Friday, August 06, 2010

Munchen Glad-to-be-bach

The other day I arrived back from my second trip to Munich. The first was time was last September for Oktoberfest (which for some reason I didn't really document on this blog) and this time was also to commemorate a wedding, but that of my friend rather than between Ludwig I and Princess Therese.

My girlfriend and I arrived in Munich a couple of days before the wedding (which was actually taking place in the brides home village of Auerbach) to have a bit of a holiday - as our guide we'd bought this book to give us the low-down on things to do whilst there. Our plane arrived in Munich quite late, and unfortunately without my girlfriends luggage (the reason for which was obviously due to my baggage curse - although my bag arrived with no delay), so our first night just involved getting to our hotel and sleeping rather than drinking any beer (we would make up for that later in the trip). Our hotel for the first part of the trip was the very pleasant Kings's Hotel "First Class" (only the best for us!), located close to the main train station, and also opposite from the aptly named boobs table dancing club.

Our first day mainly revolved around waiting for my girlfriends bag to arrive (which due to reasons beyond anyone's comprehension took far longer to get from Munich airport to the hotel than should be physically possible). However, we still managed to get out and about and see a lot of sights. The first use of our travel guide was to find a good place for brunch - we ended up at a place near the university district - I ordered the "Ham and Eggs" from the menu, but my girlfriend was more adventurous and went for "2 Ei im Glas", which with my very basic grasp of German was able to translate as "2 Eggs in a glass", but we were still a bit confused as to what it would be like. The service wasn't the most lighting fast that it could have been, but I eventually got my food, and echoing our baggage arrival my girlfriend had to wait quite a while longer for hers - which was indeed 2 eggs in a glass (an ice cream dish by the looks of it). Despite the wait the food was good and the place was very nice.

Following this we explore a bit before checking back at the hotel for the bag situation. We walked through towards the university and into the Englischer Garten, to the Chinesischer Turm and then checked to see if there was anyone doing any surfing (there an artificial wave at one point on the stream that runs through the garden, which from last years trip I found out that people surf on) - there was only one surfer and he seemed to be struggling to stay on his board for more than a second or two. We then headed back to the hotel via the Hofgarten and Residenz - during which time I tried to act as tour guide by part-remembering information a real tour guide has told us during my last visit.

The bag had not arrived! So we went out again to meet up with some friends (nursing hangovers from the excesses from the Hofbräuhaus from the night before) also out for the wedding and then go to the Deutsches Museum - this is one of the worlds largest science museums, so naturally I wanted to go. It is a massive museum, with far too much to see in one afternoon visit. Our first plan was to try and see a massively scaled version of a cell that they have, but I managed (unintentionally) to get us waylaid in the physics section. I was very impressed with the displays they had (a large number of which, although not all, had English explanations below the German versions) especially the detail and quite technical information that they gave - this definitely wasn't a dumbed down museum, and probably wouldn't really be the kind of place to take small children, but I thought it was great. We did eventually find the cell, then went on to see the astronomy exhibits and just before closing managed to see an Enigma machine.

Again on returning to the hotel the bag had still not arrived, so pre-going out for the evening we had to head to the clothes shops. Given that we'd already been on our feet all day, and hadn't eaten since brunch, this was quite an arduous task (going to the shops is arduous enough for me at the best of times). We were then able to head out for dinner and drinks. We met up with the others at the Augustiner bräuhaus for dinner and had a couple of half litre of their Helles beer, and despite their overindulgences the night before our friends decided that it would be a good idea to go back to the Hofbräuhaus (who's other famous patrons included Hitler) - so that my girlfriend and I could see it of course (although I did go there last year). The Hofbräuhaus is very impressive and must be one of the largest pubs in the world, even so it was packed (on a Thursday night) as we had to sit outside in the internal courtyard. We decided that it wouldn't be right not to have a couple of litre Maß's and play some drinking games. We made it home somewhat worse for wear, but did find that the bag had finally arrived.

I'll try and soon write more about the trip (maybe just updating this post or in subsequent posts), but I'll leave it for now - you'll have to wait for the exciting stories of how not to get a train to Plattling, the joys of an Anglo-Bavarian wedding, and how we managed to complete collection of drinking at the four of the big Munich breweries.

[The blog title is a hilarious play on words based on the German place Mönchengladbach, which to be honest prior to looking it up on wikipedia I had incorrectly assumed was part of Munich, but is in fact quite far from Bavaria in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia - the title was too good to pass up though, so it stays as it is.]

I've now written up some more of the trip:
Part 2: The Wedding