Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 17: Munich and Oxford

So I decided to go to Munich because I didn't purchase any of my tickets ahead of time to go other places because I heard it was so cheap to get around of here. Turns out if you book everything last minute it adds up. Anyway I didn't make it to Spain for the running of the Bulls, which was a good thing because some people died and my mom and grandmother would have worried themselves to death.
The group I went to Munich has the self titled nickname the "wolf pack." Inspired from the movie the Hangover, could it be another member, we are now a pack of 6. This includes Brophey, Jody, Colin, Megan, and Tommy. So the we headed off, and after a few delays and having the German customs officials drill us on why we wanted to tour their country and spend money there, we got to our hotel and imeadiately left for Olympic Park. (Let me say that I am glad I went with these people because they had a bunch of ideas of stuff to do that I would never have thought of, my idea of traveling is walking around and trying to find random stuff to do which never works out quite right.)
Olympic Park was pretty cool, the stadium from a distance looks like a bunch of trash bags , but once we got up in the Olympic tower it looked awesome. The tower was amazing. You could stand outside where the wind was whipping and see the whole city.
We then went to the BMW musesm which was right next to it, and looked at a bunch of cars, motorcycles, and other cool stuff.
I forgot to mention, that when we went up into the tower, we noticed that the Olympic Stadium was packed, but we couldn't tell what was going on. I mention this because after we left the musem the stadium let out and the train station was packed full of over 35,000 Jehovah's witnesses who were there for a convention. Needless to say when we got on a train, it broke because so many people got on. The JW's would be a constant prescence throughout the weekend.
I did my best to try to communicate with the germans in German. I have lost a lot of what I learned in school, but was able to commuincate very small things and ask questions. I was also able to read and understand most of the signs, however my vocabulary is not very extensive. This made me really what to relearn the language as well as learn others.
That night we went to the largest BierGarten in Munich that can hold over 8000 people, the HeirschGarten (sp?). This is where you order a beer and they bring it to you in a liter mug. AWESOME. We order some dish that the waiter recommended and it was good. Then our group got seperated on the way home, it was impossible to find a bathroom in the train stations, Megan and I hoped over escaltors until we found one. The other group had a similar experience and lost a member as well. When we got back, I went to search for him after he didn't make it back, he was well traveled and I wasn't that worried but others were, so I went to a couple of trian stations, didn't find him until I got back to the hotel and he was already in bed. In Bed by 2am I woke up at 8 and was ready to get moving. Some of the others weren't ready so we left them with the knowledge we would be back at lunch. Munich's main area was beautiful. We saw Alt Petere which is a tower, the Rathaus which is a government building that looks awesome, and all kinds of Germans dressed in traditional gear.
As we came out of the subway into the main area we hear Tears in Heaven being sung in English. Then its Raining Men. Yep you guessed it, it was Gay Pride weekend in Germany too. And the Germans aren't ashamed to be full out. There were drag queens, guys running around in briefs and sailor hats,chaps, women dressed as men,leather outfits, colors, glitter, and make up galor. Nat would have had a ball. Haha....
The Germans as a whole are very nice, and like to talk to americans. We walked around the market place where I tried on Liederhosen but could buy it because it was 499 euro or 600ish american. probably more. We head back to pick up the other members of the pack and only one is there, the other went off on walkabout by himself. So we went and toured the city without him.
We went to Dachau which is the first concentration camp. Pretty awful stuff went on there. This musem is very good, has a lot of information, and kept some of the things intact. It was a little bigger than old main and old main lawn but not much more and it housed over 60,000 jews there.
Then we all went to the Haufbrauhaus which is a big brewery/tavern type place. It can hold over 4500 people it in a once. Has traditional German band playing, the huge beers and items on the menu like crakling pig knuckle, suckling pig, calf's heart. MMMhh. Then we took advantage of the free entertainment with the gays and called it a night. On the way home we had a homeless man bothering us, but Megan had some quick thinking and said "here's your stop, Bye!" and he said oh and ran off the train, spun around looking at the train station, and as the doors closed came up to the windowed and pointed smiling like "aha you got me" and wave goodbye. Right after that we were laughing, an american woman scolded us for being too American and loud. Oh well. can't hide what we are all the time.
Then we returned to Oxford.

As I am reading this I can't help but think that I am not really capturing how awesome this trip is and all the fun stuff that I am doing. There has been so much it is easy to forget, I am trying to keep up but who knows.

Side note: Exchange rates are not good with the American dollar. Plus it is easy to not really know how much you are spending because it all looks like monopoly money and if somethings says it is just 5 pounds or euro you have to convert it to being more like 10 or 8 amercian. With this being said, I shouldn't have just come over here with out making travel arrangements in advance because it would have been loads cheaper to plan it out ahead of time. That is my advice to future travelers. Pick your spots and book them, there is a big difference in a ticket for 40euro and a 128euro, especially with the conversion.

James, I hope you had a good birthday. I toasted you a couple of times. I purchased your shirt.
God is Good!


  1. sounds like you are having a blast! i forgot that you took german in school! its not the prettiest language...but at least its usful for you now.

    have fun! glad you will be back in time for the wedding - wouldnt be the same without you.

  2. Just so you know, we had a moment of silence for you at James's birthday dinner. We missed you!

  3. I probably had the best birthday I have had in four or five years. I just cant seem to put my finger on what was different. Way to play off the fact that you were oblivious to the fact that it was gay pride weekend in Munich. Real smooth!