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Days 54, 55, & 56: A guest blog from Stephen about our time in Munich!

sunny 65 °F
View October in Spain on GenovevaLewis's travel map.

Leaving a place as beautiful as Lake Como behind is never easy, but luckily we had one of the highlights of our trip waiting for us..

We arrived in Munich after a fairly comfortable travel day. Our morning consisted of a short train ride from Varenna to Milan and some unexpected Metro-hopping with our bags in tow to the Milan cathedral, where we walked around admiring the hundreds of statues adorning the impressive Duomo. After a short stroll through the adjacent Galleria and a memorable lunch in a plaza (highlighted by a free bottle of sparkling red wine), we had to say goodbye to Tom and Kate after nearly of month of wonderful travels together through Italy. After some long hugs we quickly found ourselves on a bus from the city center to the airport and hours later caught another convenient airport shuttle bus to our Airbnb host's apartment near the English Garden in Munich.

We love Munich. Our Airbnb hostess was an energetic, English-speaking TV producer for Germany's Next Top Model and she greeted us warmly and sent us to an exceptional restaurant a few blocks away walk on a brisk Bavarian evening. We drank delicious beer and ate schnitzels with names that were like complete sentences. Genny also impressed the restaurant owner/operators, a kind couple in their 70s, with the German she had picked up at UCSB. At least for me, visions of sugar plums were dancing as we walked home plotting our trip to Oktoberfest the next day!
And what a day it was. After making coffee in the apartment and seeing our host off to work, we proceeded on a 5 minute walk to the U-bahn station that would take us the 8 or so stops directly to the doors of Oktoberfest. We passed through light security and were greeted by an overwhelming spectacle. The grounds are equal parts carnival rides, food stalls and beerhalls, and after a half-mile walk grinning widely and taking it all in, we found ourselves a bench at the Hacker Pschorr Festhall a little after noon.
We were told that all the beerhalls are more or less the same, and this is true. But Hacker Pschorr is our favorite of the 10 or so major halls; beautifully decorated and with the bandstand dutifully rotating in the center of the room. Conditions were perfect. We bought our first round of beers (only by the liter) for 11 Euros each, then treated ourselves to another round to go with some wurst and sauerkraut as we began to make ourselves comfortable. We found ourselves seated next to three young American guys and got to know each other.
We were having a great time. We saw the occasional person around the room put their foot on the table and chug down their liter to the cheers of the hall. Anyone who couldn't complete the task was roundly jeered. My new American friends bought a liter and said it was mine if I'd put my foot up on the table. This was a VERY tough decision. Three liters of beer by 3PM was not my goal, so I said sure I'd do it if one of them was brave enough to do it with me. A minute later my foot went on the table. I have rarely felt so relieved as when I turned the empty mug over my head.
We were having an amazing time. After the cheers wore down, the other two Americans at our table decided they could do it too and a special bond was formed. Our table was magnetic, attracting a group of fun German girls eager to meet us and our group flowed together through the night to another tent where everything was awesome. I remember talking about Trump, beer and honor. We made it home around midnight.
We made it back to Oktoberfest the next day around 6PM for a bite to eat, then went back to our neighborhood restaurant for a late dinner. We were in bed by 10.
The next day, our final day in Munich, was another wonderful day. We knew we had to wake up at 3:30 the following morning to catch our flight to Spain and set our expectations accordingly. Our first stop was for a delightful lunch with Miriam, a friend from Genny's college years currently living in Munich. She helped us choose some delicious new dishes off the Bavarian menu and we spent a couple hours catching up and sharing our observations on life. It was my first time meeting her but it felt like we were old friends. I think we'll all go skiing in Austria together sometime soon.
From lunch we headed across town to the BMW Museum, which we both enjoyed but found a little underwhelming. There were plenty of beautiful cars and motorcycles, but we had trouble navigating the disjointed layout and wish they had done a better job telling their story. That said, there is certainly enough to warrant a visit if you haven't been.
From there we headed back to Oktoberfest for a final liter and more delicious Bavarian food for dinner. We were both saddened to leave on the early side, but with a tough travel day ahead we were happy with our decision to head home, pretzel in hand, and pack as the sun set. Perhaps an ignominious end to an incredible three days in Munich, but we know we'll be coming back.
Stephen L.,
Guest Blogger

Posted by GenovevaLewis 02:18 Archived in Germany Tagged munich oktoberfest münchen hacker weisn pschorr hackerpschorr augustiner

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I enjoyed Stephen's guest blog. Sounds like a guy trip to the Oktoberfest is in our future!

by Dave

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