15 February 2011


In true Kari and Kat fashion, we shipped off for Munich this past weekend. This was only my second time in Germany, so I was particularly excited to get the Bavarian experience. There for only two days, we set out to see as much as possible.

Our first logical stop was Marienplatz, which is the historic center of Munich. Although it was rainy and grey all day, there was no way we could deny the absolute beauty of the city. We had a quick stop to grab a bratwurst in Viktualienmarkt, this huge farmer's market that has a ton of vendors and food booths. After our first delicious taste of German food, we really needed to work off the calories. What better way to do this then to climb 306 steps to the top of St. Peter's Church. The view from the top was definitely worth it. We stood 13-stories above the ground, looming over Marienplatz. Perhaps the best part? We could see the Alps in the distance. Beautiful.

(A previous guest to the tower at St. Peter's summarized the climb perfectly)

(On top of the tower at St. Peter's with Marienplatz in the background)

From St. Peter's Church we made our way to the site of Oktoberfest. Conclusion? Kinda lame without the Oktoberfest. Seriously -- it's basically just a huge parking lot. Of course, this didn't stop us from taking pictures. After making our way back to Marienplatz and stopping at a couple more churches along the way, we had to squeeze in our traditional stop at McDonald's. For how much I love traveling, I have somehow managed to go to a McDonald's in every single country I have visited. Impressed? Yeah, I wouldn't be either.

The only way we could imagine ending the evening was with a stop at Hofbräuhaus. This was really cool and fun and probably the best way to experience the Bavarian beer culture. While an oompa band played we enjoyed our Weisse Bier and a massive pretzel.

And here is where I share an admittedly embarrassing story with you all...

Since it was so crowded in the Hofbräuhaus, our waiter was really brisk. Seriously, if you weren't ready to order, he would just walk away and wouldn't come back for another like 15 minutes. For this reason, I was really anxious when I ordered our Weisse Bier. When he repeated the order back to me, I suddenly panicked. I hadn't prepared for this! The only thing racing through my mind was, "Oh my God...He expects me to answer him. In a foreign language...uh, uh!"At this point, "si!" burst from my lips. Apparently Spanish is the only foreign language that I have in my repertoire. In all honesty, I'm just glad he chose to ignore me.

Our next day started with the Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz. The Glockenspiel is basically just a huge cuckoo clock. At 11:00 and 12:00 it chimes for a full 6 minutes. If you're really interested, you can check out a video of it below:

After a quick espresso, we made our way to the palace, or Residenz. In terms of size, it was absolutely massive! I’m seriously surprised that you don’t learn about it more. I feel like we always look to Versailles as a model for decadence, but the Residenz was impressive in its own way. Throughout our tour, we were able to walk through over 90 rooms. One really cool aspect of the Residenz is that it is largely reconstructed. It was mainly destroyed during WWII, so a lot of the rooms were rebuilt in the last 60ish years. We would walk in, ooooh and aaahhh, and then suddenly read a sign that said, “Destroyed in 1944, rebuilt in blah blah blah.” Dang.

(Inside the Residenz)

(The resemblance is uncanny)

Afterwards, we headed to the English Gardens to visit the Bier Garten surrounding the
Chinese Tower. As it was kind of chilly, we went inside to have a quick drink. The rest of the day was a whirlwind, with a stop at the Hofgarten and Karlsplatz. From there we slowly made our way towards Marienplatz, where we grabbed dinner at a place called Hacker-Pschorr. It was absolutely delicious -- braised beef with potato dumplings and Dampfnudel for dessert. It was the perfect way to end our time in Munich.

(The Glockenspiel, which chimes for 6 full minutes)

(Marienplatz with the Glockenspiel)

(Tearing into my huge pretzel at Hofbräuhaus)

(Without Oktoberfest, the park was a tad bit underwhelming)

(Video of the Oompa Band at Hofbräuhaus)

(Kari really knows her German)

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