Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sam Explores Germany & Switzerland Pt 9

Sat Sept 5/09

-Munich Walking Tour-
One of the main attractions of Munich is the Glockenshpiel, as I had mentioned in the previous entry. Our tour guide, Sonja, is totally jaded by it. She’s seen it a bazillion times and so had a very dry humor towards the whole shabang. Feel free to look it up on youtube. Apparently they hired a guy to start up the Glockenshpiel three times a day…and he doesn’t always do it on time. Our tour started there and just got better.

Several facts & sites of interest were:

- a church with a legend about the devil’s footprint inside…I’ll have to look it up if you’re interested b/c I don’t remember the name. This same church also has a sign for “no hands in your pants”…dot dot dot…you’ll see the photo later.
-Dachau Memorial – though we didn’t see this site, it was the first concentration camp and was well known for its Nazi training camp

- Teddy Museum – which was the setting for Kristallnacht and a coordinated attack on Jewish people and their properties by Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbles-the man responsible for all the Third Reich propaganda

- 9 Jews were estimated living in Munich in 1945

- The Jewish Community Centre requires visitors to do a background check before entrance is approved

- Maypole stealing is indigenous to Bavaria. If a town’s maypole is stolen, the only way to get it back is for the victim town to throw a party for the stealing town and pay for all of it. Last time a may pole was stolen in Munich was in 1995, when the Munich Airport Security realized their city’s may pole had been stolen. They called the police, only to hear laughter on the other end. The police had stolen the may pole and the airport security was now forced to throw them a party!

- Not cleaning up dog poop is 1,000 euro fine

-There have been Beer Riots 

-At one point, when Germany was in crisis, they started printing money and the value went down…$1usd = 4.3 trillion deutsch marks

We continued on the tour and I wrote a lot more info in my books. One of our last stops was the Hofbrauhaus, which consisted of a biergarten, festivity hall and mail hall called “the wash.” Initially there were no toilets, so people went in the gutter. Then at some point liederhosen under the table became normal. Excuse the inappropriateness of this, but she literally said, “plop out the lieder and take out the hosen…” Everyone laughed hysterically. The men also carried a special wooden stick to “direct the flow” and decrease “splashback”…enough said.

Sonja also mentioned the Beer Challenge…which entitled one selected person to be the Beer Champion and receive a voucher for a free paid tour. Chugging one “mass” (1 litre glass) of beer in under 5.3 seconds apparently automatically gives you this title…

Were we up for the challenge?...we thought so…

-Beer Challenge-
After our walking tour, we shopped for an hour and had a break/snack at a cafĂ©. After this we checked out early and booked a taxi, since we would not be a breakfast the next two days. Back to the beer challenge…
We met at the Starbucks in the haupbanhof (main station). Sonja was in charge again and we saw the other Toronto girls, another Sam, Ryan and some other guys – Phil, Matt & Amanda, Travis and another guide. There was quite a big group!

Sonja bought us all our first beer at the station and we drank, talked and then headed to the first venue. The Augustiner Biergarten… on the way, we briefly talked to Travis (another one of the tour guides). We tried the Edel (something or other) and talked to Jeananne and later Sonja. We only had 45mins to drink the mass and eat the pretzel…and we had not eaten dinner and this was our second beer (1 litre huge, no less). By the time we left, Pat and I were drunk. Margaret was still sober…I don’t know how she did it! I definitely had to link arms with her…

Next was Hofbrauhas which is the best Beer Hall in the country or even perhaps the world…no joke! Margaret and I shared a mass of dark beer and Pat had a Radler (sprite and beer mix). Sonja told us that we were very lucky, because on this night, there were mostly local Bavarians there. The performers were dancing on stage and we were all singing in German. At some point Ryan really wanted to dance, but no one wanted to go up with him. Sonja said no, but then pushed me up and said “Get up there, Sam!” Ryan grabbed my hand and we ran up on stage. One of the Toronto gals was up there too and so were all the Bavarian dancers.

After the dance, we went back to the table and continued to flip & catch the coasters without letting them touch the table. The best I did was 7…I think the other guys did up to 11 or 13. I stupidly chugged a small amount of beer, though I thought it was more…I probably shouldn’t have…I was already pretty wasted by then…I was still able to walk though.

The last stop…well I have no idea where it was. The last beer and a shot of Jaeger….I really should have stopped..but I was having too much fun! Poor Margaret had to deal with me and she was sober. I’m pretty sure that we were the last ones to leave, followed shortly after by Travis and this other guy. We took a cab. Our hotel room lights blew and we had to change in the dark…yikes…the morning was not pretty...ahahaha…but you’ll have to read about it in the next journal…
Soberly Yours,
Sam ^__^

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