Europe: Day 5

Munich, Germany

The day started out later than I had expected. I wanted to get up early enough to get breakfast since I had a long trip to Munich but since I got to bed late last night, I couldn’t get myself out of bed on time. Nonetheless, I had some errands to run before catching the train.

I will be staying with my friend Mel in Munich so I’d thought I’d grab her some flowers. I wanted to pick up some in the Cologne train station but then I’d have to tend to it for the next few days. There was a florist shop in a store not too far from the hotel so I rushed on over to get one. I later found out that there was a florist in the train station that I could have gone to rather than rushing to the other one.

I hopped on the train and found my seat. I sat across from an older gentleman and the seat next to us were both empty. The train started moving in the direction that I was facing but after falling asleep, the train changed direction so now I was going backwards. That gave me a headache!

Upon arriving in the Munich train station, I found that the weather was just as hot as Cologne. By the time I found Mel, I was already starting to sweat. Mel had to hand in a final assignment for her courses so we walked on over to her school. Now I’m starting to get drenched even more! But on the bright side, I got to see a bit of Munich before heading over to Mel’s apartment.

After settling in, I got changed into something more comfortable and cooler and then we took off. Just on the first day alone, Mel gave me a crash course about Munich. We walked all over the place and according to my smartphone, I walked at least 20km. The previous day I walked about 30km but that was over the course of a day. In Munich, I walked the 20km just in a few hours. It’s a good thing I’m still rather young.

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Our first stop was Marienplatz. It’s the centre of Munich and located in it is city hall. There’s a glockenspiel in the tower but I missed that time when it went off. We head across city hall, into St. Peter’s church. I believe it was a 13 story climb up to the top.

The view from the top of the tower is amazing. You can see a 360 degree view of Munich. For example, views of popular landmark such as the Olympic park, BMW Headquarter and Church of our Lady. Just standing here gave me a glimpse of the days to come.

As we were walking around and taking pictures, we noticed that everyone was gone and there were no new visitors to the tower. Someone said something on the intercom but it wasn’t audible. After taking a few more pictures, we decided to head down and continue our walk. As we got to bottom, Mel noticed that the door was slightly ajarred. Upon opening the door, we realized that the tower has been closed for 30 minutes. The person working at the entrance must have left the door ajarred so we can leave. If someone had closed that door, we would have been stuck in the tower.

We carried on and walked towards the tourist area. There, I found shops to purchase post cards and magnets. At the end of the tourist area is one of Munich’s famous brewers, Hofbräuhaus. We didn’t go inside for a beer. That’s for later.

Not too far from the tourist area is Maximilianstraße, known for its expensive shops. Just looking on the street, you can see a bunch of expensive cars parked along it. Cars like Mercedes AMG SL65, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and a BMW i8. Just the price of these three cars alone is will over $500,000! These are cars that I can only dream of owning but perhaps one day I can buy a used one.

We passed a street car that looked like there were people inside having a partying. Or perhaps some sort of beer tasting event. The weather outside was a little hot so a nice cold beer would hit the spot. But looking at the faces of the people inside the street car, it didn’t look like they were very satisfied. Then we noticed that the street car had a few windows opened. The AC must have broken down so they’re no better off than we were.

We came to a bridge that crosses the river Isar. It is the fourth largest river in Bavaria. On the other side of the bridge was the Angel of Peace. We didn’t look much into the subject. I saw it, took a picture and moved on.

I guess this guy was very eager to get a picture of the Angel of Peace that he got out of his car to take a picture. If that was me, I’d just take it from inside the car. But I think that the angle that he got was better.

We walked along the Isar and came to the English garden, where we found a bunch of river surfers. I’ve seen this type of thing on YouTube before but wasn’t sure exactly what I as seeing. Apparently, there’s a part of the river where the river narrows and created a permanent waves for surfers to enjoy. Each surfer took turns jumping in and the next would go when the current surfer wipes out. This part of the river isn’t that wide so it’s cool to see how the surfers manage to go left and right. Some would even splash water at surfers and bystanders on the river bank.

After a long walk, we came to the Chinese tower and a biergarten. Mel has always told me about biergartens but I had no idea what she was talking about. In Canada, we just have pubs that have a patio. That’s the closest thing that we have to a biergarten. But after seeing an actual biergarten, I wasn’t even close. Forget the patio, a biergarten is a massive area with hundreds of tables for people to sit around and enjoy some ice cold beer. There could have been 500 people in this biergarten, easy.

Mel ordered me an Augstine(?) and a “radler” for herself. I’ve never heard of either but Mel tells me that a radler or shandy, is half beer and sparkling lemonade. Legends suggest that it’s mixed this way because of cyclist. You don’t want to drink and ride a bike. I tried a bit of radler and it tasted like Sprite.

We ended the night with more walking, this time in the direction of the theater area. It would have been nice to catch something in the theater, even if it was in German but perhaps next time.

This first day in Munich was just packed with many sights, a lot more than I had expected. Mel was a great tour guide. The things that we did today are probably things that I would have never seen or done if I had wandered around on my own. It’s nice to have someone who knows their way around and I rather enjoyed the company.

My impressions on the first day in Munich is that there’s plenty of things to see and do so it’s definitely worth spending a few days here. I didn’t have anything planed out for Munich because I didn’t have much time to do any planning. The only thing that I was interested in seeing was the glockenspiel in Marienplatz. Munich is a city that I would like to come back to, just to see and do some more things.

3 thoughts on “Europe: Day 5

  1. Hi Don,
    It sounds like you are having an awesome time. I love all of the little details you give. Helps me to appreciate everything you are seeing. I don’t I could have walked the distance you are walking though! When we were in Vegas we thought we did good walking 8 km over the day. Still waiting for the days between July 3rd and today – when you have time of course. I guess this would use up some of the time o the train rides between the towns ?? :O)

    1. Sometimes I get a little lazy with the walking but when there’s company, I don’t seem to mind it at all. I try to write in as much details as possible because sometimes I forget. Getting old, you know…

  2. Hi Don,

    Raymond and I were just talking about you – he said “one more week” but he will survive, I hope …. Enjoy the remainder of your trip … and the beer

    Sylvia

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