Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 4 : July 5 - Back to Munich

Klagenfurt, Austria to Munich Germany ~4hours + 1.5 hours

The day after IM Austria, we headed back to Munich. We were going to go to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria on the way, but we decided that was too long to drive, which proved ironic later as we had some directional difficulties around Munich and drove just as long as if we had gone to Neuschwanstein! Total bummer.

We grabbed some gas and groceries for breakfast and snacks and we hit the road back to Germany. It was lightly raining for a lot of the drive, so we didn't miss much by being in the car. The drive back was beautiful despite the weather and it really wasn't a bad drive. It was quite a quick 4 hours and then we got all messed up around Munich. The next 1.5 were not pretty. We finally gave up and returned the car to the airport and took the S-bahn (commuter train) into Munich. That was pretty funny since we kept having groups of middle-school aged boys coming on and off and they were lounging on the floor and playing card games. I am a total non-germophobe and even I thought it was a little disgusting! They were having fun though.

Little towns nestled in the mountains

Fog hanging on the mountains

There were castles all along the road

In Germany we saw tons of solar panels on private homes and farms

We checked out the Hauptbahnhof train station so we'd know where to go in the morning and then we walked about 5 minutes to our hotel. It was on a super busy street, but I thought that the hotel itself was very nice, especially considering the price and location. After we got straightened out and cleaned up, we headed out into Munich.

We hit up an internet cafe, got a plug converter for a 3-pronged American plug and then did some sight-seeing. We walked to the Marienplatz, a famous old square in Munich where they have the Altes Rathaus (Old Cityhall) and the Glockenspiel (clock). It has been turned into a shopping area and it was cool to see the stores situated in such old buildings. Even though it was a Monday night, the whole area was very busy. Lots of people were shopping and others were taking pictures and everyone was having fun.
Walking towards Marienplatz

All the old buildings now house shops and cafes

Altes Rathaus


After we checked out the Marienplatz, we went around the corner to the Hofbrauhaus, a restaurant recommended to us by some friends who had been to Munich in the past. It is a traditional German beer house and it is most famous for being part of Bavaria's famous Oktoberfest. It seemed very touristy, but worth it nonetheless. We ate on the ground floor where there are long family style tables, so you end up sitting with other parties. We sat with two American women and a young daughter who were visiting Europe with one of the women's French husband and with a young European couple, a Trinidadian guy who lives in the UK and a German girl who studied in the UK. We had beers, of course. Janda got the Hofbrauhus traditional one liter beer and I got a half a liter wheat beer. Janda also got a traditional meal, sausage and sauerkraut and I got spatzle, sort of like a German macaroni and cheese. It was super good, better than American mac and cheese. We hung out there talking for about 3 hours and then headed back to our hotel to try to get some sleep before our early morning train to Paris.

The Hofbrauhaus

Marienplatz at night

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