München is Munich in German! [Germany and Oktoberfest!]

München Travel Blog

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Munich Centrale Train Station

This trip to Munich, Germany was great!!!  Here’s an overview of our trip before I get into more detail.  All 14 of us left Thursday 10/4 in the afternoon to Florence, then we left on an overnight train to get to Munich, Germany.  Right when we got there we went straight to where Oktoberfest was located and waited in front of the HB tent until it opened at around 10am, 10/5 Friday morning.  We stayed at Oktoberfest until around 6pm that day!  It was a long day!!!  We went to our hotel room, freshened up, then went BACK TO Oktoberfest to see it at NIGHT!  Then we found a place to sit beside one of the tents, stayed there for a while, then made our way back to the hotel by subway/underground, once again.

Arrival to Oktoberfest in the rain!
  The next day 10/6, we all went to Dachau, the location of the Dachau Concentration Camp which was memorialized and open for tourists and visitors.  We left at around 3pm from Dachau then went  back to Hauptbanhauf (a central stop in the underground).  Some of us went back to Oktoberfest while others went to downtown Munich for some site seeing and shopping.  I chose to see more of the city and ended up spending lots lots at the central shopping district in Munich!  It was so much fun, so many shops everywhere.  Then our entire group met up once again back at the train station at night to await our overnight train back to Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy.
receiving our first beer mugs!
  And I’m back here right now typing this up because I think this was a great trip and Germany is a great country!  Now for the details…. Excuse the length…

 

We left early in the afternoon on Thursday right after lunch to head to Florence which was our transfer stop.  We stayed there for a very long afternoon, waiting for our overnight train to arrive at around 9:40pm.  Myself and some others in the group just stayed in McDonald’s almost the entire time there because we were so tired and just wanted to rest instead of going exploring (since we all had our heavy backpacks on and did not want to carry them around the busy city).  So we all had McDonald’s for dinner.

Yum?!
  I had two regular hamburgers with fries.  NOTE:  Europeans do not understand the words “extra onions please”! actually, they don’t understand the word “extra” at all!  Nor do they understand “free refill”, but after the first try its pretty easy to realize these phrases don’t exist, so I’ve understood it for a while, I’m just bringing it up because I miss onions a lot!  I also bought a dark chocolate KitKat bar which was totally delicious!  Some others bought something else from the same store (40% tequila).  Anyway, we got on the German overnight train.  It was VERY nice compared to Italian overnight trains, by the way!  Fairly clean restroom with a sink and separate sink areas with space to put your toothbrush, contacts case, etc. and a nice mirror!  Beds were pretty comfortable also with nice sheets and nice pillows like a regular hotel!  (and I’m saying this in comparison to the Italy train which will be explained further on…)  So my bunk mates were Veronica, Patricia, Jenn Rivo, Jen Chow, and Camille going to Germany and back.
First empty glasses!
  I had a middle bunk on this train.  I really enjoyed sleeping on these trains going there and back.  I imagine myself being animated on a map, like my face or a train symbol slowly reaching the destination on the map while a red line shows where I came from.  Alright, so we got to Munchen Centrale, the Munich train station in Germany!  I love that train station!  It’s the first station what enforces no smoking and it was so bright and CLEAN!  Just a quick overall note on the food in Germany:  Great Stuff! 

So we get off the train and find the lockers so we could put our bags in and find Oktoberfest ASAP!  We first got breakfast downstairs.

one of the tasty treats... ^_^
  Everyone went straight to the McDonald’s for “American” breakfast.  I didn’t feel like having food from McD’s two days in a row so MattG and I went to a pastry store to for our breakfast.  We went back to sit in McD’s with the group and watched American 80’s music on the McD’s television screen.  It was funny when we saw Whitney Houston suddenly start singing “I’m Every Woman”.  Right then I was thinking “this is the first time I’ve ever seen this video and I’m in Germany!”  

SO, we took our small personal bags and umbrellas and started walking since Jen Rueda had the directions.  It started to rain during our walk and started to pour when we reached the site of Oktoberfest.  It’s basically a very large and exciting FAIR, like a carnival.

One table of many
  (I really never knew much about this event so excuse my descriptions.  And I was comparing it to the movie “Beerfest” which was a terrible movie by the way).  So we wait for a couple of hours in front of the HB tent, the oldest and also a popular beer brand?  I think I heard that, not sure though.  So we get in and its freezing inside because of the weather and the tables were all sticky although it looked like people inside were cleaning all morning.  The place doesn’t get filled although there were many people waiting in line.  This is because it was still early in the morning, only Americans would get to Oktoberfest this early to get drunk (quoting Ricardo).  So we left that tent to go exploring since booths began to open.  I then had a little sandwich which looked like a fat fried patty of meat in a bun with ketchup on top.
in the crowd outside!
  It had the texture of a sausage but wasn’t as thick.  It might have been some kind of meat grounded together then fried.  The name of it started with an “F”.  I couldn’t pronounce it which means I couldn’t also remember the name of it.  But it was pretty good, I was starving and I enjoyed it!  We went into a few more tents after that.  A couple of them we just walked through because we couldn’t find a table, we were able to find seats in a couple others. 

So I was able to get the feel of the festivity every time we got a chance to sit down.  Music playing, Germans singing, people standing on benches and tables holding up their 1 liter beer mugs, half chickens being served with a side of mashed potatoes, tables filled with empty beer mugs, waitresses holding around 10 beers mugs in their arms at one time, men dressed in “leatherhosen”, women in their traditional dresses, clouds of smoke from cigarettes or cigars fill the tents, crowds of people outside, as well, walking about, eating sausage sandwiches and other German treats!  I did share a beer with Veronica in the first tent we were in, but I got pretty sick of it and spent money on souvenirs and FOOD until night time when we came back.

night time!
  So some people in our group rode the rides there.  I didn’t feel like riding anything because I had food in my stomach most of the time and didn’t want to pay more for the rides, so I just watched and took pictures. 

So the next foods I had was a pork sandwich with grilled onions.  I couldn’t resist watching the onions being grilled in bulk and finished pieces of pork chops resting on the grill so I had to have one!  It was actually not too fantastic since the meat wasn’t seasoned too well, but the onions made up for it!  Then I had a chocolate wafer.

When we went back to the hotel everyone took showers because we all felt so dirty and gross from sleeping in the overnight train and drinking or walking in the rain or sitting on sticky seats, etc.  We were all ready to go back after a couple of hours, so we took the underground once again back to Oktoberfest, and the underground leads you directly to the site, very convenient, and some of the trains are so modern inside and comfortable and clean!  So it was night time and everything was lit up!  Lights everywhere, rides in the distance, crowds of people in numbers much larger than in the morning or afternoon!  ALL the tent doors to each tent was closed, only people with reservations or people who have been in the same tent since afternoon could stay or get in!  We had a hard time finding a place to sit, we walked around the whole place again.

FOOD! (JenChow, and JenRueda)
  We first had dinner though.  Everyone got a type of sausage sandwich.  So good!  Those sausages were so tasty!  So we finally found a table to sit down at outside of a larger tent.  Some of us ordered beer again, we only stayed there for one round.  Through the window of the tent we were sitting beside we could see how much fun everyone was having while INSIDE the tent, while us and the rest of the other people outside were not dancing on tables or raising beer mugs like the people inside.  We heard the same music they heard yet the difference from being outside the tent and inside the tent is drastic!  So after that we walked slowly back to the underground to end our day.  The station was packed full of people trying to get back home or trying to get back to Oktoberfest still!  I’ve never seen more drunk people together before—its great! (quoting JenChow)  What I really enjoyed was the FOOD FOOD FOOD!  And the fun gifts I bought while there.
One "tent" of many!
  I tried to go easy with my money like I usually do, but I couldn’t control myself this time because I knew that I wouldn’t go back to Germany any time soon.  The chances of me going back there before I go back home are pretty slim.  I think I’m going to visit different places during my last weeks here, so that’s why I did a little more spending at the shops.  It was lot’s of fun.

So 7 of us girls had to sleep in one small room meant for one person!  We were supposed to split the entire group up so that the numbers would be even in 3 rooms, but the guys and the girls had a room each and the third one was left for Joel and CC (the couple).  Anyway, it was fine since we only stayed there for one night and the restrooms were nice.  (I really appreciate nice, big, clean restrooms now!!! They are rare, nowadays).

the entrance to the camp
 

 

Moving on to the next day 10/6 Saturday, everyone got ready in the morning to catch a train that goes to Dachau where the memorial of a very large Concentration Camp is located.   I didn’t research much about this but I read a lot of information at the museum there and at the information booth about this camp and about the history of Hitler and ALL THE DETAILS of what happened during the war and at the camp.  Such a LARGE place.  It was pretty creepy walking through there, all the time knowing that hundreds of thousands of prisoners died there on the ground we were walking upon, on the same gravel, the same pebbles.  And we looked at the same barbed wire men tried to jump through, in which men got stuck in trying to escape!  We walked by the Roll Call area where all the men would line up in the early morning, sometimes standing there for hours not being able to move or make a sound, otherwise they’d get whipped or beaten.

The Memorial statue representing prisoners stuck in barbed wire
  And we walked past the sites of the Barracks or the sleeping quarters and went INSIDE the crematory and saw the furnaces where corpses were burned and the rooms which held the corpses, and the Gas Chamber where 150 men could fit inside and be killed instantly.  It was very scary and sad to be in those rooms.  Everything we learned in high school about what happened and everything we’ve heard about these concentration camps was all real there.  It happened THERE.  A crazy thought to think while being there, very amazing… very sad, very scary.  It was a great learning experience, though.  The camp was made kept as a memorial for people to be aware of the lives lost and suffering which occurred by the thousands. 

 

After Dachau we made our way back to the central station Hauptbahnhauf and some of us decided to go see more of Munich, others wanted to go back to Oktoberfest.

A look at the bunk beds in a still standing Barrack (sleeping area)
  I chose to go see the city with MattG, Veronica, Shaun, Kevin, and Joey (from SLO).  We went to the center of the city to see some churches, but the center of the city is like a huge shopping district!  There were so many stores at the base of old buildings and new.  All the shops were either expensive high class shops or clean department stores with clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and so much more!  We bought chocolate and either a jacket or sweater each!  Our little group (which turned into a shopping group…) then went to Hard Rock Café Munich!  Vero and I had onion rings with dipping sauce while Matt ordered an ice cream sundae (which was more ice than cream), Shaun and Joey ordered nachos, and Kevin ordered a salad.  We basically wanted a taste of home, just for that one night.  After that we were going to meet up with the rest of our group back at the train station since that night we were scheduled to hop back on the overnight train to get back to Italy!  So as we were walking back to the underground we passed by more stores again of course, but just went into ONE more store because I, myself, insisted in going in just for a look.
Gas Chamber
  It was Swatch, the watch store!  At first we were just looking at all the cool watches and the expensive prices.  Well, I’ll just tell you right now that Matt bought a watch and so did me and Veronica!  Vero and I actually just bought kids watches since they were really cute and less expensive.  Matt got one of the adult watches with a plastic wrist band.  So I got the Husky dog design, Vero got the dinosaur design, and Matt got the blue and black stripe design called “80’s stripes.” 

So that night at the train station, our entire group of 14 came together once again, got our bags and were ready to leave Germany…  L  I decided that I wanted one last sausage sandwich before I left since they are so good!  So I got one of those along with an ice tea drink while Matt and Vero got Whoppers from Burger King!  I cannot believe I’m coming to the end of my blog because the trip seemed like it was a week when it was only about 2 days!  It was a great trip, although we all never get perfect sleep in trains.  So we had an okay trip back home to Castiglion Fiorentino.  It was just okay because the Italian trains are not as nice as trains from other countries like that great German train!  The restroom in the train back home was the grossest restroom I’ve ever been to (quoting JennChow).  And the sinks were not so great either, and the overall hygiene of the train was maybe a 3 out of 10.  The sheets given felt like diaper material and the pillows used.  And that’s when Camille said that Italy is known as a poor country compared to other European countries.  I can really see that now that I think of it, I thought to myself.

So here ends my blog of Munich, Germany!  Great country to see although I barely saw any of it since we just went to Oktoberfest and did some shopping most of the time!!  But I loved it, food was great stuff, overall the city was pretty clean and very modern, but we did see some nice architecture around the shopping district.

 

Countries I would like to go back to include:  London, Switzerland, Germany!

 

See you soon,

KRYSTIE

 

mattgee says:
I accidentally sent you a smile for this! jk
I take back my previous comment because I did come close to fitting this many pictures in my blog :)
Posted on: Nov 05, 2007
mattgee says:
Great synopsis. I applaud your ability to remember details!

PS..I've never even come close to fitting this many pictures in one of my blogs!
Posted on: Oct 07, 2007
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Munich Centrale Train Station
Munich Centrale Train Station
Arrival to Oktoberfest in the rain!
Arrival to Oktoberfest in the rain!
receiving our first beer mugs!
receiving our first beer mugs!
Yum?!
Yum?!
First empty glasses!
First empty glasses!
one of the tasty treats... ^_^
one of the tasty treats... ^_^
One table of many
One table of many
in the crowd outside!
in the crowd outside!
night time!
night time!
FOOD! (JenChow, and JenRueda)
FOOD! (JenChow, and JenRueda)
One tent of many!
One "tent" of many!
the entrance to the camp
the entrance to the camp
The Memorial statue representing p…
The Memorial statue representing …
A look at the bunk beds in a still…
A look at the bunk beds in a stil…
Gas Chamber
Gas Chamber
München
photo by: krystieo