Munich: Biergartens & Biking

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The title of this entry mostly summarizes what I did on my second full day in Munich. The trip as a whole, though? Pretty darn awesome.

Our main reason for even going to Munich in the first place was to attend Project Munich’s Giga Event, the first geocaching event of its kind in that 5000+ people were expected to attend. On the day we went (the Saturday), over 8000 geocachers from all over the world came out to the Olympic Stadium and the surrounding park. Germany loves geocaching, so it was only fitting that they held the very first Giga Event. It was a lot of fun. Also, the above picture doesn’t accurately depict the amount of people who were actually there. The Olympic Park is pretty big so a lot of folks were spread out in that area.

While we weren’t allowed in the stands, it was pretty cool to be inside the Olympic Stadium’s arena. They even had ziplining high above us (no thanks!). There were a lot of vendors selling geocoins, trackables and gear. There was even a beer garden (please, we’re in Germany). We didn’t hang around for too long as we were after, well, geocaches! We ended up finding a few different cache varieties that day, our goal being 10 different cache types (we ended up achieving that goal!).

After we got our geocaching nerd on, it was time to become tourists. I had been to Munich before (whereas Brit Boy has not), so we decided the best way to get around would be the S-Bahn and U-Bahn systems. I think making use of the local public transportation is one of my favourite things about visiting any city. I used to be nervous about even thinking of doing it, but if you prepare well in advance it’s a piece of cake!

Since we were staying near the Hauptbahnof, we would take the S-Bahn to Marienplatz every day quite easily and wander around the city center. On our second full day, we actually saw the Glockenspiel do it’s thing completely by accident–we just so happened to get there minutes before noon! A German lady ended up talking to Brit Boy (who speaks a bit of German and was basically my interpreter the entire trip–danke!) and telling him about how she used to live in Munich and she’d come to watch the Glockenspiel with her family. She was very sweet–and kept switching between speaking English and German, haha. Impressive!

We ended up climbing the steps of St. Peter’s Church and were awarded this beautiful view. I definitely huffed and puffed my way up those crazy wooden steps! We also picked up a geocache about halfway up which was fun. Unfortunately, we missed out going inside the Frauenkirche, which is stunning inside (and contains the Devil’s Footprint!). One of its towers was covered in scaffolding and looked to be under major construction overall. I guess I’ll have to take Brit Boy back ;]

On our last day in the city, we rented bikes from Mike’s Bike Rentals. I did a tour with them last time and had a blast. Although my bike gave me problems (broken bell, trouble changing gears, chain falling off), I had fun bombing around town and the Englischer Garten. The city is so bike friendly, so if you’re like me and haven’t ridden a bike in awhile, you’ll be comfortable cycling around Munich!

Our bike-ventures brought us here, the world’s second largest beer garden. I longed for wurst and chips and that is what I got (with lots of curried ketchup!). Good grief, it was good and I was happy to have a proper German meal. The Brit is vegetarian, but he enjoyed his fries (they were damn good). I’m glad Bavaria was able to satisfy a non-meat eater!

The trip home was the most challenging part of our holiday as we had several flight delays and were trapped in tiny Memmingen airport with not much to do. However, the one highlight were the tasty bagel-wiches (of which we received a free one for putting up with the delays). We eventually got back to Gloucester at 3:30am (ouch!). We had missed all our trains, but caught the last National Express coach out of London. It was a long journey home, but it was hardly a damper for me. It was great to be back in Munich, a city I didn’t know I’d be visiting so soon (even though six years later isn’t really “soon”, but it is to me!). I’m already looking forward to going back!

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