19 November 2009

Munich [Day Twelve]

Finally a sleep in! But only until 8:30 - we had a walking tour to attend. The guy shows up late, looking... disinterested. Then he opens his mouth, and it all gets worse - he is an American, and not one of those tolerable ones either. He pretty much thought he was the cats pajamas. But, I guess he really know his sh*t, and in parts it was really interesting. If he toned it down a bit it would be a truely awesome tour.

We started the tour in Mariensplatz, outside the Neues Rathaus (New Courthouse) which houses the famour Glockenspiel. The Glockenspiel has been named the second most overrated attraction in all of Europe, only beaten by Pragues astromonical clock. I would say they are on a par, but the Glockenspiel goes on for about 5 minutes!

The night of the broken (which glass gave the Nazi's an excuse to start persecuting of the Jews, and the start of the Nazi propaganda machine) started right on the corner of this square. I wont retell the story here, but it is really interesting stuff, so google it and find out what happened.

We then saw St. Peter's Church and Fraueh-Kirche (Church of our lady). Both with interesting stories. Fraueh-Kirche has two huge towers which somehow survived WW2. We were also told that Satan himself was 'tricked' into helping build the church. When he found out he had been tricked he stamped his foot in anger, the stone turning to gold and leaving his print there to this day. Unfortunately, we couldn't go in and see it.

Sunday is a big day for church in Germany - the only shops open were food places. We were disapointed our next stop was also closed - the Viktualienmarkt. This is a huge outdoor market with all sorts of interesting things (so we are told).

Next stop was Hofbrauhaus, the world famous beer hall. We didn't venture in, but learnt the history of beer halls and Octoberfest. More on that later.

Other places we visited were the National Theater, Field Marshals Hall, Theatinerkirche as well as being shown some of the monuments to the Holocaust around the city. These aren't huge statues as you might expect, but rather hundreds of small plaques that mark the spot where injustices took place. One we passed was for a shop the owners had been illegaly evicted from. There are hundreds of there all around the city that remind people every day of what happened.

The tour finished up in Odeonsplatz, the end point of the beerhall putsch. This took place just as Hitler was coming into power, again really interesting stuff, but I wont go into detail.

We parted ways with our American friend, and went to do a bit of exploring ourselves. We saw the Residenz (ormer royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs), Staats-Kanzlei (Bavaria's Governors office) and the Englischer Garten (large public park in the center of Munich).

I could hear Hofbrauhaus calling my name, so we headed back into town to see what it was all about. This is definately a cool place. A HUGE ammount of people, you could have mistaken it for a Saturday night rather than a Sunday afternoon. It felt really authentic too - they even had an oompah band. The wait staff were all dressed in what I assume was traditional costume (not as many beer wenches as I had hoped). We had a stein (1L) of the original house brew, I was impressed. Infact all the beer here has been really good.

Our guide told us that the best views of the city can be had from St. Peters Church - so we headed up about 4:30, just before sunset. We got awesome views of the city before and after dark. You can even see the Alps from the tower.

After a huge day out we headed home. We have an early morning tomorrow, catching a 7am train to Zurich, then on to Luzern.

Next Post - 'Munich to Luzern'

1 comment:

  1. I just discovered your site via Entrecard. I love to travel and I can see so do you! Your pictures of Munich brought back many memories when I visited in April 2009.


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