As Edward flew back to Vancouver, I flew to Munich to meet with a friend of mine, Tobias, who lives in Munich. I had met him during my robotics course at UBC. We worked together on all the lab work for that course and in most of our e-mail correspondence, we wrote German to one another. It gave me quite good practice in the language. Now I’m visiting him in his home city. It’s not the first time I’ve been to Munich, but I liked the city enough to go back another time.
On the day I landed, Tobias picked me up from a train station near his house and I dropped off my stuff at his house. Afterward, I went on my own to visit the Deutsches Museum. He mentioned that the next day, we would be meeting up with two of his other friends that he met while on exchange at UBC and by sheer coincidence, they all happened to be in Munich at the same time.
A Very Stereotypical Bavarian Breakfast
In the morning, we rode bicycles to the English Garden to meet up with two of his UBC exchange friends. One of them was also from Munich and the other came all the way from Australia.
For breakfast, we had Bavarian white sausage (Weisswurst, or Weißwurst) with sweet mustard, giant pretzel (or Brezel), and of course, beer. There is a German phrase “Kein Bier vor vier”, which means “no beer before four”, but that does not apply on weekends. As good as that breakfast was, I saw a guy roasting an entire pig and that looked really good.
The English Garden
We biked around the English Garden enjoying the scenery for a little bit. While I’ve been there before (so I didn’t take many pictures), it was nice and relaxing to ride around with a bike in the scorching 38°C weather.
We passed by an area, known as the Eisbach (or ice brook), which is an area in the English Garden where people surf on standing waves. The difference between standing waves and the regular waves that people surf on is that standing waves pretty much stay in one spot and surfers try to surf on for as long as possible.
Friedensengel can be translated as “Angle of Peace” and it is a reminder of the years of peace after the Franco-Prussian War. The German victory in the war united the German people and formed the German Empire.
It just so happened that when we were in Munich, the people were celebrating the city’s birthday, so there were quite a lot of people in the streets. People were dressed up in really traditional clothes and just dancing in the street!
This is where the city hall is located. It’s probably one of Munich’s most recognizable buildings.
St. Peter’s Church Church Tower
Germany doesn’t really have a lot of skycrapers, so the tallest observation points that tourists can find are typically in church towers. It usually costs a few euros to go up, and there are no elevators since the architecture is so old. Going up is a pain too as the only way up is usually a very very long spiral staircase with a width that only fits one person going up and one person going down. But at the top, there is a really clear view of the city.
Lunch at the Hofbräuhaus
Every single time I’ve been to Munich, I’ve eaten at probably the most touristy restaurant in Munich. This time was no different. This makes it the third time I’ve been to this place. And of course, I order a pork knuckle with a liter of beer.
After a very filling lunch, we went back to the English Garden to just relax for a little bit before going home. For dinner, I had dinner with Tobia’s family. I met his parents and his brother and sister. His whole family was super nice. They totally did not have the typical German stereotypes that German parents were super strict. They joked around with their kids so much and even went as far as to making Nazi jokes, which I thought was completely taboo. In their family, it wasn’t.
During my stay, I got to practice my German with them and I was surprised that I could even say as much as I did, even if I talked slow. It definitely increased my confidence and ability with the language. All the time I spent learning German was paying off!
Link to photo album here