Sunday, May 13, 2012

Munich


First Trip to Munich



Friday, Kyle took a day off before he starts his real work schedule so that we could take a day trip to Munich (Munchen in German).  The day started of with a drive on the autobahn, which was a trip in itself.  This was the first time either of us had been on the autobahn for any length of time, and it was kind of nuts.  Luckily, Kyle did the driving.  In and around busy areas there ARE speed limits, but once we got out of Stuttgart the speed limits were gone (except for this HUGE, really annoying construction project.)  It was a gorgeous drive through pine covered mountains and rolling green farmland.   We even saw the Alps on the horizon as we neared Munich.    Kyle maintained a speed of about 85-90 mph on the no speed limit stretches, and we still were passed many times as if we were Ma and Pa out for a Sunday drive.  The cars flew past so fast it was really startling.  It took a while for me to stop gasping as cars flew by, scaring the crap out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love driving fast, but this was pretty unreal.  (We were very pleased at the smooth, unshaking, and quiet ride of the new Jetta :-)

The first thing we did once we got to Munich was of course, have some sausage and beer.  I read about a really fabulous open air market, so we headed in that direction for lunch.  There were vendors selling great looking produce, meat, cheese, flowers, wine, etc.  After checking out the market, we wanted to see the main attractions in Munich since it was our first of hopefully many trips there.  We did a self-guided walking tour to see all of the sights.  We took our time strolling through the streets and plazas, stopping at outdoor cafes and biergartens on the way.  

Some dried chilis at the Viktualienmarkt (famous Munich market)
Outdoor biergarten at the Viktualienmarkt
The Neues Rathaus at the Marienplatz and Lori inside the Courtyard
Alter Peter
Church of Our Lady ("onion domes" are the city's trademark)
Germany's most famous beer hall: the Hofbräuhaus
Inside the Hofbräuhaus
Our favorite part of the day was walking through the English Garden, which is much more than a garden.  It’s more like New York’s Central Park with walking and biking paths, ponds, streams, and people-watching galore.  It was a beautiful 85 degree day in the middle of a string of cold, rainy days, so everyone was out with their friends.  There were people playing soccer, tanning, riding bikes, playing guitars, and swimming in the stream.  There’s a part of a river that runs through the park where there is always a big wave because of the currents.  Surfers line up there to take their turn riding the wave in the middle of a land-locked city.

Surfing in Munich at the English Gardens
Chinese Pagoda--Great Stopping Point for Rehreshments
Dog Playing Fetch into the River
We’re definitely going to need to go back to Munich many times to be able to see everything that we want to see.  Saturday for our 5th Wedding Anniversary we headed to Triberg and the Black Forest.  Sunday we’re heading back to Stuttgart for the last day of the Spring Fest.  More pics and stories on those trips are coming soon!

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