Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beer O'Clock- Munich, Germany

Back on German soil I couldn't have felt any better. This time it was on the other side of German life down in the town of Munich, the beer capital of the world! Originally James and I had planned to head east after Vienna. How ever we just couldn't resist catching up with our good friends and head back across into Germany. Boy am I glad that we did, Munich is a fantastic city. Normally I am one to appreciate the smaller things in life, however Munich was the first major city that I had fallen in complete love with for quite sometime. Munich is everything Berlin isn't. Clean, rich and vibrant, its a place that oozes fresh German life.

Every question, answer, problem and resolution starts and ends with Beer. Throughout history beer has always been the epicentre of Munich and has shaped what the city is today. Housing seven major breweries with hundreds of fantastic beer halls and beer gardens, I couldn't wait to get amongst it all. One of the most famous beer halls Hofbrauhaus has featured throughout the pages of history being the drinking ground for Mozart himself, Hitler and his Party and to more recent times George W Bush. The building consists of three levels and a fantastic beer garden. The top floor where we went and enjoyed our first night in Munich was shaped as if you were sitting inside a giant beer barrel. Chandeliers hung over the many long trestle tables as traditionally dressed waiters served the finest beer in there standard 1litre steins and the hugest pork knuckles I have ever seen. The atmosphere was like nothing else I have been apart of. As the German band played the boys began to competitively skull there steins and violently thrust there pork knuckles into the air as us girls danced around the tables, twirled around waiters and joined in conga lines becoming the entire halls entertainment. It was the German experience at its finest.

If your looking for a more locally loved beer hall experience Augustiner-Braustuben is the perfect location. Personally Augustiner is my favourite German beer so naturally I love this hall. The food was even more delicious then the last and at a lot lower cost which made it that much more perfect. The hall is a lot more cosy and intimate. That being said don't think this means we didn't take on the opportunity to be as rowdy as we possibly could. After all we were living the authentic German dream. 

Munich's motto for living is an Italian phrase "La Dolce Vita" which means the sweet life. Although they try there best to keep the past in the past and focus on the good things in life, like Berlin, Munich also had suffered immensely throughout World War II and the Holocaust. To the Nazi Party and Hitler, Munich was the "Hauptstadt der Bewegung"- the Capital of Movement. The place where Hitler begun to seize power. With historic events such as the 'Beer Hall Putsch' and the 'Munich Agreement' all taking place within this Bavarian city. Only 70% of Munich was destroyed throughout this horrific time. Thinking ahead photos and blue prints of the town were taken and kept safely underground in case of any bombings. Details as small as cobble stone brick patterns in the streets were noted. This was so the city could be as closely rebuilt to its original form as possible. By doing this Munich have successfully restored the charm that makes an old city what it is, a trait that Berlin didn't have for me.

We took the time to go out on a day trip to a small village Hohenschwangau. Which is home to The Neuschwanstein Castle. Perched on top of a great rugged hill the castle is a magnificent site. Built as a private retreat for King Richard Wagner in the 19th century. Now it is nothing more then a major tourist hotspot, attracting more then 1 million people each year. Look familiar? What makes this castle the attraction it is today is the fact that it was Walt Disney's inspiration for the famous Walt Disney Castle we have all grown up to know. Sadly I never really took the time to appreciate old Richard and his enterprise. Instead the afternoon was spent reliving our childhood, singing classic Disney songs and having debates about which Disney film is the best of all time. Sometimes its nice to put the facts aside and just enjoy the magic of your surroundings.

As we took the time to enjoy and savour every last moment of this phenomenal city and more importantly its mind-blowing beer I found it hard to find the motivation to move forward. Munich was a great success, a place I can not wait to get around once again.

Oktoberfest 2014? The Bearded Boy seems to think so!

The Wanderers Daughter xx 

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