Sunday, January 14, 2018

Beer, Brats, Saurkraut, Castles and More In Munich, Germany......

When we arrived here in Munich there was a light blanket of snow on the ground that glowed against the white lights of the Christmas tree in the courtyard below. Our temporary home is smack in the city center, a modern apartment with all the comforts of home, that is IF we had one. An entrance to the subway is literally a two minute walk from the door of the complex making it so easy to get around. Across the street is a mall with two large grocery stores and plenty of other options for shopping right at our doorstep.

Pretty Court Yard In Between The Apartments

A Bottle Of Mulled Wine From Our Hosts
 
Courtney and Me



Our hosts, a young American couple who relocated to Germany for career advancements welcomed us with open arms. Their two darling dogs, Ty, a Beagle mix and Whiskey, a Papillon were happy to have even more humans around to give them attention. Soon after the couple left on holiday we quickly headed out to explore this wonderful city.

This Is Ty



This Little Guy Is Whiskey And Like Most Tiny Dogs He
Thinks He's A Big Dog And Surely Runs The House


House Sitting IS Hard Work And Clyde Is Really Good At His Duties


Each morning we head out with our canine companions to explore the English Gardens that cover much of the city.  Spanning some 900 miles it features a variety of ponds with swans, playgrounds, trails for hiking and biking, a raging river that's even used for surfing, and even FOUR beer gardens. This park is even bigger than New York's Central Park.

Sights Around Our Walks In The English Garden, Munich





Clyde and I Feel Just Like This Little Guy So Bundled Up We Can't Move
 
 

The heart of Munich's center is the Marienplatz, famous for its Glockenspiel clock that entertains the crowds several times a day. Of course this was something that we had to see and Clyde even captured a bit of it on video.


Munich's Famous Glockenspiel







Since we were here to ring in the New Year we headed out to the same area to take in some of the craziness and fireworks that night. While there are NO fireworks in Munich put on by the city itself, there ARE plenty of locals who let loose and blow up a whole wad on money on explosives. The Marienplatz was loaded with hoards of people all trying to outdo each other with fireworks. But after a while we watched as several were shot off into crowds of people and one man's coat even caught on fire. That was all we had to see before we quickly made our way underground to the subway to head back to the safety of our apartment. There were even fireworks going off underground in the subway stations but we managed to get out of there without harm. At the stroke of midnight we heard fireworks all around us so we stepped outside to safely view them in our own neighborhood.

Germans love their beer and while there are many beer gardens all over  Munich, the most famous for tourists is Hofbrauhaus. So one night we headed out to try some of the local beer with dinner. The liter sized mugs of beer cost a whopping 8,90 euros each (about $10.85). Since I am not much of a beer drinker I opted for a Radler, a local favorite of beer mixed with lemon-aid. It was tasty and still packed a bit of a punch. Although the food wasn't too good there was a band of men dressed in Lederhosen playing traditional music and cute waitresses wearing boob boosting Dirndls.

My New Friend "Radler".....Beer with Lemonaid


Clyde Took It Straight Up Like A Man







Our Waitress At The Hofbrauhaus....She Is Chinese

Tipsy Terry Making New Friends

Clyde Making Friends With Other Waitresses


Another must for us was a road trip on the famous German Auto Bahn. Known throughout the world as the road with NO speed limits, it was really just another highway to us. Typically it had three lanes on each side of the highway, some areas did have speeds posted while others did not. The right lane was mostly for trucks, the middle lane for travelling and the left lane is for passing only.

Our road trips took us to see a few castles and palaces along with picturesque villages that dripped with Bavarian charm. Not to mention the breathtaking snow capped mountains that were all around us. Out of all the countries we have visited over the past few years, Germany comes in first place to us as having the most beautiful castles and palaces.



Beautiful Snow Capped Mountains


Hohenschwangau Castle

Another View


Our Transportation Up To The Castle




The Fairy Tale Castle.... Neuschwanstein
Walt Disney Used This When He Designed His Theme Park Castles

A Winter Wonderland


We ventured out to cross the border between Germany and Austria to visit the town of Salzburg. Known to most Americans as the location for the filming of the movie, The Sound Of Music, most Austrians know little to nothing about this subject and really don't care to learn. Salzburg's claim to fame is composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born there. Salt mining is also a part of Salzburg and where its name comes from.

Scenes From Sound Of Music
Salzburg, Austria


The Nunnery
 
Mozart Plaza


Birthplace of Mozart.....Yellow House
With A Grocery Store Underneath It Now




Upon crossing the border from Austria back into Germany we noticed  a large police presence along the roadside. Several cars were being pulled over for some reason but we managed to be waved on through. But then I spotted a sign showing photos of flags from Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom with the word, "toll" underneath. Hmmmm? Did that mean cars with certain plates had to stop and pay a toll? Later that night I did some research to find out that YES there is a toll charged for cars to use the roads in Austria. The toll if purchased in advance is around 9 euros and provides the car with a sticker to display on the windshield. Cars without the proper stickers are detained and fined hundreds of euros that must be paid on the spot. Thankfully for us, since the car we are driving belongs to our hosts that we are sitting for, their car DOES indeed have the proper sticker on it.

The most German town of all is Rothenburg ob de Tauber, which simply means, "Rothenburg on the River Tauber." This lovely little Christmas village is about as Bavarian as it gets.

Sights Around Rothenburg, Germany


Felt Like We Were On A Christmas Card





Germany to many of us brings up thoughts of beer halls and Nazi's so yesterday we drove thirty minutes to the town of Dachau to visit a concentration camp. This was the very first concentration camp to open and the only one that remained open during the entire 12 years that Hitler was in power. Surely a very sad experience to visit this place and realize just how much damage one dictator, Adolf Hitler caused.

Entrance To Prisoners Quarters At Concentration Camp....Dachau

The Translation Of This Says
Work Is Freedom....But Despite Their Hard Work
Many Prisoners Never Made It Out Alive




Oven To Cremate The Bodies
 


That Word Says, "Shower"
But This Room Was Really A Gas Chamber

Inside The Gas Chamber With Fake Shower Heads To Lure In Prisoners



The Sad Reality Of It All
 

We have the rest of the week to do more exploring before we leave winter behind in Germany and move into warmer climates......along the gringo trail.