Day 8: After we’d been thrown about in the ovens of Italy and the meat freezers of Switzerland, Munich was the start of the optimal climate. The kind that makes you want to take long walks along foot paths and glide through in a waltz with the gentle breeze brushing past your supple skin — which was pretty much all we did on our arrival day since we spent the bulk of it on the trains: Lauterbrunnen > Interlaken > Mannheim > Munich. Having set off at 8.50am, we finally found ourselves dragging our luggages along the wide-tiled pavements at around 5 in the evening — and making a “rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat” ruckus in the otherwise quiet & mildly populated streets to find our accommodation for the next 3 days.
The moment we got off the tram, all the street names looked the same to me. All. I would have gone around in circles and be crying on my knees after 15 minutes like a lost kid circling around the fountain in a mall if not for our navigationally-trained boys. But on a more serious note, while you’re on vacation, just remember: It’s okay to be lost.
All around, streets were littered with fairly modern, symmetrical buildings and lined with a good deal of cars, mostly hatchbacks with the more than occasional vintage car or scooter. Cafes — the quaintest kinds — doubled up as bars from evenings. True to the german culture, everyone who was anyone, had a lager in hand. Supermarkets seemed to greet us with a warm “Welcome to Germany, where beer is a hell lot cheaper than water!”
The plan was to have ourselves a good and authentic German meal, then skip along to explore and cafe hop around — a cuppa joe felt like a compelling idea when temperatures started to drop as dusk arrived. Much to our dismay, they closed up pretty early and the ones that possessed a twin identity had flipped their coffee switch to beer, and only beer.
While we didn’t do much that day, we did find ourselves in a boisterous beer hall where people never seemed to leave, one that gained an approving nod and confident thumbs up by our apartment owner when we checked if Augustiner Bräustuben was any good. “You’ll get the full German experience there.” And there we did. Located just a 10-15 minute walk from our street, we stepped in to a pretty sensational atmosphere. It was noisy with chatter and laughter. A tad dim. Picnic tables with communal dining and as I glanced around, mostly men. Also, not a tourist trap.
Bavarian specialty pan with crispy knuckle of pork, roast pork, duck and sausages served with a potato dumpling and red cabbage (13,95 euros)
Needless to say, it was quite a dinner and there was no doubt that we were having an honest-to-goodness German meal. While beer isn’t my choice beverage, the Augustiner Lagerbier Hell we had dispelled all bitter thoughts. This huge mug of liquid gold was mild, sparkling, refreshing and went down pretty easy.
After our meal, we took that nice long stroll I talked about earlier. Then it was back to our cosy apartment. Oh yes, our apartment.
We were most excited for this apartment because it looked like such a stud on Airbnb, also the one we paid a little more for. While the hallway was narrow, the bedrooms were comfortably sized and boy did we often find ourselves in the brightly-coloured kitchen for a full on instant-noodle supper before bed and cooking up a hearty breakfast before our day out the next day — One of the things I really miss from the vacation.
Next up: We visit the BMW museum and drop by the Summer X Games for a look-see.
Follow the rest of my journey:
Day 1/ 19 June – When In Rome (I)
Day 2/ 20 June – When In Rome (II)
Day 3/ 21 June – A slice of Pisa
Day 4/ 22 June – Florence and the Tangerines
Day 5/ 23 June – A penchant for Venice
Day 6/ 24 June – Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Day 7/ 25 June – Top of Europe: Jungfraujoch
Day 8/ 26 June – Travel: Greetings, Munich (Now reading)
Day 9/ 27 June – Munich: BWW Museum + The X Games
Day 10/ 28 June – Munich: Nymphenburg Palace, Viktualienmarkt & Deutsches Museum
Day 11/ 29 June – Paris: My First Impressions
Day 12/ 30 June – Postcards From Paris
Day 13/ 1 July – Thanks for Disneyland, Mr Walt Disney