Munchin' in Muenchen
I got to London just in time for the royal wedding... and so what do I do? Escape it! Munich was my first
post-move European destination. We spent 3 days in Munich and around the rest of Bavaria.
Obviously the first stop was beer!
The first beer garden we went to was right next to the hotel. This is where I learned that a dunkle is dark beer...oops. We were given a menu in German and thought it would be fun to just pick some stuff with words that sounded familiar. Yet somehow between 3 people, we managed to all end up with thin fried slabs of meat aka. schnitzel. Don't know how that happened, but it seemed like a very appropriate welcome to Germany.
Filled with meat and potatoes, we were ready to venture to the famous Hofbrauhaus brewery, the royal brewery of Bavaria. But not before we stopped by another outdoor beer garden on the way and picked up a very drunk friend named Dave. Drunk as he was, he did manage to guide us to Hofbrauhaus successfully. This is the largest beer hall I've ever been to, and in many ways it felt closer to a large college frat house filled with tourists. The place is so huge that the kitchen even looks like a cafeteria and food comes out on conveyor belts. But with beer like this, we all know nobody is there for the food. Later in the trip we found out that the place serves up, on average, 10,000 LITERS of beer each day, which is the same as over 10,000 cases of Beer in the states.......
Filled with a gallon of beer, meat, potatoes, not to mention a doner kebab (because that's always a good idea)... I experienced a very traumatizing night that can only be described as a: bleghhh, bam, splash, owww!
Feeling just like sunshine the next day, we ventured off to Dachau to visit the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany. This was by far the most haunting holocaust memorial I've ever been to, for good reason of course. The museum in the camp is filled with information and could easily take more than a whole day to go through. After before getting on the train back to Munich, we stopped for a quick bite, where we had grilled ham and cheese on a pretzel... which tasted exactly like what it sounds like.
Back in Munich, we strolled through the city center Marienplatz admiring much of old Munich along with its beautiful architecture. We then walked through the English Garden (Englischer Garten) which is one of Munich's public parks and actually larger than central park. The park is beautifully maintained and obviously includes a large beer garden inside. They call this the Chinese beer garden for the chinese style pagoda right there. And while you can't go up the pagoda, you can sit below and listen (and sometimes dance) to the traditional bavarian music from a band inside the pagoda. The beer garden serves a variety of food, mainly your fried meats, bratwurst, fries, etc... Instead I opted for the whole smoked mackerel. This is one angry looking fish.... but he was delicious!
The last day in Munich we decided to take a trip outside the city into Bavaria to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, located right on the Austrian boarder. This trip....was.....breathtaking, with landscapes from the sound of music flying by our window the entire ride. The train wasn't the most beautiful thing in the world, but luckily the scenery made up for it. The Castles were breathtaking as well. Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the late 19th century by King Ludwig II also known as Mad King Ludwig because he apparently was crazy. It was actually sort of obvious from the fact that his father's enormous castle down the mountain from his wasn't big enough. Also, the inside of his castle was so ornate and over the top that it rivaled most palaces in Europe, but also didnt really make any sense stylistically, one minute you are in a gothic themed room, the next minute your in a replica of a Cave (NO JOKE!). Unfortunately there are no pictures of the inside to prove the ridiculousness!
After a long day at the castle, we really wanted to find some traditional German food, but because it was raining, ended up at the same place we ate dinner the first night. The food at this place, along with the beer, was great. This time around we were lucky enough to get an English menu, but it didn't really help us out too much. We ended up getting a seafood pasta, a potato dumpling, sausage and fries, and potato salad (obvs...three forms of potatoes). The seafood pasta was an awesome surprise. It was fresh, spicy, and delicious! The dumpling was different and was made with rice flower and had an odd texture, but still delicious none the less!
Another odd thing that our friend got was a sausage remoulade salad, that also had an odd texture from the jelly remoulade, but the sausage and salad was super tasty!