We arrived early and exhausted to Munich, Germany. After making our way through immigration (much more lax than Heathrow) the group filled up buses for our journey to the hotel Ibis. Munich is, much like London, surprisingly green. In many ways the freeway ride reminded me of home–Oregon with it’s vast variety of green scenery.
Our short time in Munich kicked off with a walk about the area near our hotel. We found ourselves in the midst of a historic reconstructed area with baroque architecture, some type of bell tower, fountains and fruit stands galore. Having already squandered 100 pounds, I opted for an inexpensive, but magically delicious, nectarine and continued exploring the square with its odd mixture of department stores, restaurants, fast food chains, tourist shops and old structures. Here, I came across what I later discovered was not a palace, but rather a government building of sorts. It was stunning and very pleasing to the eye with it’s pink flowers sprinkled below balconies all set against the glowing blue sky.
One thing I loved about Munich was the number of bicycles I saw. This seemed to be the favored form of transportation, which is wonderful to me. It seems appropriate too considering that Munich is relatively flat.
Continuing on my walk I spotted a large sign for Spaten beer, so I, along with Jim, roamed over to the brewery hoping to take a cheap tour. Sadly though, 10 Euro was out of our budget. Later, joining the rest of the group, we went on a bus tour of Munich passing the Olympic city of ’72, the beer district flooding with it’s many beer gardens and a number of forgotten structures. Forgotten because I can’t recall their names and stories.
The evening started properly with a long lovely walk in search of a beer garden. Many students in the group complained out of frustration of not knowing exactly where we were going and also my apparently fast walking speed. I have a feeling I may be exploring much of Prague on my own.
The beer garden was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Hundreds of people sat at long tables visiting with friends and families while the children frolicked about the playground inside. In the beer garden everything was big; the mugs filled to the brim with Augsteiner, the pretzels and even the German men who were reaching heights to the sky.
A healthy share of beer drunken, the gang ventured back to the hotel only to venture to yet another drink at yet another swanky joint. The night finally came to a close with me concocting a list of questions for an interview with Thao and quickly crashing to the heat of my computer warming up my lap.