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GERMANY | Thursday, 12 April 2007 | Views [1054]

Hi Everyone, I have been so bad about updating this when it comes to writing about what I’ve been doing. So here is the catch up… The last three months have been ridiculous. I could never have imagined that I would be seeing all these places and doing all these things. I guess I’ll have to start back at Munich, which now seems like a really long time ago but it was only a little over a month ago. My friends Cate and Elsa and I went to Munich, Germany with Cate’s boyfriend and his friends that are studying in Florence through the Syracuse University program. Since then we’ve all been hanging out on a regular basis. We got on the bus with our travel group, Euro Adventures, at about 6PM and drove north to through Austria and the Alps into Bavaria. We arrived in Munich at about 4AM and crashed immediately as we got to our beds. The next day we had a surprisingly early start considering the lack of sleep we had gotten the night before and went straight to the center of town. Munich is a very modern city compared to anywhere I’ve been in Italy. This actually had been my first time out of Italy since I’d arrived in early January. Most of the city was bombed during World War II so a lot of the buildings were not the originals but had been rebuilt to look as they once were. After walking around for a while that morning we went to see the Glockenspiel (gosh I hope that’s how you spell that). After this Cate and I separated from the group and walked around the city center checking out shops and eating giant soft pretzels. Munich has amazing pastries, and we managed to eat at least one with each meal, hehe. As we ventured around we found one of the main beer gardens which was just around the corner from the town square. It had a market surrounding it and served Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner-Keller, and Lowenbraus beer at different stands in giant beer steins. After walking around the market we had our first beer in Germany. It was everything I would have expected, lots of people sitting around drinking and smoking enjoying the beautiful weather and good conversation. I am not quite sure how Germans drink such a large amount of such strong beer so early in the evening and not go straight to bed afterwards because Cate and I were dragging the rest of the evening until our late dinner at the Hofbrauhaus beer hall with the rest of the group. The Hofbrauhaus is everything and more that you would expect from a German beer hall. It was loud, crowded, and umpa-ing of polka music. I found out later from my Grandpa that he had actually played there with this band when they toured Europe and were there over Oktoberfest many years ago. I really felt like he and my Grandma were walking around Munich a lot of the time because this had been one of their favorite cities to visit. That night I tried authentic German cuisine and of course beer, lots and lots of beer. My friends and I drank enough that hey started swaying back and forth and singing along to songs we didn’t know with people we just met and the guys in our group even arm wrestled. The whole night was just hysterical and ended with my friend Marc marching and chanting “German People” in a thick Long Island accent with his beer stein in hand. The next day we walked around more of the city centre and decided to get lunch at the largest beer garden in Munich in the middle of its main park. The park happens to be the largest public city park in Europe which we found out after we walked a good fifty minutes to get to the beer garden. We enjoyed a few steins of beer and at a big lunch and ended up spending two hours hanging out and talking. That night we went to the Augstiner-Keller beer haus which is more popular among locals. The guy who was in charge of our trip had told us about the local club district in Munich so later that night we headed over to the club district which was like nothing I’ve ever seen in the states. It was an old warehouse district that had all been turned into dance clubs and bars. Each club was decorated on the outside to look more like a modern building but once you were inside they were very apparently old warehouses with flashing lights, techno music, and crazy dancing. For some reason I’ve heard a lot of George Michael music since being in Europe and Germans apparently like him a lot too. They also seem to be really big fans of Ace of Base. So my friends and I all danced along to “I Saw the Sign” and “Faith” and had an absolute blast. The next morning we were all exhausted and got on the tour bus early to head to Fussen, which is where Neuschwanstein Castle is located. It was built by King Ludwig and is what Disney’s Cinderella castle is based off of. This was one of things I really wanted to see while in Europe so I was very excited that we took the detour on the bus ride back to Florence. It sits right at the edge of the German Alps near Lichtenstein. While we were there it started raining and as we walked farther up to the castle it started snowing really hard. Although it was freezing, I really liked the weather while we were there since I missed winter in Minnesota and Wisconsin this year so it was surprisingly nice to have the snow and wind hit my face until my nose and ears froze. The castle itself was spectacular, but the view from a bridge that was farther into the foothills was my favorite part of the whole weekend. On one side we were able to watch a snowstorm come in and cover the Alps and on the other side was the castle with all the farm hills and villages below it. After getting some of the greatest pictures I’ve taken since I’ve been here I proceded to return back to Florence and put all my pictures on my iPod since I had run out of hard drive space. Unfortunately without my knowledge the files didn’t transfer correctly so once I deleted all my pictures off my computer I lost all pictures from this amazing trip to Germany and any others I hadn’t posted online prior to this trip as well. Since then I’ve learned my lesson and have backed everything up on CDs before removing them from my computer and have posted all my favorite pictures online. I’m going to try to get my friend Cate’s pictures since we took many of the same so that you can all see them. If you’d like to check out some of the pictures from our trip you can also go online to Euroadventures.com. It should be under the trip to Munich at the end of February this year.

Tags: Food & eating

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