Friday, February 7, 2014

Germany Trip Part 7 - Munich

We woke up on our last morning in Salzburg to grey rainy skies.  We hurried to pack our stuff and K and I ran to get the car so we could actually drive it into the city (it was between 9 and 11 am when the roads are all open) and not have to haul our suitcases to the parking garage.  The weather put a major damper on our plans to see the Eagle's Nest (Hitler's old hideout), so we piled into the car and just headed straight up to Munich.  I got to drive this time and once I finally hit a dry stretch of road, I got the rental car up to 120 mph on the autobahn!!!  On our way to Munich we made a detour to Kloster Andechs, a monastery/beer hall out in the countryside that is known for having some of the best beer in Germany.  Can't pass that up!

By the time we reached the beer hall, the weather had cleared up a bit, however it was still pretty cold out and so the outdoor beer garden wasn't open.  We headed inside, grabbed some different beers, cheese dip, pretzels, and a pork knuckled and hunkered down inside.  It was delicious!  I was partial to the raddlers, the German version of a shandy in which they combine beer with lemonade.  After we'd completely stuffed ourselves on German food and beer we headed to our hotel and called it a night.  The next morning we woke up bright and early and hit the road for the last stop of our German Car Extravaganza - the BMW Museum.

I think we all liked the Mercedes Museum back in Stuttgart the best, but the BMW Museum was a close second.  It was arranged really well and also covered the evolution of the business/vehicles in response to what was happening in the world.  My favorite car was that green beauty from the 20's (drool) and S went crazy for the race cars.  There was a Rolls Royce Museum on the top floor as well (they'd been bought out by BMW) and the classy old school cars up there were pretty gorgeous as well.  I also found the only reference to a Wiedemann (it's a German surname) in the museum, a Doris Wiedemann who is a well-known German photo journalist that has explored the world on her BMW motorbikes.  The second to last photo above is me standing next to her bike and bio.
S had fun testing out the interiors of some of the newer models as well.  Not in our budget, babe...   We checked out the gift shop (eh) and then headed back into the downtown area of Munich to hit up the world famous Hofbrau House!  We got beers (I had another raddler) and lunch and admired the HUGE beer hall, complete with a live German band!

After lunch we explored in downtown Munich a bit and I fell in love!  It's such a quirky little city!  They have fantastic public transportation, there is a huge gothic cathedral with a life-size cuckoo clock that plays music and dances every hour, the stores are all housed inside of ancient buildings with awesome architecture, there was a huge farmers market in the park (I wish we'd had more time to explore it...) and there was a stunning, modern synagogue that alluded to the rebirth of the German Jewish population in Munich.  Apparently they're just finally getting back to their pre-holocaust levels...

Sadly, we had to end our explorations of Munich here since we had to get the car back to the rental facility on time.  I would definitely go back to Munich on anther Germany trip (perhaps to the northern half of the country?) and spend some more time there.  We dropped off our rental car and then walked to an interesting little restaurant near our hotel that S had scouted out before the trip - a little sushi restaurant/beer hall!  It was actually much smaller than we anticipated given that it was billed a beer "hall", and we were pretty much the only tourists in there (luckily our waitress had some minimal English skills!).  But the sushi was tasty and S got more German beer, so it was good!  We headed back to the hotel and packed up our stuff once again, this time in preparation for our train trip the following morning - up next, Prague!

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