Munich, Germany

24 hours in Munich. Minus one hour getting lost en route to my hostel. Here’s what I did with my remaining 23 hours:

23 Hours in Munich

  • Walked around the English gardens and witnessed surfers literally riding a wave created by a dam under a bridge.
  • Visited a concentration camp.
  • Ate roasted pork and drank a half liter of local  German beer.
  • Took a picture with a German woman in traditional German attire, yielding a giant pretzel.
Munich, done and done.
For those who believe the devil is in the details, here’s the story:

Story Time

I arrived at Munich’s main bus station to once again realize my directions were backwards – seriously, what is wrong with me?

Ha!

I piece together the directions by working backwards, find my hostel, and quickly head out to explore the city with the remaining few hours of sunlight. I grab a map, which obviously goes straight into my back pocket, not to be consulted again.
I walk through Marienplatz Square, the heart of Munich, grab dinner and eventually find myself smack dab in the middle of the Englischer Garten, my predetermined destination! Love it when that (rarely) happens. I stroll through the beautiful gardens until I become bored (longer than 5 minutes, I was kind of impressed with myself), and randomly take a left at an unknown street.

Marienplatz Square

Outskirts of Englischer Garten

I pass a few impressive architectural designs, debate going into a museum (for. 002 seconds), and then draw upon a crowd, looking down at the river.

This looks governmental

I join the throng of people, and realize I have stumbled upon the famous Englischer Garten surfers! Excellent! I watch the surfers ride a dam-created wave, and head home, deciding I’ve seen enough of Munich, for today.

Surfing…USA Germany

Dam-created swells

The next day, I meet up with Martin, my German squash partner, scuba diving buddy, and friend I studied with at UT. Martin was not only nice enough to take the 7am train into Munich, but he came bearing gifts of chocolate and cake – he knows me oh so well.

Martin and I join the Dachau concentration camp tour group (or, a random walking tour group…not entirely clear) and head off, as Martin alternates between speaking German to me, and English to the locals…hey, switching languages must get confusing.

We arrive at Dachau, where we learn about the gruesome torture tactics and overall horrifying treatment of the camp’s prisoners. I take a picture of Martin in front of the barracks, automatically instructing him to smile, to which Martin extracts my sole laugh of the morning by exclaiming “great, take a picture of the creepy German smiling in front of the concentration camp”.

Dachau Concentration Camp, where many political prisoners perished before and during WWII.

The prisoners

Horrifyingly accurate portrayal of what happened within the walls of the concentration camp.

Each color represents a different prisoner. Yellow are the Jews, purple are Jehovah’s Witness, red are political prisoners, blue are emigrants. Missing colors are black (a-socials) and pink (homosexuals).

After the solemn morning, Martin and I cheer ourselves up by food tasting at the local market, followed by a traditional Bavarian feast.

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We meet up with Martin’s friend, Rory, to share a beer, sauerkraut, and a roasted pork elbow. I take one bite of the pork elbow, decide this is just not for me, and happily eat my oxen.

Bread dumpling, half duck roast, and half pork roast in a crispy tender.

Oxen. Better

We get our bill, where we notice the beer is cheaper than the coke, and Martin quips, “Welcome to Germany!”

Legit. The “Zwischenrechnung” clearly shows the half liter of beer was cheaper than that small coke.

After downing a pint, I head out for my journey to Garmisch, which is only officially reached by train. I decide to take an alternate route…

To be continued.

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