After wrapping up my work in the Italy office, it was time to head to München. Two colleagues from St. Louis were coming to meet my Barnacle, and they invited us to join them for a weekend in Germany. I caught a train out of Milano without issue and planned to change trains in Verona. Unfortunately, someone was striking, which meant there was no train in Verona to take me on to München. Mind you, I only know this because of a sweet, old Italian man who explained the situation to me in a mixture of Italian and English. Instead, we were put on a bus and driven roughly 3 hours to Innsbruck, Austria where a train was waiting to take us to München. No announcements or real explanation was provided in English, so I’m grateful for the old man who told me to follow him and didn’t lead me astray. The only other bummer about the detour is that I left a huge bag of coffee products on the bus. I purchased a lot of products while visiting the team in Italy, but neglected to remember the extra bag when we got off the bus. Boo!!!
Somehow I made it to München only 20 minutes late and found my way to our apartment without issue. Since our American friends flew in that morning, they were already asleep. My Barnacle and I weren’t too far behind them. Hooray for a good night’s sleep!
Two of my Miami friends love Germany. One studied in München for a year and the other has spent A LOT of time visiting and studying here. I reached out to both of them for recommendations, and they provided good thoughts. First, brunch at Weisses Bräuhaus! We had eggs, Weißwurst (veal sausage), and pretzels with sweet Bavarian mustard. The restaurant was adorable, and the food was good. It may be a surprise that my favorite part of this meal (and ultimately, my favorite thing in München) was the sweet Bavarian mustard. It was seriously amazing!!
After brunch, we headed to the train station to go to the former concentration camp in Dachau. Something crazy was going on with the trains, and we could not figure out how to get on the S2 line that would take us to Dachau. Ultimately, we only made it a few stops before having to jump in a cab for the duration of the trip. It turns out that some of the lines were under construction, and the changes were not clearly marked. Glad to know I wasn’t completely losing my mind!
My mom and I visited Dachau 11 years ago when we were in München. It’s such a sad place. Since then, I’ve traveled to Israel where I’ve visited the Holocaust Museum. And as of last week, I’ve seen the homes of Anne Frank and Corrie ten Boom. Many of the non-fiction books I’ve read in the past decade have taken place in the WWII era. Every time I think about the realities of that time, I’m amazed at the heroism – the risks people took to preserve their own lives, and in many cases, the lives of strangers. I’m also amazed at the horrors that occurred. It’s so hard to comprehend that level of evil.
Needless to say, our time at Dachau was a somber visit. I guess the cold, windy, grey weather was appropriate for such a place.
We had a much easier time getting back into the city by train, and we headed straight to Hofbräuhaus for a warm meal. We found a great table where we could watch the band play. It was great to be warm after the cold afternoon outside. I tried some Weiner Schnitzel and a Radler (1/2 beer, 1/2 lemonade). We all split an apple strudel for dessert and headed home full and happy.
[The band is serenading the birthday boy at the table next to us]
On Sundays in München, nothing is open. No stores and no nail places for us to get pedicures! (It’s been over four months; this girl is getting desperate!) Nevertheless, we found a few things to keep the day from being a bust. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor – cold and windy, which eliminated some outdoor activities.
For brunch, we headed to Marienplatz. We went to a restaurant called Ratskeller. I tried some German potato pancakes with applesauce. After our meal, we climbed the 300 stairs to the top of the bell tower at Alte Peter. If we thought it was windy on the ground, it was NOTHING compared to the wind at the top of the tower! Whoa!! We were determined to stay at the top until noon to watch the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz. This meant enduring a total of 20-ish minutes in the cold & wind. I’m not sure it was worth it, but the circumstances definitely made it unforgettable! And thankfully, we didn’t blow away!
We spent the afternoon roaming around the closed shops, warming up over hot drinks, and indulging in a final pretzel before boarding our train. I should’ve found a way to bring some of that delicious sweet mustard back with me! I’m sure I’ll be craving it for the next few weeks.