Munich : Day 1

After a good night’s sleep, I was off to explore the city, and like the ritual goes, what better way to do it than with another Sandemans Tour!? Haha, yes, again! 10 AM, Marienplatz, arguably the most famous spot in Munich, with the clocktower, the townhall and the 2nd most highly overrated attraction in Europe : Glockenspiel, or the clock show! I was here, right underneath the gold and bronze statue of Mary, waiting for the tour to start.

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The green in the middle is the clockshow

I got to discover the other side of Munich. How hitler influenced this town, which was actually the birthplace of his movement. The third reich. Bavaria(which is something like the “state” containing munich), the importance of beer here, the ludwig kings and loads of other things. Here’s one really interesting pillar, in the markt ( marketplace) that symbolises all that is going on here :

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The green in the middle is the clockshow

Bottom most : The father and son towing barrels of beer, with the 6 breweries in town, all producing different kinds of beer, with the 7th barrel holding the sign of purity : The beer is pure, and no adulteration has taken place.

On top : Oktoberfest! Left side, the swings, and right side, the beer!

On top :The schafflers, or the munich barrel makers. They dance every 7 years in the townhall. The story behind this is also pretty interesting! It was, in fact, started after the Plague in 1517,  to renew the joy of life in the city, to attract the people back to the beer, so that the barrel makers don’t run out of business. Bloody brilliant!

Higher up : Not sure what that stands for.

The flag is the flag of Munich. Yes, there are a lot of flags here! The blue and white one in Marienplatz is for Bavaria.

And on top, is the monk, with wheat, going to brew some beer. You see? That’s how important beer is to Bavaria!

Following on, I met the second Juliet : the idol of love in Munich. This is actually a romantic city, and I didn’t have trouble believing it.
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The green in the middle is the clockshow
Ofcourse, I did that ๐Ÿ˜€

*A lot of other things on the tour, but if I go into everything, what is Michelle going to tell you next time you’re in Munich?*

By the end of the tour, it was about 1. I wanted to go to Oktoberfest, but not so soon! Michelle, the tour guide was really nice and pointed me out to the cool eating spots and I tried one of them for traditional German food : brotwurst and weisswurst. Which is really a sausage in bread. Sadly, can’t eat beef and the pork one tastes like shit, unless there’s cheese in it. ( kรคsebrotwurst / kรคsewurst) wurst means sausage in German!
It was really cool to use German here, I could pretty much understand what was written everywhere, but not when they spoke! But that’s okay, I’d brush up on it some other time.

I decided to go up up St. Peter’s church, to a really cool view of Munich. At first, it looked a lot like Russia to me. I haven’t been there, but I imagined it to be like this:

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The green in the middle is the clockshow
Incidentally, I met a girl from Russia on top! Haha, I asked her the same question, to which she replied that there’s not so much red in Russia. Ah, so this is Germany! The characteristic red buildings. I wonder why I thought red was characteristic of Russia. Hmm.

We spent a lot of time up there. It was really pretty and I was really tired climbing those 300 steps to the top.(Don’t know about her, I didn’t ask ๐Ÿ˜› ) Ugh. It just costed 1 euro, so that’s pretty cool! We bade goodbye once we went down ( thanks a lot for inviting me to Vienna! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and I went again to Marienplatz for the Glockenspiel. 2nd most overrated attraction in Europe. I forgot to ask Michelle about the most overrated one, damn!

Well, I guess you can watch it once.

Later that night, I went to Oktoberfest. Finally. IMG_1568

So, something that might strike you as weird is that : I don’t drink Beer. Hence, I didn’t try anything beer related at Oktoberfest. So, I can’t comment on the quality of the beer. All I can tell you is this : This was pretty much the craziest convention of beer drinkers from around the world! All the 12 tents were full of people, some really amazing music, dancing with the enormous 1L beer mugs in their hands! The lines for the tents are incredulous! It’s almost impossible to get in. I waited around for a while, and slipped in when the security guard wasn’t looking. Both days. I think it’s the easiest in this tent :
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The next morning, before leaving Munich, I managed to get into some of the nicer tents :
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The green in the middle is the clockshow
Another thing that this experience exposed me to, was “Picking Up Women, 101.” Let’s just say, like many guys, I’m an idiot when it comes to understanding signals given by women. Shit. Damn it. Let’s just leave it at that.

Prost!

Munich : Day 0

Having spent the last weekend in Douai, I was determined to go somewhere this weekend. Specially so when you realise you don’t have classes on Thursday or Friday! Now, if you tell anyone in Europe that you want to go to Munich, during Oktoberfest on a 3 days notice, on a tight budget, they’d most definitely call you crazy, and rightly so! People plan anywhere from 1 month to 8 months in advance! That’s how you get the best deals, but well, I made do with what I had…

I started with the most important thing : transportation. Combining EuroLines and Megabus, I could go to Munich via Frankfurt, with a 5 hour layover in Frankfurt, which was pretty nice to tour Frankfurt. However, there was a catch with the return: Saturday afternoon : 3 Euros, Sunday afternoon: 30 Euros. So, well you can see what I chose! Saturday ofcourse!

I then chose to stay a day in Frankfurt as well. This covered my journey from Paris to Frankfurt to Munich in a cool 65 Euros, return included! Sounds very good on paper.

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Getting to Paris

Next : Accomodation. Where I almost lost hope and was kind of close to cancelling my plan. But the fact that I had already put in a few hours wanted me to keep going. Any hostel in any place in Munich: sold out. The minimum I found was 70 euros per night! THATS INSANE!
This is when, for the first time, I turned to Couchsurfing for help. How counter intuitive is that? If you have something that costs 20 Euros normally ( hostel) and something free ( Couchsurfing host) , you’re going to go for the free stuff first, right!? Turns out, you pay in terms of time for CS. There’s a chemistry, a chord you need to strike with the hosts for an acceptance. 8 hours of work later, with a very bright streak of luck, I found a host for my first day. Phew. Thanks so much, Muhammad! I planned to sleep in McDonalds for the second night, it couldn’t be that bad, right? And renting a hostel for the night in Frankfurt.
That pretty much covers it. Transportation and Accomodation.
Wednesday afternoon, after an exam in college, I completed my packing and left for the train station at Douai, at about 4:30 PM. You know the story, buy tickets for Paris, ( 20 euros each time. Sigh.)get to Paris and then onwards! I reached Frankfurt, an hour before scheduled time, at 5 AM! What was I going to do here, so early, in that cold? I helped a fellow traveller, who met me on the bus to find a hotel, as he couldn’t speak English / German, but we spoke Hindi. Worked for me as I didn’t have much to do. We parted ways soon after, and I went on to get some breakfast.

The first thing that struck me as odd about Germany was that the shopkeepers were really rude and arrogant! He literally waved his hand and said Go, bye to me while I was in the middle of ordering. Unbelievable! ( I saw the same thing at many shops with foreigners) probably because they don’t accept cards anywhere, only cash and I had asked if I could pay by card. Having a small breakfast with the sunrise, I decided to go see the city.

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Small, but pretty!
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Really pretty

I’d cover Frankfurt on my return, that’s better! Otherwise I risk making this post too long to read ๐Ÿ˜› ( I didn’t do much anyways during these 5 hours. )

Onto Munich! In the bus, at about 5:30 PM, I started to get restless. It had been more than 24 hours, I was on the road, hadn’t slept properly at all, didn’t have a lot of energy or a lot of water left and I felt like going back. Like that’s it, I’m tired! I felt like calling grandma, and my ‘marrain’ here in France, Juliette. But well, airplane mode was on, conserving battery, and I decided against it. That’s when I thought to myself, it’s going to be worth it, it always is. And I thought about this blog, about writing this, about how beautiful this journey is. That was a sickly sweet moment. At 7, I finally reached munich! Woohoo! Looking at so many  pretty faces( and other stuff) already gave me the energy to venture on! Haha! The number of people here was incredulous! I followed everyone, knowing there was only one place they could be going, wearing that lederhosen and Dirndl.
: Oktoberfest!

Worked, because my host lived nearby. what insane luck!!!

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Not sure if the guy was looking at me..

Okay, I’ve been to Disneyland in the states, ocean world in Hong Kong, but this was insanely more awesome, as a theme park and a beer garden! Albeit much smaller. What’s really crazy is that they built rollercoasters in this temporary installation! German engineering :’)

There are 12 major tents, hosting about 5000 people each, and ofcourse the rides for everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ The energy is amazing! It takes you over! I toured the place a bit, moving in the direction of my host.

I went on to Muhammads place, for my first ever Couchsurfing experience. I was instantly touched by his hospitality! Here I was, a stranger, at his place, and here he was, offering me milk and a bed for the night! We talked a bit, about how open the culture in Germany is, and a bit about our religions: which I’m not very well versed with. Probably because I am agnostic. Also, today was Id, a muslim festival, so he had to go to his fest, while I thought this was a great time to check out Oktoberfest, sans my heavy backpack! I’d probably go over more details in the next post, as I did more the next day!

That night, I requested Muhammad to hopefully extend my stay by a night, to which he agreed, and I am forever grateful for that! I could rest in peace, knowing I had a place for tomorrow night as well.

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En route to Muhammad’s.