Today, we went to Munich, one of the biggest and most famous cities in Germany. We began with a bit of a train fiasco… We all piled onto the train in Augsburg but most of us had to stand and it was going to be around a 45 minutes ride. So, when the train stopped along the way, we all ran out and tried to switch train cars at the station. Wouldn’t you know it, the other car was also full. So…. We ran back to the car we were on but the doors closed and the train left us. We only had to wait for maybe 20 minutes ta the station, but it was hilarious at the time. The issue was Sonja, our German guide, had the tickets and she was very much not on the train we got on. So, I believe Dr. Feick had to grab our tickets and swap trains in order to make sure we had our tickets. Either way, we ended up in Munich.
Everyone was decked out in Bayern-Munchen gear as a big match was that day. We got a tour from a nice lady with a red binder. Anywhere she would go, she held it up so we wouldn’t get completely lost. The tour was interesting and we got to see the beautiful buildings in the town square, one of which had a carousel at the top that would activate and play some accompanying music at key times throughout the day. But, honestly, I was more concerned about the sunburn I was getting. Thankfully, Josh bailed me out and got me some. We were given the full day in the city after that. Almost all of us went to the original Hofbrauhaus, perhaps the most famous beer hall in the world. It was staggeringly huge with live music that really set the tone. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from Munich, but it felt like a combination of Chicago and Ulm. What I mean by that is this is a city with passion and heart, but at the end of the day it isn’t really that big, just as Germany isn’t as big as the US at all. I really like the environment that creates. It is possible to fully know the ins and outs of a city and to know many people in the city. I thoroughly enjoy that environment. Alan, Jeremy and I spent the day wandering around to different stores. We got kicked out of the Porsche store because they were marketing to wealthy middle aged businessmen and women, not really 19 year old broke college students studying abroad. Understandable. But that store was pretty cool! There was a gadget store that had a floating lightbulb that was somehow lit. Jeremy went nuts for that. The city had a melding of indoor and outdoor environments. The mall simultaneously felt closed off and outside. Many open-air sections tied the storefronts together. The quality of street performers here is way better than Pittsburgh. Gone is the old guy who can’t play piano playing piano outside Dunkin Donuts. They had a freestyle soccer player right by the town square who amazed, and a man who played the piano and a foot drum at the same time whose music I am going to listen to for quite a while. Much better! I loved Munich. We were pretty exhausted after a day of walking around. We grabbed some ice cream, something I got in the habit of doing, and left.
The ride back was peaceful, largely because everyone slept. That night was pretty relaxed and we just got ready for the next day.