Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bavarian Fun

Once we got settled in our apartment in Munich, our next order of business was to go into town to look around and have our first authentically German meal. First, we had to figure out how to pay for U-Bahn (underground train, a.k.a. subway). The instructions were all in German, but we found out that you could buy a day ticket for a group, so that's the route we took. Our apartment was a quick walk from the U3 station that could take us directly to Marienplatz in the heart of the city.
Once we got to Marienplatz, we took a fair number of pictures of the Rathaus, then walked around the walking zone and were shocked at the number of people in lederhosen and dirndles (those clothes that look like Oktoberfest costumes). I assumed that most of the folks we saw must be going to or from work in a restaurant, but there were far too many to attribute to that. They simply were everywhere. It was surprising, but kind of fun, too.
After our walk, we went to a restaurant in the basement of the Rathaus right on Marienplatz in the middle of town. They had a traditional Bavarian menu, so we all got the traditional meals. I had schnitzel and the DH had wurst. It's about as Bavarian as it gets. The meal was good and we enjoyed our first foray into the traditional. After that, we were pretty pooped and headed back to the apartment for some sleep.

The next day, we started at the Viktualien Markt. We bought fresh meat, pasta, bread, and produce to have for dinner that night. The shops were delightful and had all kinds of fresh local fare. I think the DH's favorite was the greek shop with a large variety of olives, marinated garlics, and marinated peppers. It looked amazing and the few things we bought lived up to the anticipation. They were fantastic. We also got a couple of Greek spreads that were wonderful on the fresh bread we had.
After the market, we headed out in the car to the BMW museum. We had to check out the actual showroom first. It was wonderful to see all those beautiful cars. It almost made me want to buy one -- almost! I guess I'm just too practical to have a BMW here, but in Germany they're considered regular cars, not just luxury cars. They were everywhere. We then visited the museam and got to see the history of BMW and many of the engines, motorcycles, airplane engines, and cars that they've manufactured over the years. I loved the BMW Isetta. It's the smallest car I've ever seen, even making the new Smart Cars look big in comparison. It reminded me of a cartoon car. I had to have one of my own, so I bought one that's two inches long. It's cute as a bug.
After the BMW museum, we made our way farther out of town to visit the Dachau Memorial. We did the self-guided walking tour and spent time on the grounds as well. The only rain we had on the trip was while we were visiting Dachau. I guess that's fairly appropriate. It was a stark reminder of what hatred and fear can create and had me thinking about current events regarding Muslims. I was glad we went there, but also glad to leave those painful reminders behind.
We spent the evening at the apartment eating dinner that we prepared ourselves. We had way too much after wanting to try a little bit of everything that looked good at the market. We had also made our first trip to the grocery store and the boys had a great time with that. They loved all the crazy new brands and products that they were unfamiliar with, and seeing the German take on brands they did know. We also played some cards (a great new game to the DH and I called Nerts). The next day we would be moving on to our next destination.


Kathleen said...

This sounds like a great adventure for you all... and so great that you speak German to ease the way.

liz j said...

I can't wait to see more! I wish the one time I had been in Germany someone in our group had spoked German. Would have been loads easier.

And Nerts rules.