23 December 2013

What?! There's other things to do in Munich aside from Oktoberfest? haha

If you missed the previous story, I invite you to read it Willkommen in München ~ Welcome to Munich.

First full day in Germany!  Awoke as early as possible (after a late night of catching up with my girlfriends), prepared breakfast in our lovely upgrade, an awesome 1 bedroom flat complete with kitchen and laundry.  No luggage in tow (thankfully) we made our way to the metro, direct to City Centre.  Unlike elsewhere I've been, 2-5 people can venture around the city on the metro system (bus, train, tram) with only one ticket making Germany the most accessible and affordable travel places I've ventured to (at least as far as public transportation is concerned).  Marienplatz please!

... off the subway, up the escalator and there it was ... Munich, Marienplatz (city centre).  Directly ahead, behind, beside, in every direction; old architect, people, shops, food, my eyes hurt not from the bright sunlight but because I was trying to absorb everything I was seeing.   

We spent the entire week exploring. Even chose to do the hop on / hop off bus ... honestly, those buses are a very neat way to explore the highlights of the city you're visiting.  Some of the top attractions for us:

This is the site of the 1972 Olympics. It's full of bike lanes, grass and treed areas, trails, a lake, football stadium, an Olympic pool, restaurants, a giant tower in the park's centre and many tent-like roof covered buildings.  

We decided for only a few Euros and with our time constraint (late afternoon, lack of sun to soon follow), that we would take the park train to explore.  So thankful for this option.  We saw the park in just under an hour and never would we have been able to see nearly most of the 300 acre park if we'd decided to go ahead by foot.  Even had time to sit back, enjoy a coffee and watch the birds play in the lake.  

Along the water's edge there are these tile-like designs that are hand stamped and signed from famous persons.  They call it Munich Olympic Walk of Stars (click here to check it out).  And while you're at Olympiakpark, you can also visit the BMW Welt and Museum, it's on your left as you enter. 

On our way out of the park, we were stopped by a kind fellow and asked if we wanted try this game he had.  After watching for a second, we decided that we'd try.  You are given a long stick and then a small wooden object that has three-legs.  The object is to toss it up in the air (making it a "three-legged flying object" as he called it, or a hat for my friend Stephanie hahaha) and then try to catch it.  After we got the hang of it we were able to toss it back and forth to each other. (still laughing at Stephanie...she had her hands full so the entire way from the park to our flat she wore the thing on her head hahaha...great memories).

Englische Garten (English Garden) 
This is a 900 acre park making it one of the largest Urban Parks in the world.  The reason for our visit was to see the Chinese tower and experience the Beer Garden there (which just happened to be highlighted on one map I saw, but failed to bring with me the day we explored haha). Once we arrived in the Park, we decided to hike some of the trail systems there. Such a beautiful day.  

Streams, large trees, grass area, lots of people and dogs and the best view of the City's scape from the top of monopteros (it's a round, roofed, pillar type structure nestled in the hills and from it you can look out over the park with the famous city buildings as the backdrop, absolutely beautiful).  

I don't want you to miss out on what this park has to offer, so be sure to click here (Englische Garden) to read what tourism has to say about it.  When we arrived at the Chinese Tower / Beer Garden, it was a large outdoor sitting area where you could self-serve food and beverages and then sit back and enjoy them.  Much like an outdoor cafeteria, only you could drink in public there (all of Munich actually).  YUM!

Our very first stop after leaving our flat and taking the metro was Marienplatz.  It's a large plaza (in English it's Mary's Square) it's home to City Hall, fountains, entertainment, foot traffic, the Tourist Information centre, many shops and restaurants and tons of history, architect and activity.  From here we explored by foot, passing by windows filled with Oktoberfest hearts, clothes and souvenirs, Churches, large statues and many mime artists.  We ventured in every direction.  Such a beautiful place, so many things that we'd only seen pictures of in books were now coming to life before our eyes. 

We happened upon an area known as Odeonsplatz another square accessible within a short walk, directly in front of a beautiful Church. Large lion statues placed on either side of the steps that lead to a large statue in the centre of a stage ... a stage, of course this makes sense as I've just learned that it received it's name from a former concert hall (Wikipedia).

Each time we visited Marienplatz, we'd set off to explore in a different direction.  Our explorations never let us down and every time we saw something awesome or wicked or something we'd read about in history class (ohh the love of travel and seeing/doing).  

Many outdoor lunch areas and places to sit back and people watch.  So many markets and things of interest. Just like: Viktualienmarkt a market area that was large and active (the cafeteria part anyhow) but all the shops were closed (and we're still not certain if it was closed because this was their typical 'day off' or if it was because EVERYONE was attending Oktoberfest (Wikipedia says it's opened daily)?  It'd be a must see place of interest if I ever were to return.

Allianz Arena
This structure was incredible. It was a place of interest for Connie, so thankful she mentioned it.  Allianz Arena is about a 10 minute walk from the metro station but well worth stepping out of your way.  It's the football stadium (apparently before this one was built, teams played in Olympic Park).  We didn't actually venture inside (the building was locked up solid) but just watching it change from White to Red and back to White, was worth the visit.

Ostbahnhof < Kutfabrik 
Take the metro to Ostbahnhof and just follow the crowds of people at midnight making their way to the night club area of Munich, Kutfabrik.  I know that we didn't make it to too many clubs (pretty much stopped at the first one...although we did leave, explored for a minute, threw the sledgehammer down at one place for a chance to win great Oktobest prizes, only to be disappointed when the little bell did NOT make it to the top, or even 1/2 way up the pole for that matter hhaha...all in fun, free drink for trying).  The line ups were long at all the other establishments (the later it gets, the longer the lines get) so we returned to where we had be given stamps and proceeded past the queue.  Memorable night filled with new friends (what a time we had).  I'd like to spend a few nights here next time :) the dancing was awesome!

What Else
Germany is known for it's delicious beer, so we ladies took advantage of that and tried numerous amounts of various kinds.  You can also drink beer out of a bottle anywhere in Munich (even on the metro) and if you purchase one that requires a bottle opener, just ask the friendly staff at the counter for assistance.  Munich had one of the best internet cafe's I had ever visited. It was tucked away inside a bar/casino type place, a very friendly and easy to use system. You put money in yourself to start it (not having to ask for assistance or pay when you leave, brilliant). It also only cost a minute of your time to print a document. :) very neat.  It's cold in Germany.  They experience similar weather to that of where I'm from in Canada.  And when it rains the first week of October, it could very easily have been snow. If you visit, give yourself longer than a week.  There's much to see and do in Munich :)

Okay Okay :) get your dirndls and lederhosen on our next stop is 'Theresienwiese' - OKTOBERFEST.  To prepare, check out this link...takes me back lol.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3VJ4AQHtpM

To review all the stories, including this one related to Spain - An Extended Adventure (click here).  For ALL the vicarious vacations shared so far, your Adventure Map awaits (click here).  Please leave your comments, your stories, your travel advice etc. in the section below (comments or reaction section) and give your answer to the weekly survey (top right of the blog page). No sign up necessary, just a simple click :) A little shy?! Why not send me an email instead: holidayheidi@hotmail.ca

~Holiday Heidi

1 comment:

  1. LOVE - LOVE - LOVE IT!!!! Smiling the whole time reading it!!! Awesome trip with two awesome girls. The pictures made me laugh out loud :-) SO glad I had the chance to go with you girlies xoxoxo

    Stephanie <3