Munich, Germany. D-Day plus 9

by - September 04, 2010

The journey from Frankfurt to Munich was actually quite exciting as it was on one of the high speed networks.  The lovely Claudia gave me and Daniel a lift to the station, while the Toms stayed in bed - Croft was staying with a friend in Heidelberg and Morgie was going back to blighty.  We arrived in Munich at about lunchtime and ate some of the packed lunches that Claudia had prepared for us - we couldn’t stop her generosity for all those of you who think we have had it easy recently.  After heading towards the centre for lunch I got a call from the fifth member of the Overlord team, Emma Hersey, who had landed and was looking for us.  We all had lunch together.

After dropping off our bags, the three of us then went on a free walking tour of the city.  This was three hours long and run by local students.  To be given such a depth of knowledge for free was very impressive and we tipped him well at the end.  The main advantage of having a tour like that is that, even though you see the sites at a much reduced pace, you get the history and stories.  We were able to walk up the street that Hitler and his followers marched along during the Munich Putsch for example.  By this time it was getting late so we went to an Italian for dinner (we can’t ALWAYS have the local cuisine), before going back to the hostel bar for a drink and bed.

We started fairly early the next day and caught the U-bahn to the Olympic Park, site of the 1972 Olympic Games.  Next to the site was the ‘BMW Welt’, home of the BMW HQ and the largest showroom in the world.  It was free, and we spent the morning looking around the car-related exhibits, which were interesting and interactive.  The highlight was a stunt driver showing off a BMW bike by riding it around the showroom, up and down the stairs.  The museum was a really good example of stereotypical German precision - everything was perfect.  From here the three of us wandered into the Olympic Park itself for a look around.  The site was vast and well looked after, but was very empty.  I hope that the Olympic Park in London doesn’t end up as isolated after 2012.  Regardless of this we paid our 2 euro fee to enter the Olympic Stadium and had our lunch outside.

Croft had now arrived from Heidelberg and we headed back into the centre to meet him.  Our first site was one of the churches, the tower of which we climbed, for its views of the city.  The weather has really changed since Frankfurt and the sky was so clear that we were able to see the Alps in the distance.  From here we walked through the main high end shopping street in Munich - to Tom and Daniels’ delight there were several Ferraris parked up.  The walk took us along by the river and through the Englishergarten, where we stopped at the Chinese Pagoda for our first proper Munich beer with giant pretzel.  By now it was getting later into the afternoon, so we headed back into town for a bit of a shop - we have found that a supply of new clothes is quite pleasant when all of the clothes you brought out smell of wet dog.

Our plan for the evening was to try a bit of authentic culture, in the form of drinking a lot.  This started in the Augustiner Brauhaus - a traditional beer hall where we had a really epic meal - the Braumeister special, which consisted of dumplings, chunks of meat, mushroom sauce, ravioli and other bits and pieces.  We all loved it there, and us three guys had our first 1 litre (2 pint) beers, which are actually fairly difficult to drink as the glass and the liquid weight about 2 and a half kilos.  From here we got the train back into town and went to the world famous Hofbrauhaus (Royal Brewery), where we had another litre of beer and another giant pretzel.  This beer hall was every Bavarian sterotype I have ever seen, rolled up into one building - lederhosen, oompah bands, pretzels and beer.  To give you an indication of just how hardcore this place was, to become a official member (there were several of them huddled in the corner with their lederhosen), you had to go for a litre beer five times a week for 22 years. It was a really pleasant night actually and I reckon that Munich has been the best city we have visited thus far.

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