Today started off better than almost every other day so far due to the fact that I was able to sleep until 8 instead of 6 or 7. We were tasked soon after with navigating our way onto the train system to arrive at Munich. I realized that transportation in Germany is far more efficient than in the United States, which we have benefited from greatly on this trip. The tram system has allowed for us to make it to each step of our action-packed schedule. Once we arrived at the last train stop, we made our way through an ocean of people to the Marienplatz. The Glockenspiel welcomed us right away as it began to ring its bells and spin the statues right in the center of the building.
The Glockenspiel was one of the most wonderful pieces of architecture that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. There were hundreds of people gathered around the square mesmerized by the show it was putting on. I had not been on busier streets since I was in New York City a few years ago. We traversed through the crowds with the help of a tour guide who also taught us a great amount of information about the city and its history. We got to see more beautiful architecture as well, causing the two hour tour to go by very quickly.
Once that was over, we were given to freedom to explore the city for about five hours. Our first stop had to be food because everyone was beyond hungry after walking for two straight hours. Maxi led us to Wirtshaus zum Straubinger, which had a nice seating area outside surrounded by trees. It was also a perfect day for weather with 70 degrees, clear skies, and a nice breeze, so the seating was perfect. The items on the menu were a tad expensive, but these things tend to be ignored when on vacation. I thought I would try a beef with potatoes and vegetables, which turned out to be a lovely choice. Each day I still find a place to try new German food and it does not disappoint.
When we were paying for our food, a lovely gentlemen who might have been being taken away for his excessive intoxication. He actually accused Ben of stealing his credit card, which was very funny to the group, considering there was no way that was possible. We finished paying and then decided to go spend even more money on souvenirs and gifts for our loved ones. There were plenty of stores scattered around a small area, but they all had the same items, which was slightly underwhelming. Overall, I got a chance to gauge a feeling for the city and see the differences from other places I’ve been. It is always nice to experience a new area and there was so much to see in the largest city in Bavaria.
Our free time was eaten up quickly as we looked at German souvenirs and Legos, the greatest toys ever created, so we had to travel over to the group dinner at Hans im Gluk. A group of us were even quizzed by a man who was a Pitt alumni. It was incredible that one of the few Americans we see, they went to the same university as we do currently.
We met up with the others and made a quick stop at a park right next to the restaurant. It was a large area of green with a fountain in the middle that was a breath of fresh-air juxtaposed next to the busy streets of Munich’s city center.
The restaurant we ate at was a reminder of home because it was their premise was a German take on American burgers and fries. It was definitely nice to have a feel for home after being gone for over a week.
Ultimately, the day was very exciting and was filled with many new informational experiences that I will remember forever. Each day I am reminded of how lucky I am to go on a trip like this accompanied by wonderful people.