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Steph’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2008

Location: Munich, Germany

MapSo we were sad to leave Rothenburg ob der Tauber behind. It is such an amazing little town. Even though I (Steph) has now been there three times, there is more to see each time.

We made the train trip to Munich and arrived to some unfortunately overcast weather. The original hotel we booked emailed us earlier to say they were transferring us to their partner hotel as they were closed for the week. It suited us fine as it was quite an upgrade!

What better way to see the sights and learn about the history of Munich than by doing a walking tour. We actually went with the same tour company as our walk in Berlin. Again, our guide was great and gave us a run down of the history of Munich, plus took us to sights including Marienplatz with the Glockspiel clock, the Frauenkirche (which used to be the parish of the current Pope), the Viktualienmarkt (a huge food market) and of course the Hofbrauhaus.

Munich also has a lot of history connected to Hitler and the Nazi party and we were told that the party was actually formally founded in the Hofbrauhaus. So whilst the beer hall is a place of drunken frivolity and happiness, it also has quite a shady past. Our guide also told us about the vomitorium, which as you can guess by the name, is a huge round sink in the men´s toilets where men can have a chuckle or two. You can actually get fined for being sick in the actual hall or beer garden, so the old vomitorium can get quite popular and it is common for there to be a line out the door of men who need to use it.

Another interesting beer-related anecdote about Munich is about Oktoberfest. Apparently so many Australians come to Munich during the festival and lose their passport during their drunken escapades that the Australian Embassy actually sets up a temporary consulate in Munich for the two week period. The nearest embassy is in Berlin and you are not allowed to travel without a passport so each year they set up a special embassy for drunken Australians - what a reputation we have!

After the tour we went to the lovely Englisher Gartens, a huge park area in the centre of Munich, with big lawns where people can have picnics, play soccer and sunbathe - often in the nude as we found out! There is also a beer garden there, so we of course did the right thing and paid it a visit. There was an oompa-pa band there to serenade everyone as they drank. It was so sunny that we actually got a tad sunburnt walking around in all that sun!