Sunday, September 03, 2006

more adventures in deutschland

coming to you live from the front lobby of the little hostel i'm staying in (i had been staying in a bigger hotel when my brother was here but since he's gone it's onto the cheapo places for me. i'm just a lowly advertising exec, not some high-roller banker). i don't mind, though -- i have stayed in a bunch of hostels in my various travels and love the charm, the adventurous spirit, the feeling of we're-all-taking-this-great-big-trip-of-life-together. plus there's free wireless internet, i have a private room/bathroom, and my bill for one night is going to be less than $80... what's not to like?

so, where did i leave off? the bro got in super late on fri night (12:45?) and we were both starving, so we set off to find something that was still open in our little neighborhood. we ended up at this hilarious, super-authentic little neighborhood joint with fantastic bavarian food (i had some delicious french onion soup, a huge pretzel, some pork chops and a beer, of course) and endless 80s tunes (seriously -- we ate our dinner to the sounds of "karma karma karma karma karma chameeeeeloonnnnn," "we are young! heartache to heartache" etc).

saturday was mostly spent roaming around the aldstadt again, but this time we actually went into a lot of the buildings. we began the day with a bratwurst sandwich brunch (heavy on the mustard and sauerkraut, please) and headed over to a few famous spots (the "onion-domed" frauenkirche, the royal residences, a castle called schloss nymphenburg). the frauenkirche had a huge tower you could climb up and we were rewarded with an amazing view of the city sprawled out below us with the snow-capped alps looming in the distance. it was absolutely beautiful... there's something about having city with towering spires and unique buildings, lush greenery and huge parks, water in any form, and mountains all in one view that always gets to me. anyway, after all that sight-seeing we went over to the english gardens (largest urban garden in europe) for a HUGE stein o' beer and some AWESOME roast chicken in munich's oldest beer garden. the area was amazing... TON of tables surrounding a chinese pagoda-style building that was built back in 1791 and an atmosphere that is simultaneously relaxing and fun (perhaps it was the sounds of the lederhosen-wearing oompah band?).

a nap was in order before the night could begin, so we went back to the hotel for a spot of r&r. feeling refreshed, we were hungry again (of course) and were craving... of all things... sushi (all that meat/pretzels/beer will do that to you, seriously). we ended up scoping out this really decent sushi place and then hit a bar that was supposed to have the best cocktails in munich. they were having a special summer festival where they opened up an outside bar in the hofgarten (royal gardens) behind their space, which was awesome. i've been to a lot of bars in my life, but there is nothing like drinking champagne cocktails in the cool grasses where kings and queens once strolled. it was super chic but also just chill and fun. we ended up hanging out with these musicians all night (a soul singer from the UK and his band) who were really friendly and cool and really talented as well (they were doing a bit of jamming and we looked them up online when we got back to the hotel that night). i found myself envying their touring-europe-musician life... what a way to live, no?

between hearing the velvety voice of the lead singer, bonding with the fedora-sporting drummer over our love of that erykah badu song "love of my life", and asking the guitarist what it was like to play with natalie merchant, we ended up staying out past 3 am, so sunday morning was a flurry of sleeping in, packing, and checking out of the hotel. we had one last bavarian meal on the marienplatz* before my brother had to go to the airport, and then i was on my own. today was fun, though. i checked into my little hostel around 2:20 pm and then rented a bike for the afternoon. it was awesome -- i was able to get out of the subways and explore beyond the bounds of the old city and tooled around the neighborhoods of munich all afternoon. i got lost about a million times (i'm very good at asking where things are in german, btw... "vo ist ____, bitte? danke!"), but still managed to see a lot. i spent some time in munich's most famous museums (how is a pile of rocks scattered on a floor "art?" maybe i am just a philistine? maybe i am just dumb?), had some delicious quiche at a little sidewalk cafe in a neighborhood that reminded me a lot of georgetown, found a huge street festival PACKED with people and all kinds of random bands (one that sounded like green day and one with three women trying to sound like a motown group or smthg -- very strange). i also went to the site of oktoberfest and cannot even imagine the craziness that must ensue there.

and there you have it. if you made it down this far, you are fully up-to-date on my munich adventures so far. the plan for tmw is to take a day trip to the famous schloss neuschwanstein, the bavarian castle built in the late 1800s that was the inspiration for the disney castle and is the most famous castle in the entire world. then it's check into the paid-for-by-work hotel and prep for tuesday's meetings.

one last story for you all before i leave: part of the issue with renting a bike was that i had a fairly large shoulder bag and there was no little basket to put it in. i came up with the ingenious solution to put one strap over each shoulder and wear the shoulder bag like a backpack so i could concentrate on not crashing the bike into some unsuspecting german. genius, no? indeed. i was so proud. yet as i was riding away from my museum visits i felt a strange wet, sticky feeling on my lower back and quickly pulled over to investigate what was going on. LESSON LEARNED: brilliant plan is not so brilliant when you've neglected to screw the cap on all the way on your coca-cola light, causing said soda to leak all over the (new) bag (bought to replace stupid ripped bag) and then out onto my back (coke-stained underwear is NOT a good look). i almost cried b/c it got onto my beloved digital camera, but it looks like the camera has survived and the only victims of The Great Munich Coke Leak were my underwear and the shirts i was wearing. sweet.

*main plaza in front of the famous old town hall - there was this anti-meat-eating demonstration there on saturday complete with pics of slaughtered animals - not a good thing when you're feasting on half of a roasted duck for lunch


Post a Comment

<< Home