River Surfing in Munich

Wow, I have fallen quite far behind on writing my updates. Here goes…

When I arrived in Munich, I had no intention of doing anything beyond soaking up the hot German sun. That and drinking a bunch of Bavarian beer. So that is what I did for the next couple of days.

During our time in Munich, Rachael and I went to the English Garden, which in the summer months is full of pretty people sunbathing. We essentially spent two full days in the park, enjoying the sun and the view 🙂

One thing of note in the Garden is the river surfing–which is about as weird as it sounds. Basically, a man-made creek runs through the entire Garden. And through creative engineering there’s also a man-made wave that perpetually breaks across the creek.

We also went to watch the German team play the quarterfinal qualifier game, in  a beer garden of course. Now, we were planning to bike to the beer garden. However, my dear sister hasn’t rode a bike in about 10 years. No big deal, we thought; “it’s just like riding a bike” and all that. Yeah, not so much.
Rae got on the bike and started peddling down the sidewalk, and almost took out a lady with a stroller. She then emphatically stated that she wouldn’t be riding a bike in city traffic. At all.
At the game itself, we drank loads of giant Bavarian beers and amused ourselves by sitting in “the wrong place,” according to the anal retentive German waiters. However, the place was packed and we decided to ignore their annoying rules and watch football instead. I also watched a couple of enterprising Germans break off a tree limb that was blocking their view of the screen.

At some point, Rae and I decided that we were being too lazy and needed to be more cultural (plus the weather turned cloudy), and we went to the Munich Residenz, as well the Nymphenburg Palace on the outskirts. We viewed the “Gallery of Beauties,” which is essentially a series of portraits of the many women that one Bavarian king thought were hot (okay, it also includes his daughter–but many of his mistresses as well).

During all this fun, I drank a bunch of German beer. And went shopping all over downtown Munich. Oh, there was also an epic rainstorm that almost drowned us and the entire city center. Luckily we hid inside a conveniently located Pimkie and bought some cute accessories.

After Munich, it was back to Spain and Barcelona–just in time for the Fiesta de San Joan and Rachael’s birthday!

Skyscrapers and more Beer: Spring Break pt III

I arrived in Frankfurt about 9 pm, completely sleepy and not having eaten in 10 hours (if you’re reading here Mom, remember that you can’t kill me from 9 time zones away). I grumpily managed to find the Metro and even found the South station, due to a lucky conversation I’d had with Paul that afternoon about the meaning of the word “sud.” My wonderful host Lena was waiting for me, and hauled me back to her flat in the party zone of Frankfurt.

Speaking of party zones, I managed to rally and we headed out to explore the district that night. Following the universe rule of Irish pubs, there were 2 in a 5 block radius of Lena’s house. And one had karaoke night. Guess where we went? Why yes, the bar with drunk Germans and foreigners trying to sing American music. One of the drunk Aussies was trying to get thrown out of the bar, by annoying the bartenders with constant high fives, singing “I’ll be there for you” at them, and begging for free drinks. He gave up, and bought me a tequila shot, yum yum. Lena and I eventually bailed, about 2-3 am, with the plan of actually being awake the following day (also with the plan of not being thrown from the bar along with the drunk assholes).

My day in Frankfurt was wondrously cold, full of paintings, sandwiches and coffee. A note: because I am a traveling bum, I didn’t realize that it was Good Friday until I noticed that NOTHING was open besides tourist attractions. And that included all the cute clothes shops, booo!

So I went to a museum and drooled over the amazing collection of avante garde oils, some that escaped from Hitler’s “Deviant Art” purge! When my brain was full of art, and I’d gotten sick of the too-bright abstract expressionism paintings, I went in search of food and better things to look at. Enter the center. It was full of tourists, surprise, and yummy sandwich shops. However, the buildings were gorgeous and I wandered around with my beer-soak camera for hours. And then I decided to check out the sky-scraper section of downtown. And promptly got lost, couldn’t locate myself on the map and ended up in front of a giant banking building.

Naturally, this was confusing and annoying, as the entire town was either at church (yeah right) or still hungover–so, no one to ask for help. However, I wandered a bit and guess what? I found myself in a red light district on a lovely Friday afternoon. It smelled like piss and was a lot like the creepy part of downtown Portland (you know what I mean, Rae). I then tripped over the Frankfurt Occupy camp, which yeah, still exists. It looked like the Saturday Market, minus the tie-dye and with fewer port-a-pots, eww. After escaping from that, I found an old church with a tower, which I’m starting to think is a thing in Germany. And I climbed up, got a bunch of lovely pics, and headed back to my house for a rest that didn’t involve being surrounded by tourists.

That night, I hung with the amazing Lena and her roomies, discussing politics, Occupy, and the meaning of life with Germans and a Dutch guy. It probably goes without saying, but we drank beers and wine while philosophizing.

The following morning, I hauled my butt off the couch at 5:30 a.m. (ewwww) and got down to the Main Station (known as the Hauptbahnhof, German is weird) to get on a bus to the Frankfurt Hahn Airport. Two hours later, I was waiting for my flight back to Spain, until I learned that the snow had delayed things for an hour. Grrrr, I could have slept a little longer, was my first thought. Eventually we got in the air, and I could try to ignore the Ryanair flight attendants and sleep a little bit. Yeah, right.

To Be Continued…



So. Much. Beer. Spring Break pt II

Now, I must foreground this post with an expression of appreciation for my awesome host Paul. True, Munich is epic in its own right, but he easily made my trip ten times better. Plus he has a French press!

So, I touched down in Munich to discover that Ryanair’s lying schedules are annoying. Specifically the fact that I’d been scheduled to touch down at 5:00 and it was 4:30. I had half an hour to wait in the ass-end of nowhere, Bavaria, until my ride got there. However, I am very experienced at waiting because my method of travel requires it (broke-as-fuck eurotripping, that is). My ride was the aforementioned awesome Paul, who’d volunteered to drive out to the Ryanair “Munich” airport and pick me up. Now, understand the depth of his niceness: the Ryanairport for Munich is about 100 km outside of the city. And, on the ride back into Munich, we stopped by an old abbey/brewery. Apparently the monks used to make awesome beer, back in the 14th century! And yeah, it was delicious 🙂

Upon arriving in Munich (post beer-drinking), we went downtown to visit the Hofbrauhaus, which is a giant beer hall in the city. Aside from the giant delicious beers I drank (not pictured, because I was otherwise occupied and didn’t get my camera out), the place itself is phenomenal! Also, there’s a Bavarian tradition in the bars of sitting with random people and making new (drunk) friends. Seriously, you just find a table with a couple empty places and sit your ass down, chatting in whichever language they speak (English is almost always spoken by Germans, lucky for me). So on my first night in Germany I drank a ton of beers, met some random Germans, and ended up in the gayest part of Munich, think Madrid’s Chueca (or CC’s in Portland). Apparently the bars are great, who’d have guessed?

The following day, I bummed around and visited a modern art museum. Of course, I also bought a bunch of new clothes, because I am not as cultured as all that, and giggled about the abundance of Bavarian costumes in the shop windows. Now, I am as culturally sensitive as the next person (which means I get drunk and laugh at stereotypes), but something about lederhosen just makes me want to point and laugh. However, I was told that I could pull off the girls’ version of the costume. Considering it consists of a cleavage-creating top, corset, and a poufy skirt, I’ll take that as a compliment, I think…

Continuing my tradition of enjoying German beers, that night I tagged along with Paul to his friends’ place, where we drank wines and beers before heading downtown on the Metro.

Night #2 was similar to the first, meaning that I drank beers and made new friends. Also drank Jegermeister, which is a dangerous thing for me as it usually causes fun adventures (here and here). However, no one died and I made it back to my couch alive.

The next morning, Yulia the Russian and I went park exploring in Munich. We also climbed a giant church tower, went shopping again (I bought a wallet, but no purse), and drank loads of coffee. That evening saw Yulia run frantically all over the city to make it to her concert on time, and saw me missing my train to Nuremberg. Yeah, yeah, mock away. Sadly, I never did get to explore that city, because the following morning, bright and early (sort of ) I ran off to play catch up to my 2nd train, which would drop me off in Frankfurt!

To Be Continued…