Today we made our first mistake. We were traveling to Munich for the day and on our way there we all got off and tried to move to the next car up as the car we were currently on was filled. I didn’t ask I just followed everyone. Mob mentality. This plan failed miserably as every car was crushed with people traveling to the Bayern Munich match later that day. We actually got one of the doors open but the people standing on the train just laughed at us. With us now stranded at the train stop we took this time to count and we realized that we left a few of our own on the train. While Arielle was communicating with the people left on the train, I took this new found free time to learn some more German through an app on my phone. I was not worried about arriving in Munich I knew that there would be another train soon. I also knew Arielle would figure it out because up to this point we were on time for everything and we never had an issue. I definitely blew this out of proportion – if anything it was a blip on the radar. Anyway, we got on the next train and rode it all the way into Munich. It was probably destiny that we got on this train because I met a music professor who happened to have given a guest lecture at Pitt on Bach. The only reason we met is because I was wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates shirt and he asked if I was a student at Pitt. It was some great international small talk about Pitt. It was fate.
Once we arrived in Munich on the alternate train we met up with the rest of our group and started to walk towards Marienplatz which contained the Munich townhall. When we approached the townhall, I couldn’t help but think that it was hundreds of years old. It had the architecture and design of medieval buildings. The building was rebuilt and reconstructed at the end of the 1990s and it is identical to the original town hall. The town hall also contained a glockenspiel that would ring at 11, 12, and 5pm. I unfortunately was not around to see the glockenspiel in action, but I watched a video on YouTube so it’s basically the same thing.
Next, we went on a small tour of Munich and our first stop was St. Peter’s church located right off the Marienplatz. According to our tour guide, on a clear day you are able to see the alps from the top of the church. We didn’t get to go inside the church, but I am starting to notice a pattern that most cities in Germany contain incredible churches. After admiring the church, we walked to a place that I have seen before, the Hofbrauhaus. I haven’t seen the original Hofbrauhaus before but there is one in the southside of Pittsburgh, so I had some familiarity.
All in all, the tour of Munich was great. Even though we were in the most populated city in Bavaria I didn’t feel like we were in a big city. I never felt like I was being engulfed by surrounding buildings and even on a matchday the city did not feel crowded.
After the tour we were given free time in Munich to explore and see what we want to see. I chose to visit the stadium of Bayern Munich which was actually north of the city. It was a gameday and I was curious to see if there were any differences between gameday atmospheres of football and soccer. Turns out there aren’t many differences except one. A large group of Bayern supporters lined up in preparation to enter the stadium and began to chant. I have never seen anything quite like that in America but I think we should start.