The Day It Rained

Trip Start Jul 17, 2010
1
8
21
Trip End Aug 07, 2010


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Friday, July 23, 2010

From Cari: 645AM came way too soon. We had to get up early to get ready, finish packing, eat breakfast, and catch the underground to Westbahnhof train station in Vienna in time for our 826AM departure for Munich.

The train was awesome! It was very high tech, there was a monitor with a map tracking where we were, and the seats were new. Overall, this was my favorite train journey (although, again, I slept through most of it). The German father and son sitting in front of us were really annoying and a little racist to the man from Taiwan sitting near us. I used the earplugs that I had kept from the plane for a special occasion to block out the high-pitched squeal of the teenager.

From Greg: I think I stated earlier, but train travel is really the way to go. It takes thirty seconds to board and it is at least as fast as a car. The countryside between Vienna and Munich was some of the prettiest. Every town seemed to have a dramatic church.

From Cari: We arrived in Munich around 1240PM. We took the underground to Marienplatz (the city center) after purchasing tickets with the help of some strangers. I didn't like all the attention they were giving us, but they were helpful enough. We bought the 3-day Munich pass for the public transportation in the inner city (white area on the map). Our hotel was just a few blocks down from Marienplatz. Our room was not quite ready for us because the hotel had some late checkouts, but it wasn’t a big deal because we hadn’t eaten lunch. We had lunch around the back of the hotel at a pub called Ayinger. We both had "Sausage is the Beer’s Girlfriend," the actual name of the dish.

While we were eating, it started pouring down rain. We tried to wait it out but there was no sign of it slowing, and we ended up back at the hotel cold and wet. We dried off and went out to find Mike’s Bike Tour. Once at Marienplatz, the brochure informed us that the tour met under the clock tower. At one point, there were six clocks on towers visible from where we were standing. We ran into the tourist information office, and the woman behind the desk pointed us (after some labored interaction) to the clock tower of the Old Town Hall. She also provided us with the rather stylish ponchos (i.e. trash bags with hoods) that we ended up sporting like the tourists we are.

From Greg: Back in the states I had decided that it didn’t rain in Europe. Consequently, I had one long-sleeve fleece and no rain gear. Therefore, I decided I was in need of a rain jacket and the concierge directed me to a department store, Ludwig Beck. While I do make most clothes look quite fashionable, a silly European jacket that didn’t quite fit right for 200 Euros just didn’t seem worth it. So, instead, I went to the tourist information and got a trashbag to wear on my head. It was merely 1 Euro.

From Cari: At the clock tower, a man with a hoodie and a lip ring told us that the tour was probably not going to happen because we were the only ones that showed up. He told us to try again the next day. We headed back to the hotel, getting stopped once by a British couple to ask us where we “got ahold of” our sweet ponchos. They were in demand. We dried off and tried to decide what to do. We couldn’t, so we went for a walk because it had stopped raining.

The walk ended at Hofbrauhaus, which just happened to be around the corner. The inside was crazy! There were people everywhere, and the culture was that you just sat down at a table with random people. We ended up at a table with another American and two Germans (a couple) from the north because I heard them speaking English as we walked by. The conversation was slow to start. I was getting a little nervous that this was going to be slightly awkward the whole time until the oompa band started playing a song and a lot of the young people started to sing. The German male was staring at them all singing and finally said, “Bavarians are strange.”

That started a slew of conversation, from the difference between northern and southern Germany, to the education system in Germany, to the culture of the Midwest, to a picture of a lady in Vienna wearing an alligator hat, to the place where King Hofbrau (*see pictures) bought his crown. I had the dark beer (dunkel), which came in a liter glass, and which was supposedly made only for the royals when Hofbrau was the brewery to the royal court. It was less carbonated than the light beer (hell) that Greg had. I also had the Weiner Schnitzel for dinner, but the food was more or less unremarkable.

From Greg: We learned that the Bavarians are the “deep south” of Germany. Northern Germans claim that it’s easier to communicate with Bavarians in English over “High German.” I can not yet say if the rest of Germany is this way, but the people in Munich also seem inclined to wear very extravagant outfits. Also (my dad will love this), they have a German-type jackalope. It has the body/head of a groundhog, the tail of a squirrel, wings of some kind, and clawed feet. I believe that animal can only be found South of the Rhine river…

I had a number of interesting conversations with the German couple we sat with at dinner. One of which was their water quality. They claim that it isn’t sterilized with chlorine, so it always tastes good. They also stated that the government monitors and requires water qualities “higher than anywhere in the world.” Now, I have no way of debating this point but I can say that the water has been pretty good right out of the tap. Funny enough, the Northern German couple wont drink anything but bottled water outside of Germany.

From Cari: We stayed for almost three hours, talking and laughing with our new friends. After we took a couple of pictures to commemorate the evening, we parted ways, probably never to communicate again. It was a lot of fun. We headed straight back to the hotel because we were going to have another early morning the next day.
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Comments

Aunt Tenna on

Greg,
You are too funny! I felt like you were right here talking to me. I'm so glad you guys are having fun and meeting people.
Cari,
You are a good writer and I'm glad you and Greg have each other to share this great with with.
Love,
Aunt Tenna

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