Our trip to Munich started out rather early. We could not get a train directly to Munich, so we were required to have a two-hour overlay at a small train station in west Germany. We arrived at the first train station around midnight, tired and hungry. The only thing that was open, however, was an Asian fast-food restaurant that was actually not that bad. I was expecting my first meal in Germany to be some form of meat, potatoes, and beer. Instead, I got teriyaki chicken in a Chinese take-out box.
Around 2am, our next train finally came. We found our seats and fell asleep immediately. I woke up to my friend shaking me awake saying that we had made it to Munich.
Across from our train platform there was a small café. To this day, I have no idea what pastry I ate, just that it was one of the best things I had ever tasted.
As soon as I sat down, however, I realized I had made a grave mistake and left my iPhone charger plugged into the outlet on the train. Immediately I ran back to the platform, hopped on the train and searched for charger. It could not be found. I went up to the information booth to ask if someone had turned one in. They said no and also said that my charger couldn’t possibly be on that train since it had been there all morning. I asked her where the other train we had just taken 10 minutes ago could be. She said she had no idea.
After checking into our hostel, we decided to take another free walking tour. We really enjoyed the tour we took in London and so we thought it would be fun to do another one in Munich.
Our tour started in Marienplatz, the main square in the center of Munich. Marienplatz is most notable for the giant glockenspiel that looms overhead. Every day at 11am, 12pm, and 5pm, the figures on the glockenspiel move while a song is chimed.
We saw the local beer garden, farmers market, and a giant maypole, as well as the opera house, Hofbräuhaus, and St Peter’s Church.
After the tour, we hung out at the beer garden with some of the others who were on the tour with us. It was nice to relax after a long day that started around six in the morning.
The following morning, we shopped around Marienplatz and then headed to the farmers’ market to pick up lunch and take it to the English garden, one of the biggest parks in Munich.
On our way back to the hostel, we passed by a river running through the park where we saw surfers riding what seemed to be a man-made wave. We stood there for at least 20 minutes just watching the surfers ride the river.
That night, we went to the Augustiner Braustuben, a beer hall near our hostel. In the beer hall you sit at long tables next to complete strangers and with all the beer you drink, you make friends fast.
We ended up meeting two brothers and their wives. One of the brothers was deaf. We were able to communicate, however, through hand gestures, and writing a mixture of German and English on a small notepad that my friend had with her. It was unique and memorable experience, to say the least. If you ever have a chance to go to a German beer hall, go. You never know what kind of people you will meet.
Our final day in Munich was spent walking around the Marienplatz and going tourist shopping. The other part of our day was making sure I could get on the train back home.
Before leaving for spring break, we ordered our train tickets from Munich back to Rome through what I now know to be a terrible train site known as Rail Europe. The site would not let us print out our tickets at home. Instead, they mailed them to you. Of course, my ticket did not arrive before we left for spring break. The lady at the front desk at school was kind enough to scan my ticket and email it to me. I had printed out the ticket during the week but wanted to be sure that I would not run into any problems on the train.
The lady at the train station said that the ticket would be considered invalid and that I should buy a new one. The only problem was that the train was completely full. After arguing with her that my ticket was completely valid, I just decided to get on the train with my ticket to see what would happen.
As soon as I got on the train, the conductor took my ticket, looked at it, and asked if I wanted coffee the following morning. Cue my sigh of relief.
And thus ended my spring break. I learned a lot over the week, namely the following:
• There is a vegan movement.
• The vegan movement is trying to make its presence known to the world.
• Coldplay ♥’s Vegans.
• The Harry Potter Studio tour is one of the most magical things ever.
• Paris is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world.
• Munich has good Asian food.
• Germany doesn’t keep track of their trains very well.
• The daily life of a German always consists of food, friends, and beer.
• You can surf in Munich.
• With a little effort and a pen and paper, you can communicate with anyone.