Thursday, October 10, 2013

Munich, Germany (Part I)

Last month we took some time off and went to Germany. Neither of us had been there before, but it was someplace we had always wanted to go. We flew directly to Frankfort then took a 6:45am train to Munich, where we would stay the remainder of our trip.


Once we got to Munich (at about 11am...) we were hit with horrible jet lag. Running on about 4 hours of sleep, we decided to try and push through it and explore a little bit. The first thing we did was go to the Marienplatz. This is the city's main square and where the Old and New City Halls are. The New City Hall has a giant Glockenspiel which runs a few times a day. We ended up missing it the first day, but since we frequented Marienplatz so much on our trip we were able to see it one of the other days we were there. The first day is also when we tried the best sausage of our lives from this small stand just outside the square... they were to die for.

Later that night we visited the Hofbrauhaus for dinner. We tried Weiner Schnitzel for the first time, had one too many liters of beer, and striked up conversation with a bunch of Germans in lederhosen.

DAY 2: Scloss Nymphenburg

The next day we woke up early and headed a little bit outside of the city center to Schloss Nymphenburg. This is the palace where most of the rulers of Bavaria lived during the summer; the most famous ruler being Ludwig I. The palace was huge and there were a ton of gardens open for people to walk through. We took a short tour of the inside to see the Gallery of Beauties and the grand hall, which ended up being one of my favorite rooms of all time. There were beutiful ceiling paintings, chandeleirs, and extremely large widows everywhere. I couldn't take enough pictures of this place. The whole thing (palace, gardens, fountains, etc.) were all so beautiful.



After that we visited The Rezidance, which was where the rulers lived most of the year. From there we headed to dinner at Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl Am Dom, one of the oldest restaurants in Munich. We had some really good food that night; I got a duck breast and Jon got pig belly. Both dishes were excellent and as usual, so was the beer!


While we were in Germany we really lucked out on weather, everyday was sunny and warm. The third day we were there we decided to take advantage of that good weather and rent a bike for the day and ride through the Englisher Garden. In the morning we stopped at the Viktualienmarkt and browsed the food and craft carts. There were so many delicious and fresh looking foods, we decided we had to get a few things and take them with us to the park for a picnic lunch. From there we biked to the gardens behind the Rezidance (beautiful!), then headed towards the Englisher Garden.

The Englisher Garden is a 900 acre public park starting in the center of Munich and stretching north to the city limits. There was a riving running through the whole park, and at one section there were rapids where locals would surf. Further down the river was the "swimming section" and people would jump in and float down with the current. Since the weather was so nice the banks of the river were packed with people sunbathing. After we ate and biked for awhile, we stopped at the Chinesetrum Beer Garden for a drink. There was a brass umba band playing in the tower, and a ton of people sitting at the tables enjoying themselves. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.

Later that night we went to Haxnbaur for dinner and tried their signature dish... pork knuckle. It was pretty much a heart attack on a plate, but absolutely delicious. Since the knuckle is a tough cut of meat, they slow roast it on skewers (like rotisserie chicken). Doing that made the skin so crispy, and the meat so tender. By this point, we were feeling like we were in King Arthur's palace and were eating nothing but meat and potatoes.

Our first few days in Munich were a blast. There was so much to do and see in that city! We'll share the scond half of our trip in another post, stay tuned.

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