#019 Munich, Germany
They say the south is very different from the north in Germany and it's true. Compared to Berlin, Munich is relatively conventional. I had such a great time exploring Bavarian history, buildings, museums, and of course beer!
April 7 - 11, 2016
We and some mischief in the beer garden, well he has! We've went to Hofbräuhaus and Augustinerbräu Keller together. I had no idea why people are so fascinated by all those breweries, but I think I got the feel after I visited them. By the way, the beer mug size is 1 litre! I wandered if people need to go to pee very often in the house....haha I know I need to. While we were in the Augustinerbräu house, Leigh stoled one of the mug with their brand name on it. You know you will try to stole it when they have a clear sign telling you not to. It's like they lay a challenge to all the people lol. It was late Spring and still chilly so I think it's pretty easy for him to hide it in his jacket and I covered him just acting like nothing happened and chatting while walking away fast!
Bavaria beer and history
There are Big Six breweries in Munich: Löwenbräu, Hofbräuhaus, Augustinerbräu, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschor, and Spaten. I think some of them only sell in Bavaria (not even the whole Germany) and only a few export to Berlin. My personal favorite is Augustiner. Well, it definitely tastes better when in Munich. In case you don't know, they have Oktoberfest in Autumn and they have some funny stories about the pole and competition among breweries.
ww2 and the city
Most of the cities were bombarded during WW2 and Munich is not an exception. Around 90% of the old town was severely damaged due to the policy of carpet bombing. Although the city is rebuilt, but it still has the very traditional vibe compared to Berlin. Berlin represents more liberal spirit while Munich is considered being conventional. If you ever been in the city, I highly recommend taking a free walking tour in the old town. They explained well on the history, architecture and beer here. There are also some spots considering to be where Hitler live and practice art before he became the notorious commander. The city is full of history and every corner of the architecture documents some unsung heroes.
By the way, if you have time, please remember to watch the Glockenspeel at Marie Platz. I promise you it's worth the wait! You should also visit Munich Residenz. The Rococo style decoration here is amazing!
You probably heard of Ludwig the second, the mad king, who also built the castle.
It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day [...]; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world. It will also remind you of "Tannhäuser" (Singers' Hall with a view of the castle in the background), "Lohengrin'" (castle courtyard, open corridor, path to the chapel) ...
— Ludwig II, Letter to Richard Wagner, May 1868
The area opened to public filled with Fancy and luxury decorations. Once again, if you like Rococo style, you don't want to miss it. They will divide people into groups with entrance time on your ticket. Every group will have a guide which is super helpful explaining the stories of Ludwig the second. The one I remembered the most is the mental state of the king may not be what history claimed to be and how he died in the nearing lake despite there's no water in his lung and he's a strong swimmer.
It's relatively easy going to Neuschwanstein from Munich. The easiest and cheapest way is to buy DB Bavarian "Regional" day ticket, which allows you to go anywhere in Bavaria within a day. It will take around 2 hours to go there and afterwards you can take a bus with the same ticket to Neuschwanstein. By the way, if you really want to take a good photo of the whole castle, you need to go to the Marienbrücke bridge. Too bad that I couldn't go there since it was under restoration.
PS. What surprised me the most was that you can still find Chinese restaurant in the middle of Bavarian Mountains lol OMG Chinese people are everywhere lol