I only spent one day in Munich, so this blog entry will be quite short.
We were dropped off at Marienplatz (the main square) early in the morning. The main attraction – and our reason for stopping there – was the Glockenspeil clock on the tower of New Town Hall. It is the 4th largest cuckoo clock in the world, and goes off at 11 a.m., noon and five p.m. daily.
It has 43 bells, just in case you were curious.
We wandered around and took some pictures before the clock went off, but didn’t have enough time to do any major sightseeing. I did, however, consume the best strawberries I have ever had in my entire life from a street vendor. I ate an entire carton by myself. They were fantastic.
Many people say “don’t eat the local fruit” when you travel, but I survived. My brother and I bought and ate fruit whenever we found it, because you don’t know when you will have another opportunity later.
The cuckoo clock rang, and I swear it took about half an hour to go through the entire rotation. The square was crowded beyond capacity, and everyone was taking pictures, filming or simply looking up. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was a waste of time. After about the first thirty seconds, I got bored. But, lots of people thought the clock was really interesting so to each their own.
After the Glockenspiel finished ringing, we got back on the bus and went to our hostel for the night. It was located about half an hour away from the city centre. On our way there we passed the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership I have ever seen. It was actually the manufacturing plant, and through the modern glass of the building I could see roundabouts with some of the most beautiful cars ever created. We also drove down the Autobahn highway, and I was able to sit at the front of the bus on the steps and watch the world fly by.
That evening, our entire tour went to a real Bavarian Beer Hall, located near the actual site of Oktoberfest. We ate pork knuckle, watched a traditional performance and drank German beer out of HUGE beer steins. Every three minutes, everyone had to get up out of their chairs, swing their beers from side to side and sing a German toast. Each time, we would end by shouting “PROST,” and everyone would clink glasses before drinking and sitting back down.
As I mentioned, this would happen EVERY THREE MINUTES. It became a contest to see who could actually start eating their dinner before we had to get up and toast again. It was so much fun.
At the end of the evening, I bought one of the beer stein beer mugs to bring home to my husband. It is absolutely necessary that I mention I carried it around in my suitcase for the rest of my trip. That was about a month and a half. Beer steins aren’t light, and I had to take care that I didn’t break it as I travelled from one place to another.
Happily, I can say that the beer stein made it home.
Another little fact I must mention is that you cannot cash traveller’s checks at the DEUSCHBANK. This is the main bank in Germany. In fact, you can’t cash traveller’s checks pretty much anywhere in Europe. If someone will do it for you at a currency exchange office, they will charge you outrageous service fees. Just don’t bring traveller’s checks. Bring cash and a debit card.
The following morning, we left Munich and headed for Austria. It was a short visit, but worth it. The beer hall was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and if you’re travelling to Munich you must stop and check it out…