Oh you guys. This trip was so good. Twelve years ago Nadja came and stayed with me and then I went and stayed with her and I fell completely in love with Germany, her family, and her. Being reunited was amazing and very strange-it didn’t feel like we’d ever been apart. We’ve kept up with each other on facebook, sent the occasional Christmas card and called each other many times, but finally seeing her in person was fantastic. It was a happy reunion.
Nadja is currently living in Munich, about an hour away from where I stayed with her and her family when I came. We had an opportunity to visit Munich for a weekend while I was there so I was really excited to return and see more. She has a darling flat with her boyfriend Phil and was kind enough to let us take over her entire living room.
We flew in and arrived late so we pretty much went straight to bed. The next day we hit the pavement running.
We started the day off with a traditional Bavarian breakfast (think pancakes and eggs-not something we actually eat every day, but it’s what you think of first as an “all-american” breakfast) In Bavaria that traditional breakfast is weißwurst with sweet mustard and fresh pretzels. So.so.good.
We got around most of the time we were there using the underground or buses. It’s so nice because we could buy a group ticket for all of us for the day that included underground and buses for 11€. Public transportation is so affordable!
Our first stop was city hall. It’s kind of the thing to see in Munich and you can see why.
We made sure to take some sort of group selfie on top of every tower we climbed.
After city hall, cathedrals and lots of wandering we ended up at the Viktualienmarkt, a huge permanent farmers market. We filled ourselves with more sausage, pretzels and tons of yummy olives, fresh fruit and veggies. In the middle is a large beer garden and everyone is able to sit and enjoy.
So.much.gelato so little time.
On the walk home we wandered through a huge cemetery next to Nadja’s flat. It was old, huge and super cool. They have large wells in the middle for people to fill up watering cans and large fences and gates surrounding the entire place.
That night Nadja packed us a picnic and we headed to one of their favorite beer gardens for dinner. We snacked on pretzels and a wurst/pickles/onion salad she made and more fresh fruit and veggies. Jon tried rhubarb soda and I had a lovely red current one.
It rained and cleared out-we just headed under a tree. This began our joke that Germans are afraid of the rain. If you’re familiar with How I Met Your Mother and their rumor that all canadians are afraid of the dark it makes it extra funny. Every time it rained-even for a short time-all of the Germans cleared out of wherever we were.
We skyped with the girls that night. It was hard. They stayed with Jon’s sisters and we knew they were in good hands.
Breakfast at the beer garten. Yes, more pretzels.
We went to an awesome swimming area-they used water from the river to pipe through their man-made river and swimming pool. It was relaxing, refreshing and so fun to just play and float and not worry about anyone drowning!
We couldn’t seem to pack enough water. Germans don’t have drinking fountains, but if you’re lucky you can find a few random water spouts throughout town that are probably trustworthy.
We decided to go ahead and try the alcohol free beer and see if it was any good. Mostly we just wanted to fit in-and typically any beer was cheaper than water at restaurants. These ones were mixed with lemonade…so I felt like I was drinking a shirley temple BUT they didn’t taste too bad and it was fun.
This restaurant was amazing and we stayed quite late playing cards. It was so fun to laugh and get to know Phil and a few of their friends.
The next day was the Kocherlball-a traditional dance party held for the working class at 6 AM so they could all attend and still get back to their chores. We got there around 8:30, 6 was just too darn early. It was SO FUN to see so many Germans dressed in the traditional lederhosen and dirndls!!
This is the Englischer Garten-think the central park of Munich, only bigger and with surfing. We often found ourselves wandering through to get from one place to another.
After our early morning we found ourselves quite tired…so we laid down and took a nap. Oh the child-free lifestyle!!
We spent the rest of the day touring art museums and the modern art school of Munich. They had their final projects on display so we really got the full experience.
The buses are bendy.
Our lovely sleeping arrangements. We feel so grateful to Phil and Nadja for letting us fully take over their home!!