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From Salzburg to Munich

Heaven for the boys with beer and wurst galore...

sunny 25 °C
View J and T's Whirlwind European Tour on joshtracey's travel map.

Awaking from the very wet night before to another grey day, we had brekkie at the hostel (why do they put chocolate chips in the fruit muesli over here??), before returning our bikes and getting saturated along the way... We then had to decide what to do before our 1pm train, and as the rain began to pour even heavier, we decided Salzburg wasn't the most exciting place to be in this weather. Josh had a brainwave to try and change our train to an earlier one so we could spend more time in Munich, so we boarded an 11am train, which also meant we had an extra two hours with Patrick - Josh's family friend who was kindly offering up his place for us there. And to make things even better, we arrived to sun in Munich...

Patrick met us at the train station, and we caught a tram with him to his place to drop off our things, (he had decided to stay at his girlfriend's in a nearby city rather than try and share his one-room flat with three others) but we did have a few hours to spend with him around the city before he had to leave. Tramming back into the centre, we were hit with hoards of tourists; crowds we hadn't seen since Paris. In search of food, we went to the food markets, and had to squeeze ourselves onto a table with about ten others to eat. The rough Bavarian German server at the food stand threw ketchup at the boys for taking too long to order (it was thankfully packaged), and then we sat down to try some Munich specialities - weiss wurst, more sauerkraut, Bavarian potato salad (yep, just my kind of food, but Josh and Andy were loving it!), and some meatloaf thing that you have in a roll. We did learn you could take your own food to the beergardens though which is pretty good. This is also where we coined the term 'wursty' rather than thirsty... when you just really need some wurst....

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Wandering through the city, we passed through some of the massive beerhalls than span different levels and huge rooms that open out onto gardens, filled with people eating and drinking. So much beer, so much space, so many people. Past the Opera House and through some gardens, we walked towards the University Biergarten. Here we tried the German version of a shandy which they call the Radler, but I was still failing a bit with the whole beer thing (which I'm totally fine with!). It was then back to Patrick's so he could pack and say goodbye. We had a meal at home, cooked by Andy (yay for veges!) after I'd managed a quick nap. We were all quite tired, but dragged ourselves into Munich since it was a Saturday night, and headed towards a beerhall.

What an incredible sight to behold, as butch muscular beer ladies dressed in traditional attire lug trays of about 12 litres of beer, and then there's the weight of the glasses.... Some of them look as if they've been doing it their whole lives, and possibly have been, but one woman in particular had arms as big as tree trunks. I was feeling like more beer wouldn't go down with me so well, so left Andy and Josh to it while I sipped on a red wine instead. A huge 0.25L glass of it, you really needed to watch how much you were drinking. We left there after a few drinks, but most of the other beerhalls were closing by then, and we were dying, and Josh was nodding off while we waited for the tram to take us home.

The Sunday morning was spent trying to find a hostel for our next destination - Ljubljana in Slovenia. We finally caught a tram into the city around lunchtime, and strolled back past all the food markets (sadly closed on a Sunday), and then Josh and I climbed the church steeple for a view over Munich and particularly of the Rathaus (town hall), though we had seen more picturesque city views. Andrew stayed at the bottom as he'd done the climb before, and then we were off in search of a Biergarten for lunch. Apparently all that the local Munich people do on a Sunday is eat and drink beer, as everything else is pretty much closed. We ended up at the huge beerhall we'd passed through the day before and took a seat outside. Still not able to face beer, I stuck to an apple juice, which the Germans do very well, while the boys downed a litre of beer each with selections of more wurst, more sauerkraut, more potatoes... I was very much in need of salad by now, so thankfully most beer gardens include a great big salad on each menu which is also very tasty.

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After the food we left the main centre for a swim in the Munich river, grabbing some icecream cones along the way. Bathers lined the sides of the river, which was made up of large stones (not so good on the feet). The river was quite fast-moving in parts, and we tried to cross through the current with all of our gear, making it to the middle before seeing a guy fall into the rapids on the other side, so we left our things in the middle and floated down instead. Freezing cold, and quite shallow, we lasted a few rides down the rapids, then attempted our crossing back. It was touch and go, but we made it in the end with all of our gear still dry. Just. After a competitive stone-skimming competition, where Andy took an eight-skim record, we lay down in the evening sun to dry off and ended up all dozing off...

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We woke up dry, and took the underground to the English Gardens. A huge expansive garden filled sparsely with groups of people - the nude side of the river had a couple of nudist men playing a fast-paced game of squash... which we didn't stay around to watch. A group had congregated around some drummers, dancing and clapping along to the impromptu beats that echoed through the park. Making our way to the Chinese Pavillion in the centre, we sat down at a table in the huge Biergarten, filled with people eating and drinking. A horn band played from the pavillion above us, and we sat down to some beers (half a litre was the smallest served of course...), managed to order some plates of food to share from the huge stalls - so much meat it's scary! It started to get a bit dark, and we had one more Biergarten to see by the lake further down the gardens, so it was one more beer there before we made our way home - full and tired.

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Posted by joshtracey 01:40 Archived in Germany

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