You may be getting bored of the reports that consist of what I had for breakfast but like everyone knows it’s the most important meal of the day. Today I started the day with a classic waffle, a croissant, and some yogurt. I have to say I think I’m in love with the jam in Germany, I just cannot get over it. We walked over to train station next and caught the train to Munich. At the train station, there was a McDonald’s and I think it’s so interesting how there are so many in Augsburg and Germany in general. We went inside the McDonald’s and it felt even more modern with the ones in the U.S., having touchscreen machines to order off of. In addition, the train station had “terminals” for each train which was similar to the one at home. The way they are laid out is pretty different though, in New York there are more rows but here they are in groups of four and they have seats going along the side near the bathroom as well.
Once we got off the train in Augsburg, it was quite obvious that we were now in a bigger city. There were people everywhere, so many restaurants everywhere, and even the roads were different. In Augsburg, there were a ton of cobblestone streets but in Munich there were not nearly as many, and there was so much construction being done. Munich is much newer of a city though, as Munich was founded in the 10th century and Augsburg before Christ. We made our way towards Marienplatz, the most touristy place in Munich. On the way, we walked through a street that was full of shops and I was surprised by how many American stores there were but even more by the sheer number of H&Ms, I’m pretty sure I saw at least five just on that street. We made it to Marienplatz just in time for the glockenspiel to perform. All the buildings looked so intricate and beautiful, and it’s incredible that they are still in use. The cathedral still functions as a town hall and where the offices of many government employees is. Marienplatz actually had to be rebuilt after World War II as the destruction had ruined many of the buildings. From there we started a city tour, our guide took us to the market, the English gardens, St. Peters Church, and Odeonsplatz. So many of them were these beautiful courtyards which was not what I was expecting in the middle of a big city like Munich. One of the highlights of the tour for me was getting to see the market, all the fruits and vegetables looked so fresh and like it would taste amazing, stay tuned if you want to know how amazing it ended up tasting. We ended our tour in a small square that a small model of the city in it. On the tour, we learned that Munich has over 6 million visitors for Oktoberfest which shocked me as I knew it was a huge festival, but I did not realize to what degree.
Once the tour ended, we were allowed to go off on our own. For lunch, we ate at the Hofbräuhaus and I was overwhelmed by just how large it was. We were on the second floor, but there were so many people there. I couldn’t believe they were able to run an establishment so large with organization, being able to keep track of orders and the checks. I got Käsespätzle and a pretzel and I really enjoyed them both. I liked the spätzle with cheese a lot more than regular spätzle, and it had fried onions on the top making it better.
All twenty of us decided to go there for lunch, the Plus 3 group from last year said they usually broke off into groups, but I really love much our group likes to stick together. We have become like one big family and I have to say it has been one of the highlights of this trip so far. Our next stop was buying souvenirs for all of our friends and family back home, this is when we split into smaller groups based on what everyone wanted to do with their free time in Munich. I bought some postcards, a mug, a t-shirt, and some magnets. What I thought was interesting is that in the souvenir shops, teddy bears frequently appeared on items and in my head, I never really associated teddy bears with Germany. Munich was a smaller city then I expected. In my head I knew it was quite well-known, so I expected it to be larger, and modern so I thought it would be something closer to New York City but as this city is a lot older a lot of the sites we got to see were older in general. And we didn’t get a chance to see the downtown where people work so from my point of view the city seemed a lot smaller than I expected although a lot larger than Augsburg. It is also filled with so much culture even though it is a modern city filled with lots of shopping spots and such.
After our souvenir detour, we made our way to the market. I bought a box of strawberries which I had thought looked amazing earlier. I was also able to find a jar of jam made with the lingonberries that I had loved oh so much, two days previously. I was so excited as I have now insured that I will definitely have jam when I get back to New York. After making my purchases, I proceeded to sit a table nearby with the rest of the group and eat some of the strawberries, which were absolutely FANTASTIC. They were the best strawberries I have ever had, by far. They were so juicy and sweet, and I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to take any of those back for my parents to try. I was really surprised that they had such wonderful, ripe strawberries in Germany as nobody really mentions anything about strawberries or fruit in general in Germany but they have stands on so many street corners.
We then gathered in Marienplatz so we could head to dinner, where we saw a pro-life protest happening and the people who pro-choice were counter protesting. We also had the chance to run into one of me, Ryan, and Brett’s friends from Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity that I am a part of. It was really awesome to have seen him there. I mean who would think to see someone from home, thousands of miles away from there. We then ate at Hans im Glück for dinner. I loved that they had so many vegetarian options, and the burger I ended up getting was really good. The theme of their restaurant was fairytale themed and it looked lovely, like there was a forest inside the restaurant. We then took the train back to campus and got a good night’s rest after a long day in München.