My flight to Munich was scheduled to arrive late evening and when it ended up being late, I decided to skip trying to sort out the metro and decided instead to take a taxi, whatever the cost. My taxi driver was extremely talkative, complaining about American politics, German politics, the Olympics, Chinese politics and then full circle back to American politics. Finally we arrived at my hotel. I fell into bed and was soon fast asleep.
I woke up bright and early and walked through the Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz just as it was starting to wake up. My first stop was the Residenz, a palace of one of the ruling families of Bavaria. The palace was a maze!! I don't know how people navigated through the palace without maps! I had problems and I had a map and arrows telling me where to go! I stopped in the Treasury and admired the jewels. Next stop was Glyptothek, a museum of Greek and Roman statues. Not having a lot of time, I decided to skip several museums in favor of taking a tram out to Schloss Nymphenburg, originally a summer palace. It reminded me a lot of Versailles. There was a museum of carriages which I enjoyed, imagining myself descending from a carriage, on my way to a grand ball. I ended up back at Marienplatz, which was full of people and activity. I took the elevator in the New Town Hall for a look down at the square. I stopped at St. Peter's Church before heading to the Beer & Oktoberfest Museum. It was starting to rain so I stopped in to the Hofbrauhaus, the famous beer hall, for a beer (hey I'm in Munich) and applestrudel. May not be the best combination, but I enjoyed it. The rain had lightened up a bit by the time I was done so I headed for the metro and out to the BMW Museum. I got there just before it was closed. Rick had said the museum would be open until 8, and it was on Saturday and Sunday, but on Friday it closed at 6. It was my own fault, normally I check the times (which Rick does say to do) but I hadn't this time. Because it was about to close, I didn't go to the museum but instead looked around the gift shop, a couple of the exhibitions (which were open later) and the show room floor. I sat in one of the models, which was nice! My next car may need to be a BMW! I wandered over to the Olympic Park and peeked in the Swimming Pool but Michael Phelps wasn't there! Do you mean he has something better to do than swim practice in Munich? (Just kidding - I HEART Michael Phelps!) It was pretty cool to wander around, especially considering the Olympics were still going on.
One of reasons I choose Munich as a weekend getaway was its proximity to Neuschwanstein, a fairy tale castle rumored to be the inspiration for Walt Disney. I got up early to catch a train which ended up being over 30 minutes late but finally we arrived in Füssen where you catch the bus to take you to the castle. The bus pulled up and a swarm of people pushed towards the opening. I was caught in the flow and ended up on the first bus. Of course after all that pushing and shoving, three more busses pulled up behind the first one. I collected my tickets and wandered up to Hohenschwangau Castle, King Ludgwig’s home growing up (Ludwig built Neuschwanstein). The interior of Hohenschwangau was decorated in a medieval style which I really liked. The tour ended and I started down the hill from Hohenschwangau over to the bus stop for Neuschwanstein. I arrived just as the bus did and didn’t think I would make it on as it was full, but I was once again shoved on as four people got on behind me. The bus let us off at the top of a hill and I walked up to Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge) and gazed down at Neuschwanstein. The view was incredible! I didn’t stay too long on the bridge as it was really windy and had started raining by then. During my walk down to the castle it started pouring. But finally it was time for my tour and I went inside the castle. Ludwig died before the castle was finished and the tour went through the rooms that were finished when he died. Ludwig actually had a grotto outside of his bedroom, a real grotto! With the tour finished, I made my way down the hill and back to the train station.
Sunday I visited Dachau. I'm not really going to say a lot about this because it is hard to put into words. I will say it was really hard to walk through the camp, harder than I thought it would be. But I'm glad I did it as it is a part of history and I think visiting places such as Dachau honors the memory of the survivors and those who didn't survive. And part of the reason I travel is to learn, and what better way to learn than observing the past.
Back in Munich I realized I hadn't taken any feet pictures. I had meant to take one on Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) but with it so windy and rainy I had forgotten! Instead I took my feet picture in Marienplatz before picking up my luggage from the hotel and heading for the airport.
I had been meaning to write a diatribe about the cost of water at airports in Germany (after security) as at both the Cologne and Berlin airports it was €3 for a little bottle of water. But at the Munich airport, water was only €1.45 which did much to lessen my annoyance.