The Neverending Day: Day 1, Munich
We have at long last arrived in Munich, as the never ending day continues. Finding the hostel was surprisingly a easy, mainly because we booked a hostel literally across the street from the Hauptnahnoff, which is the central train station in a German city. (Yay past Lucy and past Margaret!)
Upon arriving at the hostel, we were immediately asked by the concierge (or whatever the hostel equivalent is of guy at the front desk) if we liked beer, to which we answered yes. I honestly think that any other response to that question would lead to us getting shunned from Germany. He proceeded to naturally point us to go to Hofbräuhaus for dinner and subsequently confirmed my theory that the 4-U Hostel gets paid to endorse local tourist establishments.
The 4-U Hostel is an interesting place. It reminds me of my high school French textbook “Allons-Y” and their exact definition of “youth hostel” and the hilarious pictures that follow: Outdated rooms sporting neon furniture and bunk beds complete with un-showered teenagers and backpacks. Trés cool! But in actuality, 4-U met my two essential standards – cleanliness and safety – and for that I could not be more thankful. I always wanted to stay in an outdated, but comfortable hostel and this is truly the epitome of just that.
After checking in and meeting our roommates who are visiting Munich for 2 weeks from Hong Kong, we left the hostel to explore the area. 4-U is a 20 minute walk from the historic town center, so we decided to head that way in hopes of getting our bearing and a feel for Munich as well as find food. Hanger is real and that pretzel croissant hot dog delicacy wasn't going to cut it for much longer.
Munich is a fascinating and extremely unique city. I immediately noticed the intricacy of the architecture combined with the sheer size of the city. In America, there are beautiful buildings but they are far and few between the excess of concrete and culture of newness. Every single building was absolutely gorgeous, yet Munich was still a big city with tons of people, shopping, and restaurants. Eventually, we wandered into this paved area similar to Charlottesville’s downtown mall, except with every European chain clothing store imaginable between the historic buildings. I laughed because in order to get into this pedestrian area, you had to walk under this huge archway. So yes, I can now officially say that I have walked under the arch, rather in Europe and not at UGA.
From there, we suddenly looked up and there it was: the glockenspiel. The building is so much more grand and gorgeous in person than any picture can ever depict. Every inch of its architecture expresses grandeur and stories of the past. Of course, Margaret and I ran up to see what the crowd of people were looking at, only to quickly realized that we had just interrupted a funeral procession in the process and were being offered programs to join.
It was at this moment that we both realized that it was 8:00 PM and that dinner was becoming a necessity, especially after being awake for the majority of the past 36 hours. We decided to embrace our inner tourist and go to Hofbräuhaus to experience our first authentic German meal. Margaret has been the greatest and navigated us with the map, allowing me to take pictures along the way. I think she has realized that letting me do my photography will benefit both of us, which is so true because I will definitely be sharing 10,000 of my pictures.
However, after following the signs for Hofbräuhaus yet still circling the same few streets, we knew something was wrong. It was getting dark and extreme exhaustion combined with hunger can be a dangerous combination. We were about to give up when we turned a corner and there it was in all of its glory: Hofbräuhaus.
Munich’s beer halls are exactly what you would picture: tall ceilings, booming laughter, servers dressed in lederhosen, people toasting and shouting “prost” which is the German equivalent for cheer, and of course beer. And a whole lot of it.
Margaret and I both opted to get Radlers, which is half beer and half lemonade. Because I'm not that much of a beer drinker, this quickly became my new favorite German beverage. Our roommate, Audrey, went to Munich last May and made that suggestion, so danka to you, Audge.
So then came the tricky part: what to order for dinner. Anyone who knows me will agree that while I am not a picky eater, I am very picky about what I eat. I don’t eat a whole lot of meat and love vegetables and knew that German cuisine would not be my favorite because of this. Mom, I'm definitely you're daughter because I know you'd be in the same dilemma. I ended up settling on sharing a giant pretzel with Margaret and ordered some type of pork with potatoes au gratin and vegetables.
We sat next to a married couple from Maryland who were on vacation. They loved Munich and had been there for nearly a week by this point and were quick to give us suggestions for where to during our short amount of time.
By the time our food came we had almost finished the giant pretzel which as a feat in itself and only a solid 3 gluten tag references for the worst. Side note- gluten tag would be a great spinoff of freeze tag where young German children have to shout out different types of gluten to avoid being it.
Anyways, our food was interesting. Not my favorite meal by any means, but definitely edible and enough to make us feel a little better, while subsequently bringing on the jet lag. This is when I almost fell asleep at the table a for sure sign that it was time for bed. Day 1 done and ready for a good night’s sleep.