Munich>Terrapin: Day 2, Munich
I awoke from my jet lagged haze around 8:30 AM to mass chaos in our hostel room. Had someone just thrown their 50 pound suitcase off of the bunk bed? Was there an emergency? I glanced up at Margaret, who was peering down from her top bunk perch looking as delirious as I felt and made the silent decision to go down to breakfast and ignore our noisy roommates. Thinking back on the night, I had slept extremely well due to my serious sleep deprivation, but had been subconsciously aware of the constant noise that had plagued our rest due to our roommates. I think what actually happened was that they had woken up early to pack up their stuff and not realized how much noise they were making, which is understandable. However, this combined with the fact that everything they owned was wrapped in an individual plastic bag led us to decide that our beauty rest could wait.
Breakfast was modest, but filling and much appreciated on our part. The café area of the hostel felt like an old fashioned lunchroom, complete with music playing from circa 2010 to make our breakfast resemble a discotheque.
The best part by far about this meal was the coffee,which was surprisingly good, and the Nutella because when in Europe I at long last have an excuse to embrace my inner chubby childhood self and eat chocolate for breakfast.
After breakfast, we got ready and began our day to explore Munich. Margaret and I share the belief that I inherited from my sweet mom that the best way to explore a city is by walking, so we did just that. We had our sights set on eventually making it to the English Beer Garden, which was only around 2 miles away from the 4-U. I just love saying that name “zee 4-u” in my horrible accent and plan to mention it as many times as possible.
On our walk we started noticing that very few stores or local restaurants and cafes were open. Despite this seeming strange, we initially accredited it to Europeans starting the day on their own schedule and perhaps everyone had a late night?. After later googling “German Holidays May 14th” we discovered that it actually was a holiday, hence why things were closed. In Germany, May 14, 2015 celebrated Ascension Day, which marks exactly 40 days after Easter, to represent Jesus’s time on earth before he ascended into heaven. Go look it up because it's super interesting and a really meaningful holiday that I believe should be brought back to the states.
Regardless of this Margaret and I continued onward towards the English Beer Gardens, sightseeing on our way. Maybe it's Margaret's almost 22nd birthday luck or just because it's my first trip to Europe, but we've had a knack for stumbling across monuments and beautiful hidden areas of Munich, simply by chance.
But it wasn't until we had almost reached the gardens that my wildest dreams came true. We stopped to get a picture in front of this gorgeous museum building, when suddenly I heard dog barking and my sixth sense for puppies went off. Yes, I have a strange obsession with dogs and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it: We had stumbled across a puppy playgroup in Munich. Next thing I knew I was holding a chocolate lab puppy, tears in my eyes thinking about how dogs have no language barrier, this is beautiful, blah blah blah. Ok I'm kidding, I'm not that cheesy or emotional, but I was in puppy heaven. A woman who spoke some English came up to us we found out that they all brought their dogs to play here ever Thursday and Sunday morning. I, of course, told her how my mom does the same thing with my dog, Rudder, because when have I not found a way to bring rudder into any and every conversation.
It was about this time where we met our friend, Jake, who too had stumbled across the puppy park. He was in Munich by himself for a week on business and had recently graduated from Wisconsin. It was nice to find another American and he was looking for the English Beer Garden as well, so he ended up joining us for lunch there.
Margaret and her family had attempted to go to the beer garden back when she was in high school, but their attempts to do so had been foiled by rain. When we finally found it, I started laughing because it was exactly what I had pictured when I had thought of Germany and I loved it. Tents selling traditional German food, beer, guys in lederhosen, german music, and dancing, this place was literally my naïve American version of how I had pictured Germany and for once I was entirely correct.
We explored the area a bit and decided that it was indeed time for lunch. Since German portions are absolutely huge, Margaret and I decided to split schnitzel and potato wedges, since it was indeed time for an experienced that I like to refer to as “Baby's First Schnitzel”. So sweet. To me, the schnitzel resembled a flat, chicken nugget-like pancake, but was in reality breaded and fried pork cutlet. But when you've grown up singing a song that regards schnitzel on the same level of awesome as cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel, you shrug, and take a bite. It tasted like a flat chicken nugget, so naturally I decided that ketchup was a necessity, making all of the Germans cringe around us. But I did like it, so I can say that I've found something I like in Germany, food wise!
After lunch, we said goodbye to Jake, since 1:00 in Germany signaled that the working day in America was about to begin, courtesy of the 6 hour time difference. At this moment, the weather lived up to its forecast and began to drizzle cold rain. Another shout out to Audge for letting me borrow her trusty H&M umbrella freebie. Because it was a national holiday and most cafes were closed, Margaret and I had to go against our number one rule for the second day in a row and go to Starbucks to get some coffee and maybe use the wifi (wee-fee).
After a much needed coffee break, we headed back to Marienplatz to try and get a view of the city skyline. On that walk, the odds were a little too in my favor as the unthinkable occurred: after 3 years, I finally beat Margaret in playing “what are the odds”, but naturally for something ridiculous. The name Ludwig was all over the city, so I thought it would be entertaining to ask “What are the odds you'll name your firstborn son Ludwig?” In hindsight, a horrible idea, as we naturally both shouted 49 at the same time and Margaret supposedly has to name her son Ludwig. My bad? Sorry future Ludwig.
We paid €1 to climb up twelve flights of stairs to the top of St. Peter's Church to see a view of Munich from the highest point in the city, as suggested by my friend Alex who visited Munich last summer. Best euro I've ever spent, as the view was nothing short of breathtaking, especially close to sunset.
We ate dinner at our third and final beer garden/hall of the trip and in my opinion the best: Augustiner Keller. I originally found it on trip advisor and was drawn to the phrase “this is where the locals go” and was even more thrilled to learn that it was 0.3 miles from the hostel. This beer garden was entirely outside except for a small restaurant area and filled with tons of tables sitting underneath beautiful trees. I immediately loved the atmosphere and could tell that this was much less touristy than the others. I bravely ordered one of their specials, which was a delicious type of German ravioli, and a radler.
Tomorrow morning, we say goodbye to Germany to travel onward to the beautiful country of Austria. I find it thrilling how in Europe it's possible to be in multiple countries in just a few hours.