March 11, 2012

Eurotrip Recap – Munich

After conquering Rome, Venice and Vienna, Munich was next on our list, and quite honestly the epic center of our European adventure.  Most of our planning in the beginning revolved around Munich, more specifically, Oktoberfest. 




We decided to spend the most days in Munich and take it all in during this amazing 3 week long festival.  We had no idea the sheer size and production we would be encountering – absolutely crazy.


Day 1: Lederhosen, Mike’s Bike Tour, Marienplatz, Hofbrauhaus

Upon arriving at the Munich train station via RailJet, which happened to be our most luxurious train ride throughout our entire trip, we walked the 10 minutes to our “Aparthotel”, which was only 2 blocks from the Oktoberfest grounds.

The Hotel Adagio was basically apartment living with hotel amenities.  We had a 2 bedroom (well, one actual bedroom and the living room turned into a bedroom), one bath apartment with a kitchen.  It had recently been renovated, was very IKEA-esque, and was very convenient to all of the Munich hotspots.




Once we were all checked in, we headed out to check out some traditional German Lederhosen and Dirndls for Oktoberfest.  They had stores everywhere and very helpful Germans to guide us in the traditional way to wear the garb. 

  • Lederhosen are breeches made of leather; they may be either short or knee-length. The longer ones are generally called Bundhosen.
  • A dirndl is a type of traditional dress worn in Germany – especially Bavaria, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants.  The dirndl consists of a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron. In popular culture it is sometimes reported that the placement of the knot on the apron is an indicator of the woman's marital status, with a knot tied on the woman's left side indicating that she is single, a knot tied on the right meaning that she is married, engaged or otherwise "taken", and a knot tied at the back showing that the woman is widowed.




Although we (the girls) could have spent much more time shopping, we did have to make quick decisions since we were headed to Marianplatz to meet up with our guide from Mike’s Bike Tour.  We had a personal tour of the city planned and I was so excited!  We passed New Town Hall and the famous Glockenspiel on our way.  It was beyond beautiful.





After finding our guide, Charlie, we headed out on our 4 hour bike tour around Munich.  Jenny was deemed the “butt babe” and was placed last in our caravan of bikes, making sure everyone in our group was with us as we meandered through the city. 

Munich is very bike friendly and I felt so safe.  Cars actually look out for you and bikes always have the right of way, it was amazing!







We stopped at many famous landmarks where our guide would give us a bit of German history.  Most times it was lighthearted and hilarious, but did get serious during some of the Hitler history.  It was surreal to know that we were walking where history happened.

We even had time for statue reenactments.  Absolutely hilarious.




DSCN9033 DSCN9073


We took a quick break for lunch in the middle of the Englischer Garden (complete with nude sunbathers) at the Chinesischer Turm Biergarten.  We ate, drank and were merry.  The portions were huge and we ate the most delicious Bavarian style pimento-cheese garlicky pretzel dip that was absolutely amazing.  So yummy!






One of the last stops was the Eisbach, a small man made river in the Englischer Garden and is a tributary of the Isar River, which runs through the garden that is popular for river surfing. There was lots of spectators and a long line of surfers waiting for their turn.  Definitely a cool sight.




One of the best things about Mike’s Bike Tour is not only the comedy and history of Munich wrapped up in a four hour tour, but also that the office is directly across the street from the Hofbrauhaus.  A quintessential landmark in Munich, this was our next stop.

We were still full from our biergarten lunch, but did sip on ein mass bier and take in all of the history that HB had to offer. 







Day 2:  Oktoberfest.  Period.



(picture source here)

Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival in the world is held for 3 weeks ending the first weekend of October.  There are 14 large “tents” to choose from, which are more like buildings, each which old upwards of 10,000 people. 

Beer, food, rides and lots of roasted nuts. It was an experience like no other.












In between brews, we feasted on seared pork, German potato salad, dumplings with gravy and chicken on the bone – delicious!






Words could not do this day justice or explain the shenanigans that entailed.  Pictures will have to do.  An experience that I will never, ever forget!


Day 3:  Dachau and Sausalitos

After waking up with a bit of a headache, day three in Munich was a bit more somber.  We headed to Dachau, one of the biggest and most prevalent concentration camps under Hilter’s regime. 

I must say, it was surreal to be there and unimaginable that this happened not that long ago in the real scheme of things.  The museum was tasteful, yet powerful and put into perspective the suffering that the prisoners went through.  It was an amazing and humbling history lesson.




After returning to Munich from Dachau, and watching the Glockenspiel show, we were ravenous.  We were full of cheesy sausage and heavy German food, so we were so excited to see a cactus on the side of a building in Marianplatz.  Cactus = Mexican food!  We were stoked to order margaritas, chips and salsa and chicken burritos.  Our last meal in Munich was definitely not traditional, but over the top delicious!




Munich was amazing, clean and fun.  I loved seeing it during the hustle and bustle of Oktoberfest, and would also love to see it during “normal” conditions.  It was definitely at the top of my European must see list and did not disappoint!


Next stop:  Prague, Czech Republic

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