May 11th: With an entire day for touring and exploring Munich, I was beyond excited to see what the day had in store.
Taking a break from our usual procedure of company visits, this Saturday we took a train out to the city of Munich. Being the largest city in Bavaria, it was definitely a change in pace from our usual days in Augsburg. Munich not only had more things to do, but it also was filled with tourists just like us. That had its downsides since it very obviously felt like we did not live here, but it was exciting nonetheless.
Once we arrive we took a guided tour of the city, similar to the other city tours in the past. We started at the center of the city, looking at the city hall as a small show went on of spinning figures at the center of the cathedral. Directly in front of that was a golden statue, which we were told was the geographical center that was used for any travelers.
After this, we roamed around the city looking at different architectural sites. At points I felt very lost in where we were, it felt like it was just additional parts of the city being thrown in. Similar to New York, there were a lot of businesses that were actually operating underground, so this made it confusing for me. I did take lots of photos of buildings and sites, I just was not sure exactly where it was. One of the most interesting designs I saw was called “fake architecture”, which was painted on lines to resemble structures.
Once I had free time I went with a group back to Hofbrauhaus for dinner. Turns out that our entire group went, which had its benefits and downsides. We were able to sit on the second floor where I had the veal sausages, sweet mustard, and a pretzel. This was my first time eating veal sausages, which I was grateful our waiter informed us that we had to peel off the casing. The food was insanely good and I cannot wait until we get to eat it as a group for breakfast.
After that, I went with a small group to go buy souvenirs from Munich where we bought some gifts to give to people back home. After this, we decided to go back to the market because we wanted to get some fruit. I got a bag full of cherries and Sahana got strawberries, then we all went and sat back in the beer garden. Sitting with the group, eating fruit, and making jokes was such a great part of the trip because I was able to get closer to different members in the group I have not really had a conversation with. My favorite parts on the trip so far have been focused on making new connections through the culture of Germany, so sharing the experience in the beer garden was a major highlight of the trip.
We decided to leave once we had to meet back with the group, so we walked back to the town center. While we were waiting at the fountain we noticed that there was a fenced-off square with police surrounding. We had actually arrived just before a protest, which we figured out from context clues was about abortion. Those who were pro-life were positioned inside the fence, while a few who were pro-choice were positioned outside. Earlier that day we had seen members from the pro-choice group shaking hands with the police and signing documents, so it was most likely an official protest.
Since I have never been an organizer in a protest like that, I am not sure if any information is given to the police ahead of time. From my perspective, the relationship with the police and protesters (especially pro-choice parties) is not as friendly as what I saw today in Germany. I’m interested to ask some of the other German students the relationship an opinion most people have about the police since in the states it could be the complete opposite.
For dinner, we all walked back near the train station to a burger place that had a very cool interior design inside. Steph and I got one avocado burger and then a pesto burger, which we split in half and shared. Overall Munich was so full of life and things to do that I think I will be going back there for the free day. Going to Munich did make me incredibly grateful for living in Augsburg. After seeing the number of tourists that crowded Munich, I’m excited to have more peaceful days in Augsburg where it feels more like I am a part of Germany. When my group was able to sit and relax in Munich was probably the highlight of the day, so I think when I return to Munich I would plan on doing something similar.