Munich, King of Bavaria
Initially Munich seemed a bit of a dirty big city. It’s smaller than Berlin, but walking the two minutes from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) to our hostel was so similar to any big city you may happen to find yourself. It also has the lovely occasional sewer stench we’ve enjoyed everywhere in Europe. Grated sewer pit lids are not that cool of an idea.
Unfortunately we were filled with genuine fear and in trepidation when we reached our hostel, as something very disturbing awaited us. It was time to catch up with HEIDI BOGARN and SAILOR MOON!!! It was awesome to see the units and share stories of the crazy month that had been since we departed in London. Happy hour at the Hostel went very quickly indeed so we decided to head out for what one can only assume must be the most expensive coffee shop in all of Munich. Learn As You Travel Lesson #234: Order from a menu, don’t just randomly ask for things in a window and always get a bill. Unless of course you enjoy paying almost 30 euro for coffee and cake for four people, then you may just ignore this lesson.
Next morning we hit up Dachau Concentration Camp… so heavy! As soon as we walked into roll call square I had shivers over my whole body. It was so full on to see where so many people lived in ridiculously full on situations. Makes you feel terrible for any harsh word, thought or whatever that you have ever had for someone for something that is beyond their control such as race, class, sexuality, etc. What humans are able to do to each other is so screwed up.
The crematorium was probably the worst. The living spaces were pretty stuffed up too though. 300 people being crammed into rooms set up for 50. The whole place was supposed to house 6000, but when the American troops liberated the place there were over 30000 in the joint. Ridiculous. It’s so crazy to think that it happened while our grandparents were alive. Left you with the strangest ache in your stomach.
After Dachau it was a very quiet and solemn train ride home. Pretty rare for the four of us, but we were actually genuinely shaken. So random, when we arrived at the mall area near our hostel there was a massive protest on about the building of a mosque in Munich. History repeat much?
Time for a stiff drink and a walk up St Peter’s Tower. It was so funny in the tower. As we started up the stairs we assumed there must have been alternate stairs to come down in. We were very wrong, but we had a great opportunity to really get to know a lot of other travellers very well. It was so tight and so packed. On the viewing deck there were times where you were just stuck for 5 mins or more while you waited for everyone to keep moving around the tower.
Followed by a litre of beer in the market beer garden. Got some great cheese and olives from the market too. So tasty. Met a really fun German couple in the beer garden and they introduced us to Schnick, Schnak, Schnook, the German version of Scissors, Paper, Rock. It was hilarious and has an additional option, Fountain which as you would expect beats rock and scissors, but losses to paper!? Or would you? The guy spoke better English than the girl and he was a cack up. He couldn’t think of the English word for fountain so he types it into google, sits the phone down, turns to his wife and says “he’s searching now”. He also told us he was driving the two hours home so don’t tell any police. He was a funny unit.
Since it was a Saturday night, and Heidi’s birthday (in oz time) we decided to hit the town. It is important when sharing a hostel dorm with good friends not to become too comfortable however, as after my shower I strode out in a towel and sat down on the bed to catch up on a bit of facebook, only to hear a shriek from Clare of “Jono are you wearing undies under that towel, because I can see your junk”. Not cool. Stoked it was Clare that spotted this unfortunate event. I now eat, sleep, use facebook and shower in pants.
After a few drinks and a couple of shots of the old green fairy we headed out to find a local beer hall. We found a semi descent little restaurant which was pretty small and clearly not the beer hall we were looking for. Anyway from there we hit the coolest club! As we hit the dance floor some chick started ripping into a dance song with her violin. It was insane. We cut a rug to some crackin tunes. So good.
For our last day in München we wandered the streets in search of a stationary wave in a river that Clare and I had randomly come across in a Lonely Planet book while we were in Copenhagen. When we found it I was pretty shattered that the hire shop wasn’t open on Sundays. The locals were fairly unkeen for an ozzie yob to borrow their board and surf it in his undies too. It looked wicked and the locals surfing it all ripped! Even the guy swimming nude in the river downstream paused on his run along the bank to enjoy it.