Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sam Explores Germany & Switzerland Pt 8

Fri Sept 4/09

This morning we left our hotel at 5:45pm to get to the train station to Munich. Our train was at 6:08am. Thanks to Dave the German, we were comfortably seated in our own special car box. We mostly had it all to ourselves and the people in the other boxes were so desperate for sleep that they were lying down across all the seats in their box and on the ground and also tried to maneuver around the table as well. I was tempted to take a picture, but yeah, probably not a good idea to do something like that.

When it was close to our stop on the train, we all started to get ready. Pat got her stuff first, followed by Margaret and myself. They were a little bit ahead and when I got to the doorway they weren’t there. All of a sudden, I heard Margaret yelling and the sound of the door closing. Guys, no joke, this was like something out of a movie. The door closed just as I got to it with Pat and Margaret on the platform in shock. I was hitting the door with my hand and trying to press the button to open it. An American guy beside me tells me to pull the emergency latch, but I was worried that I might get in trouble. I tried anyway, but the train was already moving. I motioned to them to stay there. They had actually gotten off one stop early!! The next stop was Munich! Oh man…and I was the one with our ticket. I had thought they were going to wait to get off and didn’t realize they actually had.

Anyway, I was panicky and when I got off the train I called Pat from a payphone. Thank goodness for the following: 1. Pat had her cell ON 2. I actually had memorized it 3. Another train was coming shortly from there to Munich stn. What a morning! Pat eventually came to find me on the platform and told me about how she had initially thought I was the dumb one who didn’t get off on time and then realized that it was her that got off to early. Ah well, what can you do but laugh once the crisis is over.

The place we are staying at is literally across the street from Theresa’s Field, where OKTOBERFEST happens. They are setting up and it looks like a crazyawesome time. The background behind it is King Ludwig I wanted to give his love, Theresa, a gift and so he gave her a field. They married in 1810 in this field and had horse races and festivities. It was such a good time, they decided to do it every year and this became Oktoberfest. Munich has a population of 1.3 million and when Oktoberfest happens, the population swells to 7.6 million!!! That is insane!

*interesting facts (from the Munich tour we did): The Aussies love Oktoberfest so much they have a special tent there. The worse thing you can do while travelling is lose your passport – and many do. There is no Aussie embassy in Munich, so they set up a little table in the British embassy for people who lose their passports. You hear that Kathryn? You have a huge tent to share with your peeps at Oktoberfest! Apparently a 10-year-old was on one of these tours and when the tour guide asked what the most important thing you could lose while travelling, he said “your life”. The second thing for him was “his brother’s life.” Hahaa…kids are hilarious.

After we had checked into our hotel, we considered catching the tour with NEW EUROPE which is the same company that had the walking tour in Berlin. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to make it, so we decided to go to the Tourist Information Desk. Margaret had mentioned that she would like to see Schloss Neuschwanstein and when we checked in, the manager of the place told gave us a pamphlet of a tour that visited two of Ludwig II’s castles. We decided to get tickets to go to the tour on Sunday, since everything is pretty much closed on Sundays except restaurants and emergency services.

We’ll go on the free walking tour tomorrow at 10:45am and then later do the Beer Challenge with the same company. For the beer challenge, it costs 14 euros, but two beers and a free jagermeister (sp?) shot is free. We bought our tickets to the tour and decided to shop and eat. Pat and I immediately went into shopping mode. Margaret was very patient while we checked out various shops. We were starting to get hungry so we searched for foodage.

The first site we saw was the Glockenshpiel. It is a part of a clock that has figures which depict two stories and rotates. It rings every day at 11am, 12pm and 5pm. I got a bit hungry as we walked around so I bought a sandwich with cheesebread, soft dill cheese of sorts with cucumber and peppers. We dropped by the Drager Munchen tent that had ½ meter bratwurst and other types of sausages. We all got the regular bratwurst. We explored Marienplatz and did more shopping. I drooled over all the places that displayed food in the windows. I literally wanted to EAT my way through Munich. We also went up the Glockenshpiel tower and took pictures of the city. It was cold and rainy but there weren’t a lot of people, so it worked out okay. There was something like a guest book and we drew in it and signed. Magaret drew pictures of us and I was watching her, I realized that the first letters of our names spell out PMS ahhahahaa. I told them that and we laughed hysterically. So Margaret drew us in that order and signed it. There were some famous chefs doing a book signing, but I don’t know who they are and I was shopping while they were signing so I missed taking their pictures.

We ate at zum Spockmeier where the benches were sturdy and high up. It is also the first time we noticed that often, if there was room at an occupied table, random people will ask if they can sit there to eat too. The Bavarians are quite friendly people. Spockmeiers classics included, Bavarian lung (veal), Fried calfs head, baked pork tongue, and roasted suckling pig in salavator-paulaner-beer gravy and some other side dishes. YUM! I ordered a Paulander (non-alcoholic) beer called Muchner Hell Alcoholfrei, since I was taking Reactine for a bug bite I got in Berlin. I ordered the Munich “Schnitzel” which was made with pork in mustard horseradish crust and potato-cucumber salad. Pat ordered pasta, which she didn’t like because the tomato sauce was like Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Margaret had Spinach Oyster Mushroom strudel. She said she liked the mushrooms, but guess what “sauce” they put in it... By the way, in their menus they have numbers in brackets beside the dishes to indicate what kind of additives are in the food. We ended our meals, by having strudel which was delicious.

Pat has been entertained by the fact that I love taking pictures of food. On this trip, I’ve taken pics of my food, her food, Margaret’s food and random people’s food coming by on trays. The food can look pretty interesting. Pork knuckle is especially well-loved here. While I was taking pics of food, I also noticed that there were two sets of people at the bar. One set were twins who were dressed identically and beside them, two women who also looked identical. Pat and I had fun trying to figure out what the story was behind it.

No comments: