On May 24th we left Charlotte in the evening for 2 weeks of vacation in Europe. We had a direct flight to Munich, or Muchen in German. We had lots of fun saying Muchen... sounds like moochin'. We flew Lufthansa, a German airline, which I was very impressed with. There seemed to be more leg and seat room than other airlines we have flown and the food was actually very good and the crew was very pleasant. And to top it off they boarded the plane by row numbers. Why haven't other airlines figured that one out yet!
We arrived in Munich, on May 25th at 7:50am local time - 6 hours ahead of Eastern time. We didn't really sleep much at all.. maybe an hour or 2. I actually don't think Eric slept at all so throughout the first day whenever we sat down for more than 2.5 seconds we'd look over and Eric was cat napping. Like even at the top of the Glockenspiel. It became pretty funny.
We were meeting our family travel buddies Keith and Megan (Eric's brother and his wife) there as they flew from Columbia to Atlanta and then to Munich. We had agreed to meet them at baggage claim. Eric and I didn't check any bags (more on that in another post) but I knew they were and it seemed an easy place to meet. Once we got there it dawned on us that they came into a different terminal and had a different baggage claim. We debated about going to their terminal to meet them or waiting for them to come to us because we found out that once we left we couldn't get back into our baggage area. Well we finally were able to find out they couldn't even get into our area so we walked out the doors and spotted them right away.
The S Bahn (subway) was right outside the airport so we hopped on that. It was a little chilly out at about 43 degrees F. We bought tickets and took the S Bahn to the U Bahn (another subway) to the stop near where the apartment we were renting was, Sendlinger Tor. The stop was like a 3 minute walk away from the apartment and the owner met us there
We quickly realized the owner who showed us around had way better written English than spoken English. I'm not sure we understood a single thing she said. She mentioned something about "no shoes and babies" which I interpreted as take off your shoes because this is where babies play when they stay. Eric interpreted it as take off your shoes because it is loud for babies sleeping below. His sounds more plausible except that it was like 10am. Guess we'll never know. The apartment was on the 4th floor and had 2 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.
After a few minutes of freshening up, we headed out to the Viktualienmarkt Market for a quick stroll. It's an outdoor market square area where they sell flowers, spices, oils, food, produce, etc. The boys tried a few dips one booth had out for sampling.
The boys were quite hungry so we decided to come back by later and found Opatija nearby where we previously decided to have lunch - traditional German food and other stuff.
Lunch was okay. They had a huge menu but definitely not a place I would choose to go back to... just goes to show that just because Rick Steves recommends it, doesn't mean its great.
Keith ordered a Radler beer because it had the shortest name on the menu. Turned out it was half beer half lemon soda haha. Eric had wienerschnitzel... when in Germany right, I had pizza, Megan had pasta, and Keith had sausages. Corn is a popular topping to pizza there... not sure I agree with that.
Next we wanted to see the Glockenspiel. At this point it was starting to drizzle a little but nothing too terrible.
Of course we had to climb it. We always seem to climb things on our European adventures so might as well start this trip off right. 306 very winding steps to the top.
Munich had just won a the Champions League soccer final in London and a ton of fans were chanting and celebrating in the square below.
Although it was gloomy, it was still a very nice view. While I was up there taking photos, two guys who were also tourists pulled beers out of their backpacks and toasted to the climb.
We made "we are chilly" faces in some photos. Although I'm not so sure we were that great at portraying being cold in a photo, the wind up there was no joke.
And note that we were there on the graffiti wall and in the book. For the wall pic you have to click to make it bigger but it says "LaForce Be With You Munich 2013".
Next we headed to St. Peter's not to far away. It was a beautiful church and you could hear and see the choir practicing in the balcony. They must have auditions because this was the best church choir I've ever heard.... definitely not the kind where they beg people to join.
And of course we had to go to the top of that too. But this time there was a small elevator and just a couple of steps until we reached the top.
I think I liked this view better because I could see the Glockenspiel. I really like the 2nd photo below.
Then we made another quick stop back by the market to walk around for a few minutes.
Then we headed back toward the apartment and went to find the nearest grocery which was several blocks past the apartment. We bought some breakfast foods, snacks and food and wine for Megan and I to have for dinner the next night. We schlepped it back to the apartment and relaxed for a little bit.
At this point it was about 6pm - we were starving and probably not going to last too much longer so we decided on dinner at an Italian place called Osteria Veneta. I had read in my research online that it was a wonderful authentic Italian restaurant.
We found out immediately that they spoke basically no English and did not have an English menu. I decided to tell them we could read an Italian menu.... not sure what I was thinking with that one. But in all honesty, a lot of Italian food words we see in Italian restaurants in the US (more so than German for sure)... but yeah not all of them. And I did remember some from our trip to Italy like funghi is mushroom. They rolled over a big chalkboard with about a dozen meals written on it in Italian. The chef came out and was able to tell us a couple of things like what was meat and what was not. We ordered we a fairly good understanding of what we were going to get. I was super proud of us!
After getting our food I can say that you probably couldn't have chosen wrong unless (unless you had dietary restrictions or strong feelings about not eating certain foods. We all got to taste each others meals and they were delicious.
Our only small snafu was that we thought the chef said the main part of Eric's meal was this pear and cheese tort thing... but he had something else on his plate we couldn't put our finger on. At first we thought it might be salmon but then realized it was crab.. and Megan does not eat crab, intentionally anyway. Oops. So other than that the amazing dinner really hit the spot after a mediocre lunch.
My pasta with mushrooms
Eric's pear cheese torte with crab
Megan's stuffed ravioli
We also had yummy bruschetta but I didn't take a picture. I will say we were going to order a bottle of wine for the table but they were well out of our price range even though the food was very affordable. Guess this is the hotspot for cheap delicious Italian food and a $25 glass of wine.
Then we went back to the apartment and crashed from exhaustion. Glad we powered through to adjust to the timezone though. Next up is Day 2 in Munich!