Originally published 7 June 2013
Pharmacy vending machine. Quite handy after hours.
I will use a phrase common to me and many people I know. I feel like shit on a stick. Whatever I have has invaded my lungs and I really don't feel well. I struggled through the day but wound up getting some sleep at the hotel while Laurie, David, and Sheree went out to dinner. Laurie took care of me and brought me a donner kebap (kinda like a gyro) for dinner...and it was great. As for our day......
We love street markets. This one in Munich was great!
We decided to do the Rick Steves walking tour of Munich. David had it on his ipad in audio so we used that. Rick said it would take 2-3 hours.....it took all day. We peppered the tour with a few stops that Rick might not have made.
We started out in Marienplatz then headed to the marketplace. Laurie and I always love the markets in Europe.....they're our favorite. We wandered through and it was early...the vendors were just setting up and just starting to open. It was quite nice wandering through the old town with very sparse crowds and few people on the streets. This changes vastly as the day progresses. Towards the end of the day it's hard to walk for the people.
Butcher shop on the market, Munich.
We checked out a fancy deli/whole foods type store, then went by the synagogue. We wandered through another church or two.......once can easily get "churched out" in Europe. There are all of these incredibly ornate, historically significant churches, seemingly on every corner. It is easy to get church burnout while here!
Laurie, David, and Sheree at the gates to the Munich synogogue
We continued on the tour and ran across a few strange German things. Namely, a memorial to Michael Jackson, at the base of a statue of one of the composers. The locals just commandeered this ancient statue and plastered it with all things Michael Jackson, from pictures and posters taped to it to album covers and candles. And if this wasn't weird enough.........the next statue had been commandeered and was turned into a memorial for..........Bubbles the chimp. Perhaps it's my American perspective.....but that just struck me as being weird as hell.
The Michael Jackson memorial
The Bubbles the Chimp memorial
At this point we backtrack to the marketplace which has a biergarten in the middle of it. Each of Munich's breweries rotate through selling their beer for a week at a time. Laurie and I got the beer of the day, and I got sausages and saurkraut while Laurie got lieberkase. I had looked forward to eating lieberkase long before our trip. I didn't have it for lunch because I had it for breakfast. David got currywurst, a sausage drenched in a ketchup/curry mix, and Sheree had some sort of sausage. All were quite good, and pretty cheap for food in Europe. We paid about 6.50 euros per plate.....probably the cheapest meal in town.
Lunch in the Biergarten!
The biergarten is open seating.....if there are seats open at a table, sit down! We wound up sitting with two German guys in their early 30's and a older German couple. None of us knew each other but that's what's cool about a biergarten! We chatted with them about where we/they were from, what we did for a living, interests, travel, it was one of the high points of the day. I always love it when we get to socialize with the locals.......that's one of the great things about travel, the chance to meet people who are very different, and learn about them and their life. We had a great lunch!
The gang and our new German friends!
I really don't understand people who travel and are insulated from the people in the areas they visit. We're not "tour bus tourists". We prefer rolling around in the mud with the locals. It's often times the part of the trip we remember and enjoy the most. Bavaria is viewed by many Germans like the northerners view the south. It's a different culture than the rest of Germany. By getting out amongst the locals, you get a bit of a feel for the differences in culture from place to place. We are, for lack of a better comparison, in the land of German rednecks!
Olive and pickle vendor in the Market
We bid our new friends farewell and head back to the tour. We wind up in the belltower of city hall, with great views of the city. This was another high point of the day. We had fantastic views of all the historic buildings, and throngs of people below.
On top of City Hall
From city hall, we moved to the Munich Residenz, a palace for the dukes and kings of Bavaria until the early 1900's. It was incredibly ornate, just one ostentatious show of wealth after another. It got boring after a while.....room after room of opulence. I was terribly sad to find out that we could only visit 90 of the 130 rooms as 40 were closed for restoration. (That was sarcasm.)
One of the multitude of churches
It wound up being a little more palace than I wanted to see. We were in a concert hall, and these two German women walked in. They were to my left while everyone else was to my right. One of the old German women started farting! And loudly too.....like 3 times! Laurie thought it was me...but I assured her it was not! Towards the end of the tour, I started feeling quite crappy........and we headed back to the hotel.
More palace than you need to see
Tomorrow, a day in Munich and we head out in the evening for the Alps!
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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