No, I didn’t forget to keep writing about our trip to Europe, I just had some REAL WORK to do, that involved pictures and the computer and my mind could only take some much photo multitasking last week. So here we go! If you have totally forgotten what was happening ‘last time’ – just read this first to catch you up.
When we last heard from our tired journal writer… hehe. Ok – here it is in all it’s scatterbrained glory – Day 4 of our trip:
Okay, I need to catch up but I will do that on our train ride to Fussen in the morning. Long day must sleep…..
…I’m a little tired writing this (so tired that I started on the train this morning, quit, and am now writing again at night)… So, Monday. Short version. [I’ve expanded the short version for the blog – trust me, it was short] We got up and ready and went downstairs to a wonderful breakfast at the hotel. Like all kinds of jams and breads and cheeses – oh the cheeses – they have one that is actually 7 kinds of cheese mixed together. It’s awesome. And very good coffee. It was a bright and sunny morning, thankfully. We headed out and walked towards the Marienplatz (Munich city center plaza). On the way we stopped at Frauenkirche (it’s a church) and checked it out. It was one of the few churches we visited in Europe that actually let you take pictures inside.
It was beautiful. We also went up one of the towers. 83 steps to get to the elevator. =) The view from the top was amazing, and it was nice to start our first full day in Munich with a few of the city from above – and yes, you could see the Alps. It was a bit hazy, but they were there. I mean, come on, they’re the ALPS.
After that we visited Mike’s Bike Tours to get put on the list for the trip to Neuschwanstein the next day. Then we headed back to the Marienplatz to watch all the tourists gather to watch the Glockenspiel …and maybe watch it ourselves. Although just watching “the gathering of the tourists” was a bit more interesting to me, honestly. After the grand display, we got some yummy lunch from a grocery store underneath a department store. Interesting. We got a pretzel to share (just a medium sized one) and when we started to eat it we thought it was filled with cheese – but then we realized it was butter. FILLED with butter. It was still good and heck we needed the energy for the bike ride. =)
So we met up with the Mike’s Bike Tour people for our Munch bike tour. That was honestly one of the highlights of our whole trip. We rode our awesome cruiser bikes all around town – in their lovely designated bike lanes (some on the road, most on the sidewalk), stopping frequently to learn about some part of the city. We literally learned so much it would take me several more posts just to tell you about it all. Our guide, Andy, was awesome and knowledgeable and Irish.
Yup, most of the tour guides from this company are not actually German and all are usually native English speakers. The tour was four hours long, but we saw so much and we made a stop at the Chinese Beirgarten (either the largest or one of the largest in the world) and had food and beir of course. I tried another Radler and this one was better than the one from Rothenburg. The pretzels were massive and awesome (and not filled with butter). Riding through the English garden (yes, in Germany) was my favorite part. It is huge and winding with dirt/gravel paths and so many trees. It was just so nice and wonderful and relaxing. I HIGHLY recommend it if you ever go. Seriously. I asked one of the girls riding (she was the designated “back end” girl of the group – so the leader always knew we were all still there) if she’d ever seen Now & Then, the movie – and that this reminded me of when all the girls are riding down the road on their big handlebar bikes – and we just started singing… “Sugar, Sugar“. It was awesome.
So… after that tour, we took a little break and went and had some coffee before heading over to our 2nd tour of the day, the Beer & Brewery Tour by Munich Walk. It’s all about the history of beer and Munich and all that. We went to several local breweries – some to just try and another we went down and saw how everything is done..and then ate dinner there. I actually had most of a whole German Hefeweizen (wheat beer) all by myself. The other folks on the tour were proud-and amused by my beer face. The beer wasn’t bad – it’s just never going to be something I enjoy. But that was it – after that I just gave away my free samples. Then of course, we went to Hofbrauhaus, the famous beer hall. There is more history here than most people realize – this is actually where Hitler gave one of his early speeches in 1920 (Read more here). Munich was eager after the war to rid itself of many of the signs of Hitler’s time there – so there are lots of things that have been removed and painted over. Even the ceiling in the main beer hall was painted to cover the swastikas. Anyway – that place certainly was roudy and the beers are HUGE, for that matter the coke’s aren’t too small either =) Then we headed back to the hotel (and helped a few fellow tour friends find theirs) and called it a night.
Sidenote: I apparently led us home through what could technically be considered a ‘red light district’, but St. Paul’s Church stands tall over the whole street – which I just think is kind of humourous.