So part deux of our European adventure story starts off in Munich, where we stayed at the Citadines, which are more small apartments than hotel rooms (meaning we had a little kitchen and a living room, but no one to clean the place up when we left for the day.)
The location was perfect for Oktoberfest–it was just a short walk to the grounds where the tents are. It’s not the best location if you’re in Munich mostly for the city center, though, like to visit Marienplatz or stroll through town. (For that type of trip, I’d highly recommend the hotels I stayed in during this trip to Munich a few years ago.)
Lucky for us, we were there for Oktoberfest, and our adventure began that Sunday night …
After a late arrival and a long, long day (well, longer for Chris than for myself and his parents, I would have to say), we were all eager to find our hotel and find a place to eat. Only about a half mile down the road we found exactly what were looking for in Augustiner-Keller, a typical Bavarian restaurant with its pretzels, humongous beers and spaetzle. (Oh, how I love spaetzle!)
After filling up on beer, cheese (me) and meat (everyone else), we all headed back to the hotel–fat, full and happy, and ready for Monday, the day of all days.
So here’s the thing about going to Oktoberfest, my friends. If you go early enough in the morning (which we did, at around 10:30 a.m., I believe), the grounds can be a wonderful, wonderful place. Even for families. There are rides and horses and food and people dressed up in dirndls and lederhosen–I mean what’s not to love!?
That early, you’ll find that the tents are still packed, but it’s not quite as impossible to get in, and it’s even easier to find a table. So after Chris had picked the Haufbrau House as his tent of choice for the day, we made our way in.
This is what we found:
At around 4 p.m., after drinking our fill of beer, eating our fill of pretzels and cheese (and pickles!), and after realizing that some of the boys sitting next to us were starting to get a bit rowdy (and therefore annoying–hey it happens), we decided to venture outside of the tent and check out the grounds a bit more before heading into the town.
I will say this about Oktoberfest, as well. Granted two years ago I was only there with one other person, and this year there were only four of us, and we’ve gone pretty early both times–still, it’s always been relatively easy to find a table (it’s always the rumor that you won’t be able to find one). I can see how if you waited a couple more hours, though, or had a bunch of people, it might be troublesome. So I guess the answer is–stick with only a handful of friends and go early and you’ll be okay. Otherwise you’ll probably need to make a reservation.
Anyway, after spending a good portion of the day at Oktoberfest, we decided to head into the town and walk over to Marienplatz to take in some of the sites and grab dinner.
We decided to eat outside at this restaurant right in the square called Am Marientplatz, where I had … you guessed it … my second spaetzle in as many days! Pure heaven, my friends (also, you try finding vegetarian fare in Germany!).
The following day, after shaking off our war wounds from the day before, we traipsed back into town to take Mike’s Bike Tour all around Munich.
Let me tell you, if you’re going to try to see a town, biking is really the way to do it! Once you get past the swerving in and out of crowds and attempting to stay on a bike of varying speeds, it’s actually pretty fun! Here’s what we saw:
And during the tour, we stopped at the Chinese Tower beer garden for some lunch:
All in all, I’d say if you like bike riding, and you’re game to check out a city in a unique way, this bike tour is the way to do it.
After the bike ride, Chris’s parents decided to head out to do some shopping, while Chris and I headed back to the Hofbräuhaus for some more…
After a full day of site seeing and beer drinking, we picked up a pack of cards after the beer garden and headed back to the apartment to call it a night (especially early for Chris, who fell asleep before we could even open the pack of cards to play), since the next morning we would picking up the car to make the 6-hour drive from Munich to Salzburg (to drop Chris’s parents off) and then on to Venice.
So bis bald, my friends! I have quite the adventure to share with you tomorrow about our little drive through the Alps. Here’s a teaser, though:
I mean…it’s beautiful! Am I right?