Our Munich adventure began on Monday morning, when we landed at a strangely technological airport. Case in point, the information desk was a monitor which transferred you to a representative, based on your language choice. He/she could read documents and maps you had simply by laying them down in front of a ceiling mounted camera. This was some Future shit.
At the Hostel, we met up with Ryan, an old friend of Rohan’s and proceeded out.
Munich, as we learned through our walking tour, is a city of beautiful architecture and history.
…particularly World War 2 history. Mostly dealing with You-Know-Who.
There are a few very nice monuments to those who defied the Nazis around the city, including this yellow brick road which marks the spot where citizens would divert their walking route to prevent being hassled by Nazis into performing a salute. Simple, but elegant defiance.
The most touching aspect of German culture our tour guide touched on was the reluctant nationalism evident in the German people. Even German Chancellor, and my good friend, Angela Merkel would rather not show pride in her country, lest she be branded a Nazi.
The tour ended at around 5:30, and it was said that there was a “Beer Challenge” taking place at 6. A “Beer Challenge” being a tour of four different beer houses and free beer. So obviously, we rushed over to our meeting point. We were one person short for the tour to actually take place.
However, our “Beer Guide”, an Australian chap by the name of Adam, just ended taking us to Oktoberfest, gave us advice, found us a table (no easy feat) and left us to our own devices.
Oktoberfest is huge. There are giant beer tents set up everywhere and in between them, food.
Fun Fact: Germany once placed a law into effect that decreed that all Beer sold in Germany must only contain four ingredients: hops, barley, yeast and water. As a result German beer is some of the purest you’ll ever encounter. The beer makers here take pride in their work and adhere to this law, even though it was repealed years ago because other companies such as Heineken couldn’t actually sell their beer in Germany.
Beer at Oktoberfest, and I guess all throughout Germany, is sold by the liter. This is an insane amount of beer. I only had two that night, and the results were less than satisfactory. Probably because, due to some macho chest beating that went on earlier in the day, I set out to prove that I could down a liter in about 15 minutes.
Pro-Tip: Do not down a liter of beer in 15 minutes.
The rest of the night was a bit hazy.
Tuesday started with a tour of the Dachau concentration camp, which was a really sobering experience (no pun intended, seriously). This is really something serious that people have to see for themselves, so I won’t go into detail here. The museum is a terrifying and necessary warning to humanity and really must be seen, even if you are a bit squeamish.
Upon our return, we needed a stiff drink, so we went to the Hofbrau House, Munich’s most famous beer hall. One more liter of beer made me vow no more beer for the rest of the trip.
Next: More Beer!