Welcome to 2013! So far, so good. We got home from our trip kind of late and decided we didn’t have the energy in us to get all fancy for a NYE party and stayed home instead. When midnight struck, the church bells rang and there were fireworks EVERYWHERE! I had no idea that NYE was such serious business here but it was so fun to stand in our back yard and take in the experience.
The fireworks in the video that are close are our neighbors and the flashes farther away are in a bigger town nearby. None of this was organized, it was just a bunch of Germans ringing in the new year. 2012 has been a really big year for the Viper Pilot and I. I’m working on a 2012 recap that will appear in January’s 10 things, so be on the lookout for that one.
In the meantime, I want to tell you about our most recent adventure: München! It was a big of a last minute trip which made it even more exciting. The city motto is München mag dich (“Munich likes you”) and it’s perfect because I like Munich too! I have been to Munich before in the summer of 2011 (you can read those posts here and here) and I was so excited to go back and see the sights with the Viper Pilot.
As soon as we got checked into our hotel, we left to have dinner and beers with my friend Andrew who was visiting with his family. It was so wonderful to see him. We dined at the Weisses Brauhaus, one of the many in town, but Andrew had been here before and knew it was awesome. He was very right.
Munich is a very historic and artistic city. It is located in the state of Bavaria and at one time was on track to be it’s own country so there are churches, royal palaces, and grand boulevards galore. In addition to endless beer halls.
In my opinion, the main attraction of Munich is the town hall in Marienplatz (Mary’s square).
The neo-Gothic new town hall is famous for the beloved glockenspiel. Built in the late 1800s, this buildling has the US military headquarters in 1945. The Christmas market had ended when we were there, but they left the giant (real) Christmas tree and the glow from its lights at night was a spectacular scene.
We wandered around Munich taking in the sights and sounds. We stopped into several of the churches to take a peek. The most fascinating part about this city is that it was almost entirely flattened during the war. Munich was the “Capital of the Movement” and the Nazi headquarters stood very near the Marienplatz. Dachau was the first concentration camp in Germany and is just outside the city limits. Rather than save all the treasures of the city, Hitler ordered them to be photographed before they were destroyed by bombs. The city was pummeled mercilessly by the air raids. Each of the churches displays these photographs in the back near the door. Despite the city’s troubled 20th century, they rebuilt the old town sticking to the original street plans, medieval steeples, and Neo-Gothic facades.
The Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) is famous for its twin onion domes and was built in the late 1400s. Today it is the city’s cathedral. You can see in the pictures that it is still under restoration.
Most of the church was destroyed during the war, but the towers stood tall. The rest has been gloriously restored.
A walk down the street leads to the Viktualienmarkt where there is a huge traditional maypole, a beer counter, and numerous vendors selling fresh produce and food.
We spent an entire afternoon in the Duetsches Museum which is Germany’s answer to the Smithsonian. It was enormous and not very well organized. I could have probably done without it, but it was still neat to see. Everything from boats, planes, automobiles to a demonstration of lightening bolts (which I did not enjoy) to DNA, physics, and technology was hands on. The airplane room was (of course) our favorite and the Viper Pilot was exstatic when he found a pretty bird F-16 model in the gift shop. We had to buy it — it was only painted this way for a year and it was the first F-16 the Viper Pilot flew solo. And there it was in the gift shop of the Deutsches Museum. Go figure.
Another side trip found us at the stomping grounds of the 1972 Olympics.
Nearly everything in the Olympic Park is vintage and was very retro with it’s cobweb style of architecture. We went to the top of the 820 foot high tower and got not only a fantastic view of the park, but also of the city. You could see for miles and miles…
The Olympic village, where the athletes lived and where the Munich massacre took place, is still around and is being used as student housing and apartments.
Other sights around Munich:
The picture below is the scene from the main shopping street that was built solely for the 1972 Olympics. Supposedly over 9,000 people pass through here each day. I can believe it — it is always packed all hours of the day!
What is Germany without it’s beer? Nothing at all, duh! Munich is known for the “Big Six” breweries:
We made it our goal to try every single one over the course of our trip and we succeeded.
Each one was slightly different but our favorite was the Augustinerbräu so we bought a case (or two) to bring home.
However, our favorite experience was drinking a stein at the Hofbräuhaus (HOAF-broy-howze), the world’s most famous beer hall. It’s one of those things you just have to do while your in Munich (although there are much better establishments to enjoy a beer and we’ll probably not go back to the HBhaus unless we have to) and is chuck full of tourists. They only serve the beer by the Mass (one-liter mug) in an Oktoberfest-like thick atmosphere.