After relatively sleeping a lot in comparison to the past few days, I headed down stairs lured by the thought of fresh fried bacon and buttery croissants. I have to give props to the organization of this trip for picking a fantastic hotel with an even better breakfast. We ate with eager minds; I’m pretty sure we were all excited for the upcoming day… we were headed to Munich! Munich was my first trip to an international big city and I had a fantastic time. We first caught the train at the station in Augsburg. It was my first time on a train and, to me, the platform kind of felt like an airport; it was actually very cool. I also love the idea of being able to get around a country so quickly. Given the United States is so much larger than Germany, still you can go from a smaller town to one of the biggest cities in Europe in such a short time. Once we arrived in Munich it was clear just how big the city was by taking a look at its train station. It felt even more like an airport with people rushing around hoping not to miss their train. We started our day with a city tour. I had no idea how historic Munich was. I knew that many events from the past century had unfolded there but I didn’t know that the city was founded back in 1158. One thing I especially loved was seeing that there was a Vapiano location in Munich! I do love Vapiano but I agree it was better to try something new due to only being in the city for one day.
The tour took us all over the city; it felt like I walked as far as the eye can see from the top of Laber mountain. My favorite part of the city was the produce market. The market was so large and it sold so many different things such as cheese, fruits and vegetables and breads.
One thing I loved was seeing the glockenspiel in Marienplatz. Although it is a major tourist attraction, I didn’t know it existed before. It was so unique to see all the different moving parts of the tower and just how many people were there to see it. Another thing from the tour that surprised me were the palaces in the city and their massive courtyards that at once were only accessible to the Wittelsbach family. The gardens reminded somewhat of Central Park with a huge amount of grass space and pathways winding around the trees.
After the tour we were given free time to do whatever we pleased. I’m pretty sure everyone in the group decided to eat lunch at the original Hofbräuhaus. I got two veal sausages and a pretzel. The sausages were amazing but what was even better was the mustard. It tasted like the perfect cross between a honey mustard and a yellow mustard. I had never had anything like it in my life before but I definitely need to get some to being home to America.
After getting some German cuisine in my stomach, a group of us set out to do some souvenir shopping. I got many good gifts for family and friends that I don’t want to spoil in the case that they read this blog. I also picked up a Mother’s Day gift that I am sure my mom will love. Also not going to spoil because if anyone in my family is reading this I know it is her. (Hi Mom)
We then proceeded to go to the market to get some produce and it was delicious. We got strawberries and cherries and they were so juicy. There’s a part of me that is somewhat sad that I can’t bring any produce home. I guess there are other produce stands in the US that are also very good.
The group then met in Marienplatz to walk to dinner. However, as we were meeting I saw one of my friends from the University of Pittsburgh! His name is Chirag and he will be a senior mechanical engineering student in the fall. He is currently studying abroad for the spring semester in Munich. Crazy how small the world can seem at times! For dinner we went to a burger place called Hans im Glueck Isarpost. It was actually kind of nice to get a taste of American food. The burger I had was called the Wilder Western and it was smothered in barbeque sauce, certainly very delicious.
It was a long day in Munich with plenty and plenty of walking. On the train ride home, we were slumped! Definitely a great nap getting us re-energized for our second week in Germany.
Highlight of the Day: Touring around Munich and picking out some great souvenirs.
Low of the Day: Chilly wind