During our time in Spain and throughout our subsequent travels, people usually thought I was German. I’m pale, I’m tall, I’m a big-boned gal who likes to drink beer, so, I get it. Upon our return to Germany (after we visited friends near Frankfurt in August), Phil kept jokingly telling me we were finally in the land of my people. For the record (who’s keeping a record Jess?), my ancestry is primarily English, Scottish, and a little Norwegian. Almost everywhere we traveled; Spain, Albania, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, people thought Phil was a native which he attributed to his Italian ancestry (oddly though, he was never mistaken for an Italian in Italy) and the fact that the Romans long ago inhabited many the lands we traveled.
All that notwithstanding, we arrived in the land of my people after a layover in Vienna. We were relieved when we saw our suitcase and backpacks roll out onto the luggage carousel in Munich. All summer we had heard horror stories of lost luggage in European airports. Up until our flight to Munich, we had managed to score direct flights to our destinations, which greatly reduces the risk of lost luggage. The losing part usually happens when your belongings have to go from one plane to another.
You can imagine our dismay when, at the airport in Sofia, Bulgaria, the woman at the desk informed us that we must check all of our items. Phil and I each had a carry-on sized backpack and shared one larger, rolling suitcase. When flying, we put all of our most important stuff in our backpacks so if for some reason our suitcase went missing, we would still have the necessities.
When told we had to check everything, the woman at the desk could see our displeasure and confusion (we had never had an issue with our backpacks before), and said multiple times, “It is free. It is free.” I replied “I don’t care if it’s free, I don’t want to lose my luggage.” Phil, reminding me it was silly and futile to argue with the woman (who was being watched very closely by a supervisor), quickly searched through our large suitcase and pulled out the smaller day-pack we’d purchased in Turkey; we quickly loaded our laptops, medication, ya know, the necessities, into the backpack.
Luckily, we made it with all bags present and accounted for. We took a train from the airport to Central Station then took another a short ride to a stop right outside of our hotel. Our accommodations were modest but the gentleman working the desk was friendly and they had an honor system beer fridge packed with cold, big, beers in brown or green bottles. One simply took whatever they wanted from the fridge and recorded it with the pencil and paper provided to be charged upon check out. In all of our travels I have only seen this one other time, when we traveled to Costa Rica in 2014 but I feel surely it must be a more common offering than it seems. Let me know in the comments if you have seen the honor system beer fridge.
After relaxing in our room with a beer, we headed out for dinner at a nearby brauhaus (brew house or beer hall). We enjoyed some hearty German fare and a couple of dunkles (dark beers). We called it an early night as our next day was to be jam packed.
We had one full day in Munich before heading to Regansburg so we wanted to make the most of it. We had a couple of things on our list of must sees and left the rest up to fate. Some of my favorite stops of the day included:
Frauenkirche Church: a restored Gothic Church, with very tall ceilings and beautiful, intricate, and colorful stained glass windows.
New Town Hall: a huge, cool, Gothic building. We wandered up staircases and down long hallways, until we reached the top floor, looking down upon the square below.
Theatine Church: Built in the 1660s, the interior was unlike any we have seen. It is intricately sculpted, bright white with reliefs, altars, and columns. Truly a one of a kind.
Munich Residence Palace: The huge palace served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings from 1508 to 1918 and includes the residence, theater, and treasury. It is a must see when in Munich.
The treasury was really something:
After spending several hours at the Residence Palace, we had just enough time to head back to the hotel and freshen up before we were off again. We grabbed a quick bite at the Hofbräuhaus and then onto see one of my favorite bands, Bright Eyes!
We had an unforgettable day in Munich (Phil writes more about it here). The next morning we were off to magical Regensburg. Stay tuned for more!