Our group has had the worst luck with trains. Today, we rode a train to spend the day in Munich. Since there was a Bayern Munich soccer game at Allianz Arena in Munich, the trains were packed, even hours before the match. We boarded the train and discovered all the seats were taken in our train car, so we got off at the next stop to get on a different car. The whole train was packed, and we were unable to get back on before the train left the station. The problem was Dr. Feick, Sonja, and a few students were still on that train. We waited at the train station for the next train to arrive and met up with the rest of our group. We eventually made it to Munich and trekked across the city to a fish fountain, where we were supposed to meet our tour guide.
I enjoyed the tour of the city and learned several interesting facts about Munich. For example, at Alter Hof, the young Ludwig IV was kidnapped by a monkey belonging to the Court and brought out onto a tower for hours before the monkey was lured back inside. The tower where the monkey stayed with Ludwig IV became known as the Monkey Tower.
The weather today was hot and sunny, which made it difficult to quickly move through the city. Towards the end of the tour, we went into an enclosed gathering of shops, which helped to cool off from the scorching sun. When we entered, there was a giant ball hanging from the ceiling. I wasn’t sure what its purpose was, but it was cool.
We continued into the mall further and discovered vines on the ceiling with hanging lightbulbs. I think that the vines were added in an attempt to block the sun, but I also found them aesthetically pleasing.
After the tour, we had free time to grab lunch and explore Munich on our own. Most of us decided to eat lunch at Hofbrahaus.
I was expecting a normal restaurant, but my experience at Hofbrahaus was anything but that. Upon walking in, I was greeted with a gift shop, live music, and tables reserved for regular customers. This was a weird concept for me that tables at the entrance were only to be used by certain families and were empty the rest of the time. This seemed inefficient to me, but it was cool- each table had a fancy sign indicating whose table it was. Hofbrahaus has 3 floors of seating and a biergarten. My group was unable to find somewhere to sit until we reached the Festival Hall on the 3rd floor. There were menus in German, but also several in English as Hofbrahaus is a touristy place.
I ordered Munich veal sausages and spaetzle. The spaetzle was seasoned in a lightly flavored brown sauce, which was I found odd considering spaetzle is pale colored and had been plain every other time I ordered it. Eating the sausages was an experience for me. I was unaware that they were cooked in a casing that had to be removed until someone told me, luckily before the food arrived. From there, I was unsure of the best method for removing the casing, so I turned my sausages into a finger food.
Our waiter was a champ for allowing all 18 of us to pay separately. Before leaving the restaurant, I made a stop at the gift shop to buy several souvenirs. Our giant group then split into several smaller groups. I went to a bunch of markets to walk around and bought more souvenirs. Next, we made a stop at a Birkenstock store for several of my friends to get new shoes because this brand is significantly cheaper in Europe. By the time we finished at the store, it was almost time to meet back up with the group to head over to dinner.
Dinner was at a burger place that had 3 different menus. One menu was in German, another in English, and then a German allergy menu. After dinner, we started walking towards the train station. Then, Dr. Feick said the train was leaving in 3 minutes, so we sprinted the rest of the way until we were on the train. Unfortunately, the train was packed, so we had to stand during the ride. I think our group has bad luck with trains.
Dog Counter: Today I saw 70 dogs, which was the record for most dogs seen in one day on this trip!
Low of the Day:
I wish we had longer in Munich to explore. While I was at the markets, other groups explored a park and other locations. I wish we spent another day in Munich or had longer free time.
High of the Day:
I enjoyed that today was a day to be a tourist- we didn’t have much planned and there was no company visit. I think this was part of why this was one of my favorite days of the trip. While we were walking around Munich, I realized that I looked like a stereotypical tourist because I was wearing a backpack, had my jacket tied around my waist, and was carrying many souvenirs. Liv took this picture of me to highlight how much I looked like a tourist. Added bonus: I am unknowingly standing in front of a souvenir shop.