our last days in munich consisted of oktoberfest, sight seeing, and the long haul back home. i feel like this post is “rushed” for some reason, probably because i have to cram four days in one post. i promise i am adding as much detail as possible, though i am just doing the highlights. i cannot believe all of this happened a little over a week ago. it feels like it was yesterday.
on friday, lewis and i walked around marienplatz (the central part of the city) and did some site seeing. though i am not a religious person, this place was extremely special. this church was built by two brothers back in the 1700s for their own personal use. the architecture and detail was phenomenal. lewis and i saw a lot of churches during this trip, and this was the best yet. it will forever hold a special place in my heart. we sat in silence and took in the beauty of it.
the second time we went to oktoberfest, it was 200x more packed – leaving me grumpy and irritated. my friend ashley from friedrichshafen came to experience it this time as well. 🙂
we started our saturday morning with a traditional bavarian breakfast that thomas made us – huge pretzels, white sausages, and beer. i was timid about the sausage at first, but looks are deceiving. i had two.
when ashley arrived and we got to oktoberfest, we couldn’t get in to any tents (AKA no beer). we had to walk around for over an hour to kill time. we tried standing in lines but no luck. it was 4 pm and the place was crawling with people. it was “italian weekend”, so most of the people there were italian versus the first time we went.
when we finally got in to an outside beer garden, we stayed for awhile. my mood brightened with a huge beer in my hand. across from the beer garden, there was a huge slide ride. those wanting to go on had to ride a moving ramp while standing up to get to the top (think of a snow tubing or snowboarding conveyer belt). all these drunk people kept falling over and riding up the ramp on their bellies. it reminded me of when people fall on a moving treadmill. that was endless entertainment in itself.
we eventually got in to a tent that night but lewis and i were unable to get beers (the waiter kept walking by and forgetting us), so we decided to venture off to get food. this mission turned in to a fail and we ended up leaving the fair grounds to get kebab by a train station. this was not by choice, as we tried getting on the train at oktoberfest and the stairs were blocked off by police and masses of drunk people. there were two huge metal doors that closed everyone off from the train, as if it were blocking out zombies. it was impossible to get through so we walked down a few more blocks. drunk men stumbled in the streets trying to find their way home as their friends tried to guide them by their suspenders. it was not a strange sight anymore.
the funniest thing i saw (kind of funny) was a girl sitting on the sidewalk on her cellphone, crying in another language. her friend was slumped over beside her, puking on the sidewalk. i didn’t need to understand she was saying to know what situation she was in. “what do i do with my drunk friend who is puking and can’t walk?” good luck.
when getting on the train, we went the wrong way. shocker. it took us an hour to get home when it should’ve taken about 20 minutes. the upside of this whole experience was when we were eating our kebab, drunk people kept saying, “mmm!” and watching us eat. lewis dropped some meat on his hand when he was eating.. so a random man literally picked the morsel up (yes, off lew’s hand) and ate it. you can’t make this stuff up.
when i woke up on sunday, i cried. which is ironic, because i also cried today about missing europe. i guess sundays are my crying days.
we went to the top of the olympiaturm (the tallest building in munich), which was only a 15 minute walk from thomas’s apartment. we spent the morning looking at the views (it was super windy!) and enjoying the ducks, swans, and geese at the pond in the park.
munich is a great city that i would love to live in. getting away from the oktoberfest side was an eye-opener, and we got a taste of what it was like for the locals. people were feeding the birds and going for a jog, walking their dogs. it felt like home a little bit, but with much more exciting things around each corner. such as the delicious crepe stand we stopped at in front of the entrance of the olympiaturm. europe does food right every single time.
we took a train to marienplatz again, getting our last taste of the city. and when i say taste, i mean we went to get käsespätzle that i kept hearing about. this is the german version of macaroni and cheese.. and it was to die for.
after eating, lewis and i walked around a little more and stopped at a bar to get some beers. the waitress came up to us and said in a thick german accent, “you know it is not a custom in germany to include the service on to the bill?” yeah, we don’t do that in america either?
that was her rude way of telling us to leave her a tip. i do know that germans don’t usually tip, and if they do, they round up the bill or add an extra 5 or 10%. we only got two beers, which came to 7 euro. such an odd time and place to ask for a tip. we left her 50 cents for the trouble we somehow caused her by ordering beer.
the funny thing is that we were the only people there besides some drunk brits yelling “fuck america and donald trump!” and two german women who were smoking. it wasn’t like she was super busy. the waitress’s comment still puzzles me a week later.. must’ve been because we were american. glad that’s the only bad experience i had in this town.
later in the evening, lewis and i made sure all our things were packed up before we enjoyed the night at a local bar, drinking radlers and reminiscing on favorite memories of the trip. if i close my eyes i can still remember the music that was playing (sweet caroline) with the mug of beer in my hand. everyone around us was drinking and singing, as if they didn’t know we were both dying inside because it was our last night.
lewis took a picture of me with my half empty mug. i saw this for the first time last night. lew said, “aw, our last night in germany..” when he showed it to me. it made my heart hurt to see me grinning so widely with my beer and i am here right now, not grinning, without a beer. i am in a melancholy mood, if you can’t tell.
our last night will always stand out to me, and not because it was particularly special or exciting. it’s funny that i can be at a bar 4,000 miles away from home and feel so at home. germany was so special to me and i am tearing up thinking about it. i won’t be sitting at shakespeare bar tonight, tomorrow, or next week. that bar, that night, i felt like i belonged there and it didn’t cross my mind that we would be leaving and not coming back until right now. it’s weird to think but it yearns me to go back sooner than later.
on monday morning, we got up at 6 am and started the journey back home. it all seems like a blur – the cups of coffee, the jet lag, the hours of friends and family guy episodes i watched on the plane to keep me awake. suddenly german turned to icelandic, which turned to english. euro signs turned in to USD. the 9 hour journey seemed like 24 – and it probably was in reality with all the time differences.
we landed in minneapolis at 6 pm and the first thing i thought when we landed?
i can’t wait to go back.