Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Guest Post No comments
Flying in by Easyjet from London Gatwick is usually a 6 am flight, meaning the check-in counter opens at 4am! Thus you may possibly arrive at your hotel at 10 am. If you somehow manage to check in (use your wiles or charm), take a warm shower and the prospect of a 3-hour nap is now possible.
In the afternoon, walk to The Central Station (if accosted by a hideous hobo, pretend that the person is invisible and walk on) and locate the I-Tourism Office. You can book almost any tour/day trip there but be sure to confirm the time and venue.
Personal observation - The Germans are methodical and efficient but need to smile more. Hey the Wall is down for God's sake
Head to Marienplatz and Hofbrauhaus, and eat a sausage in a baby baguette on the way - sausages in Germany are called Brühwurst (scalded sausage), Kochwurst (cooked sausage) and Rohwurst (fresh sausage) and enjoy the Gothic architecture of the cathedrals and yes, the shopping.
Evening is a further dip in the temperature and the wind is chilling even in Spring. Go to where the clinks of beer mugs are and just enter the warmth of the local pub. Pubs in Munich are safe and with stern countenance softened by the brew, yes the Germans do smile.
The tour to Dachau, which is the first concentration camp built in WW2 Germany, is in the afternoon. It is a memorial site and a museum but much smaller than the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Krakow which hits many in the guts just to be there.
You should end the day with a Munich Ghost Tour but do book with Radius Tours and be prepared for rain. (I trudged in the cold and rain without an umbrella and miraculously survived.)
On returning to Munich, head straight to this restaurant - Haxnhauer in Scholastikahaus. Here, you get the best pork knuckle, beef goulash and what glorious dark beer, cheers!
When in Rome, do what the Romans do but here in Munich, what better way to have a blissful yet educational tour then to go on a City Tour with a visit to the Paulaner Brewery? At the brewery, they will assign you with a master brewer as your guide (mine looked like the younger, handsomer version of Arnold Schwarzenegger who goes by the name of Simon and speaks English with the same Arnie accent) and you get a documentary film (love the warmth inside the brewery) , then a tour, then a tall pint of fresh lager with huge pretzels and finally a souvenir to bring home.
In the evening, if you are still hooked on pork knuckles like us, you could try a different restaurant but may ultimately end up eating the same delicious fare. If you are a vegetarian, you have my deepest sympathies for this is Germany where the men feast on meat, meat, meat and tower at 6 foot plus in height.
The final day is for any last-minute shopping - chocolates and yet more chocolates! For a change, go to the Hard Rock Cafe for a hearty lunch. Do not forget to leave Munich with a Bayern Munich jersey or tee shirt.
** In many ways, the Germans are much alike the Singaporeans. They mind their own business, are serious and diligent and do not smile at strangers. However there is a difference, and to quote an eloquent middle-aged German traveller on the underground train, he says he is ashamed of the sins of his father and grandfather with regards to the holocaust. It touched my heart to actually hear it from the lips of a German. **