “munchkins”. Which is really just an adorable word.
We got out of class at 12:35, and by 1:35, we were boarding the train. We arrived at the Munich train station by mid-afternoon and slight chaos ensued. Here’s something I’ve noticed about most all of the students traveling abroad: we’re independent. Very independent. So when we got off the train, we immediately all headed in the direction we found most necessary. Daniel: bathroom. Brendan: Latte time. Maureen: wifi to look up directions. Me? I had my eye on gelato across the station before the train even stopped. Although these tidbits may seem extraneous, I just have to say how much I enjoy being around these people with so much personality and independence. Although I’m working to be more compassionate, clingy people are my pet peeve. I’m loving being able to have the opposite problem here! When we (miraculously) all reunited, it was time to head to the hostel.
Note to self: when the website says the hostel is 10 minutes from the train station, pay heed to rather that’s by foot or by car. We enjoyed a nice 45 minute walk to the hostel, luggage in tow. Nevertheless, it was cheap and clean, so what more can you ask for? It also had a great view, which I was able to relish for about 10 seconds before a man below yelled at me to get out of the window. Oops.
We knew all the “cool stuff” was downtown, exactly where we’d come from (near the train station). So we dumped our bags and hurried off. Much sightseeing ensued.
Holla! Obviously, we are not dorks at all. Nope, not at all. 😉
This is the awe-inspiring Glockenspiel chapel found in the Marianplatz, smack dab in the center of the action. It was so huge, I couldn’t really even fit it in one photo! (Pay attention to the clouds brewing, they’ll play a part later in this story)
We were all pretty much freaking out over how beautiful all the architecture was. It was impossible not to get caught up in the energy of the people, the beauty, and the city as a whole.
Brendan had done his research. Next destination: Hofbrauhaus Restaurant, opened in 1589. Mozart used to live right around the corner, and he claimed the beer here helped him write his opera, Idomeneo.
It was absolutely teeming with people. It was about the size of a city block, with multiple large rooms, outdoor areas, upper floors, and patios. All of them full.
We snatched up the first table we could find, practically pushing it’s previous occupants out the door. (Kidding!) Between the hundreds of people and multiple live performances, conversations turned into shouting matches.
No boys allowed in this photo! Just my girls 🙂
Outside, we stumbled upon an opera concert, with a full (amazing) orchestra. Even those who didn’t like opera found themselves glued to the spot for a few minutes, in awe of the sheer power and clarity of the woman’s voice.
Contrasting the pure tones previously experienced, we came across quite the racy billboard a few minutes later. I don’t mean a billboard, I mean an entire side of a building. I cropped it out for your viewing pleasure, but our poses should imitate it well enough!
I doubt we would have paused so long to take photos if we had known what Mother Nature had in store. Upon beginning our long walk back, a slight drizzle was released upon my head. We picked up the pace, and I held up my purse as a makeshift umbrella. It was to no avail. Soon, it was pouring. We sprinted from eave to eave as I prayed for the well-being of my beloved camera.I felt quite ridiculous in a dress at this point.
When we dashed into the hostel, Brendan called first shower. This deserved some serious towel-stealing. We all stayed up laughing, talking, and exploring the city (post-rain).
Day two: We began early, walking again to the city center to meet for a tour of Dachau concentration camp. Since I also visited Mauthausen the next day, I felt these deserved a post of their own. I want to have plenty of time to compose my photos as well as my thoughts, so that will likely be posted by Thursday.
After Dachau, us girls did what we do best: shopping! I have to say, Munich rivals NYC in both the energy of the people and the variety of stores waiting to be explored! Sadly, everyone else in the world had the same idea as us. Here is just one of the four (Four!) H&M’s on the main street. Even though I love being surrounded by people, this was just too much.
Deciding to take a breather from shopping was one of the better decisions I’ve made. Hot, sweaty girls packed around me… Or watching attractive street performers? The choice is simple 😉
We were so exhausted at this point, we arrived early to the train station, just to relax. Early was not a word previously in my dictionary. We came, we explored, we shopped, we conquered. Oh, and we became munchkins. I’ll have plenty of time for sleep and relaxation… some day. Maybe.
For now, I travel. 🙂