Land of Beer

June 21st was summer solstice and it felt like the longest day of the year. We were attempting to head to Munich, Germany from Cinque Terre, Italy. It was the longest train journey yet. We had to switch 5 times, at one point having to get on a bus to cross back into Austria to catch another train due to engineering work. We had to change from Cinque Terre at La Spezia, Milan, Verona, and a few other Italian cities. We left the house at 9:30 am and arrived in Munich just after 1 am. When we arrived in Munich, we went to Jeanette’s house, our German couchsurfing host. She left her key on top of a phone booth outside of her flat for us because she was already out for the night. We put our things down and then a guy came into the flat and he was Murat from Istanbul who was also Jeanette’s guest. He was really kind and we walked around the neighborhood, trying to see if some street fair was still happening but it was over so we went back to her flat and had our first German beer before getting to bed.

Jeanette’s little apartment that was mostly ours during our stay.

In the morning, we decided to take advantage of the free tour that is offered in some of the cities in Western Europe. We had taken them before in London and Edinburgh so we knew it was a great way to learn about the city and it’s history.

The Glockenspiel

The Glockenspiel up close. It dances and tells the same story everyday at 11 am.

A May Pole. Every city has one and if someone’s may pole is stolen by another town the people who stole it get a party before giving it back.

Little Red Riding Hood

The synagogue in Munich which has been threatened many times by Neo-Nazi groups.

After the tour was over out the university that Sophie Scholl and the White Rose resistance attended during the Nazi occupation. We wanted to see the memorial for her and her brother at the university.

The Sophie Scholl memorial and is just tiles in the pavement of the leaflets of the White Rose.

Sophie Scholl was a schoolgirl who worked with the White Roses, anti-nazi group and she was distributing illegal flyers around campus and had some left-over so she pushed the whole stack over the railing and sent them flying down the stairs. She and her brother were caught for their crime and beheaded. Munich has so much World War II history and has very subtle monuments all around the cities commemorating the brave people who stood up against the nazi’s.
We went to the Modern Art museum of Munich which was really a really nice change from all of the Italian art.

There is a BMW underneath this ice and we all had to wear blankets to go into the freezing exhibit.

All at the museum

After, we were starving so we got some really good pad thai before heading to the world’s most famous/largest beer hall called Hofbrauhaus.

The Hofbrauhaus has quite a history. Hitler spent much of his time organizing the Nazi party here.

The blue and white Bavarian flags were painted over with swastikas during World War II at the request of Hitler and have been painted over since again.
We each had 1 liter of beer in the huge traditional glasses.

An employee wearing traditional outfit and selling pretzels.
Some German men were singing traditional beer songs and one came over and kissed Ellie on the cheek, telling her something in German. Before we could chat with the German Casanova, we realized we were late for the train to the suburbs to see Jeanette’s choir concert. At the train station, we met Yann her boyfriend and her friend. At the concert, we met her mother and then finally we met Jeanette. The choir concert was cool. They sang some German songs and some American classics like “ Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” Afterwards, her mom drove us in a camper van home, which was a little scary because we were on a major highway and her mom wasn’t completely sure how to use a manual. It was a bit of a “Little Miss Sunshine” moment. Once we made it back to Munich, we went with Jeanette and Yann to an Italian bar to watch the semi-final of the European cup between Spain and Italy. We finally got back to her flat around midnight where we met some Belgian backpackers who would be taking Murat’s place since he had gone back Istanbul. They had been hitchhiking and sleeping in forests so they were pretty interesting. They seemed grateful for a shower and a bed.
The next day we decided to relax. We walked to an amazing little brunch buffet that was vegetarian. After we stuffed ourselves, we headed for famous Englisher Garten. The park is huge with a river that runs through the middle. Many people swim and some even sunbathe completely nude in the park. Mostly old men though. At the beginning of the river, there are some rapids where people can actually surf on the river by just jumping in.

It is created because of a pipe underneath the river and is therefore pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. It was so cool to see people surfing a river though. Just as we were about to get settled at the park, it started to thunderstorm. We were so sad but we waited it out under a tree and it stopped luckily. Once the sun came out, we jumped in the freezing cold river and swam along and then spent the remainder of the day sunning ourselves on the bank watching the naked people.

Notice the naked man to the right!
Later we walked around the huge park which is larger than central park and eventually made our way to the beer garden section. There was a huge Japanese garden and tons of people sitting on the picnic tables, drinking liters of beer and eating massive pretzels. So we decided to do the same.

After spending all day at the gardens, Jeanette asked if we wanted to go to the Munich film festival. When we got there we fond out that almost all the films were either in German or another foreign language but with German subtitles. Luckily, we came across one Brazilian film which had English subtitles and was called “ Still Orangutuans.” The film was really good and we were happy we came along. After the film we said good-bye to Jeanette as she went to her boyfriend’s and packed up to head to Berlin the next day.


2 Responses to “Land of Beer”

  1. 1 sosarasaid August 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I love looking at pictures and seeing your perspectives from all the places I was like 2 months ago.

    And I really wish you gals could've been with us to experience it together.


    Love & miss.


  2. 2 LaurenMoriah August 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    These pictures are great. It makes me sad that I wasn’t actually there so I can’t steal them and put them in my album as I’m doing to pictures Ellie took of us on our UK adventures. Ah, I can’t believe you come home soon. It’s weird to think I left with April at the same time as you and have been home for this long. This comment is turning into an e-mail.

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