Day 15: Beer Crawl and Concentration Camp. Great moments in Munich
Munich Travel Blog› entry 15 of 20 › view all entries
So much to talk about! Went on the beer challenge last night and it was one of the best nights of my trip thus far. Our guide Hiedi was amazing. We got our first beer at the train station and took the subway to our first beer hall, Hofbrauhaus. It was different being able to drink on the train...definitely can't get away with that at home. Before we went inside, Heidi taught us a German drinking song that we were supposed to sing all night. Unfortunately, my German is terrible and i've forgotten it all. We went to three beer halls/gartens and then finished the night conveniently at my hostel bar. It was cool being in the Hofbrauhaus because Hitler came to drink here. The place was just what I imagined it to be...polka music, girls in braids serving beer and giant pretzels and overweight drunk men singing their hearts out. Our challenge was to have 1 litre of beer in each place! It was a big challenge for me but I rose to the occasion. The litre beer steins were huge! It was an arm workout just to bring it to my mouth lol. The beer was absolutely incredible though..soo smooth, especially Augustinerbrau. I even tried the beer that they mix with lemonade and it was also delicious. Everyone had a blast. The Americans, Canadians and Brits that I met were all there as well as some new people that I met and had a ton of fun with. I guess after more than 4 litres of beer in one night, I can't say i'm not a beer drinker anymore.
This morning I said goodbye to Laura and Charlyn as well as the Brits. The girls and I promised to hang out in Florence when I got there (they are going there for school now for a month). I went on a guided tour (by sandeman's) of the concentration camp in Dachau. I was glad that I decided to do it...it was definitely an experience of a lifetime. I never in my life thought i'd be standing in a gas chamber used in the Holocaust. Seeing the bunkers and the ovens was something amazing that I will never forget. It definitely depresses you after spending a few hours there but the whole point is to be educated about the Holocaust and realize that we can never let something like that happen again. After the tourm we were all hot, tired, and pretty quiet. I just wanted to lie down and nap but I had to check out of my room this morning. Luckily, two other Canadians I met (Karla and Anne-Marie) let me hang out in their room for the rest of the day. We had pizza for dinner and then I said goodbye to them as well as Zack and Eric and left at 8 to get my train. I'm on the train now on my way to Italy. I was hoping to be rooming with some young backpackers again but I'm with a German family (parents and two kids). The little kids have been friendly but they don't speak any English and the parents haven't even attempted to say anything :(. But i'm here to sleep so its not a big deal, I'm exhausted from all the activities in Munich. I'm really going to miss it and all the people I bonded with over the last few days. It's a great city. I am excited for Italy though and to see my relatives soon. I'm gonna sleep soon but i'd thought i'd give my ten tips for Munich:
1) Relax and have a beer: This city's origins and history are full of stories of beer. It is an important and integral part of Bavaria. It is found in any story of religion, history, politics, and economics. Drinking beer is what these people do in their spare time. There is even a breakfast beer to start the day lol. They do it well here though. The beer here (especially Augustiner) is clean and smooth and doesn't give you a bad hangover becuase there are no chemicals in it unlike our North American crap.
2) Learn traditions: We learned how to cheers properly. Muncheners are pretty strict about this apparently. You must say "prost" and clink clups while looking the person in the eye. The drinks must clink at their thickest end. After this you should pound your drink on the table and then you are permitted to drink it
3) Go to Dachau: This concentration camp was one of the most integral camps during the Nazi reign and it is rich in history. It's definitely an experience but will be a sobering one so don't do it before a planned big night out.
4) The street names are hard to remember: German words tend to be long and confusing and most of them sound similar to each other
5) Try some German food: I had pork knuckle but there's also schnitzel, bratwurts, oktoberfest sausage, pretzels, dumplings and tons more.
6) Buy your beer stein when you're done drinking: In most places, you can keep your glass as a souvenir if you pay a few more euros
7) Find out if there's a German holiday while you are there: The Germans have way more holidays than we do and it's good to know when they are. I couldn't go to the store today to get food or a phone card because everything was closed (except the beer halls haha)
8) It's ok to talk about Hitler: Coming to Germany, I expected all the events of WWII to be a taboo topic. A lot of people on our tour would get really quiet when the topic came up but our tour guide was adament that we should discuss it without any apprehension. It's not just a part of German history, its part of all of our history. He assurred us that we could say his name aloud (he's not Voldemort lol)
9) The Glokenspiel is better than the clock in Prague but still overrated: 3 times a day the clock plays a song and there is a show similar to Disny's It's a Small World except its a battle scene in which a German soldier knocks a French soldier of his horse. It's nothing special but it still brings in big crowds.
10) Take it easy: i could have, i would have bokoed one more day here. It's not a place to be rushed. Everyone here is so laid back. You need the time to lounge about enjoying a German meal and a couple beers, visit the numerous parks, stroll the streets and shop in the markets and listen to some polka. It's really a wonderful place.