Ashley Takes on Europe: MUNICH
I took a bus, yes a bus (by now I felt like I was in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles) from Prague bright and early to Munich. I was told to take the early one because the later one is filled with partiers headed to Oktoberfest. The drive and country side were pretty, sadly I sat next to a man who didn’t speak a lick of English and slept the whole way, I was bored. I did eat at a Mc Donalds in Prague. That was interesting.
So my adventures in Couch Surfing had thus far been successful. Crazy for some to accept, but Jane in Berlin was awesome. Those of you unfamiliar with couchsurfing.org (or CS), hosts and surfers get reviewed like E-Bay sellers and buyers. So when I saw Michael had hosted and surfed over 200 times and he was all about Oktoberfest, I thought it would be great. I did read negative reviews he had, but figured I wouldn’t have a personality clash with him like some of the reviews had indicated. I get along with most. When I got there he picked me up from the bus station, super nice of him. He had another surfer with him (who he met through CS). We dropped off stuff, I warned him that I was still recovering and exhausted but we walked to Oktoberfest together and…how do I put this…Michael is a bit forceful. I was greatful his English was perfect, but after two hours with him forcing me to drink up, eat up, ride this ride, do this, do that…I was ready to take a nap. That’s exactly what I did. I texted Megan when back at the apt. and let her know that I didn’t think she was going to like him too much. Michael was a bit of an A-hole, not going to lie. His politics and anal retentive habits, as well as talking about how rich he was, how awesome he was, and racist comments rubbed me the wrong way. I went along with it, but knew feisty Megan may just come out. 😉
(Michael my host on left, and the other youngster couch surfer)
(My first beer at Oktoberfest…ugh probably not the best choice being sick and all, but only young once, right?)
(Oktoberfest in the day time a few hours after arriving in Munich, rides looked awesome, did a few myself).
(You can’t go to Germany and NOT have a pretzel).
Some photos below from the fetival in the day time, so pretty out-70s and sunny 🙂
(How adorable are these guys above?)
Day 1–Complete. Still not feeling the best and drunk off two beers I slept from about 6pm to 7am, it was ridiculous but needed. And now, I was feeling good about day 2 and Meg’s arrival (oh and she had American drugs in tow from CVS, yes!)
Megan I met back in the day waiting tables when I had first moved back to Austin after a stint in Kansas City. The funny thing is, we don’t hang out that often, we can pick up where we left off when we catch up and we get along perfectly BUT we were about to spend two weeks together–this could be interesting.
I was so happy to see her. While traveling alone hadn’t been bad at all, a friend or companion (English speaking at that) was going to be nice to have. Branching out alone can be difficult. Off the train Megan appeared! We dropped off her stuff, went into Munich, grabbed some breakfast and did a free walking tour around Munich starting at the Glockenspiel.
There really isn’t much to Munich. A lot of everything was rebuilt since destroyed in the war, and it was much tinier than I had anticipated. We had a beer during the tour, grabbed some food after (I was already tired of pretzels or any white bread for that matter, ha).
(Statue of the King, his son, we learned did a tribute to him, despite the fact he hated this statue and the fact he was sitting down, however his son is the reason we celebrate Oktoberfest, when he married they had a festival in some open fields, now Oktoberfest..or something like that, I can’t seem to retain everything I hear).
Time to shop for our Oktoberfest outfits. Yes, they are ridiculously expensive but even major department stores sell them…in fact they were very easy to come by that week. We found a thrift shop (I had researched Trip Advisor previously) and we found some authentic hand-me down dirndles. Being the girls that we are, this did take hours, but so worth it. We later got ready back at Michaels, got ready and went to Oktoberfest. It was nightmare-ish. I know now that IF I were to go back to Oktoberfest I much prefer it in the day when you can actually find a seat, the sun is shining and a jacket isn’t necessary. That night we got in a little late, the taxi had dropped us off a little farther North and I had been texting Michael we were on our way, which he said he had to go into work and there was the other Couch surfer there at the time, but he left by the time we got in there. The couch surfer (I cannot remember his name for the life of me!) said Michael was angry with us for not being back in time for “curfew” (aka another one of his anal retentive rules).
The next morning we were woken up by Michael telling everyone to get up, the maid was coming and we all had to leave because his place was “filthy.” We obliged and said, “Sure, want us to come back in a few hours, we’ll go grab breakfast.” But Michael wanted us to come home about after 6pm because he had to work that day. So basically no shower, leave and be gone all day and then come home. Megan and I shut the door to our room and looked at one another frustrated and tired of Michael’s bossy attitude, despite the hospitality he had given us already (and there is much more to Michael’s antics and lies that I left out for purposes of keeping this shorter, but we had enough at this point). Megan said, “Want to get our stuff and just go find wifi and a room somewhere?” And I said “Yep” We said bye to the guys (at this time there were 3 total, another couch surfer was added the day prior and poor guys slept on kitchen floor, we slept in the room with bunk beds and a cot and Michael had his own–which the door was always closed. PS Did I mention there was a security camera in the hallway of his apt. Yep! Super Creepy, which is why it was time to find our own place to stay. Which is what we did.
We thanked them for their hospitality and headed out! Ah, freedom!
Finidng wifi in Munich was not easy. We had to pay for it I believe, at some coffee shop and then we found a fair deal off the Square and close to the train station for one night. We walked over, but couldn’t check in just yet, but luckily dropped our bags and headed out to get items we needed and a late lunch. This ate quite a bit of time, but finally we checked in, got a nice shower, threw on our drindles and headed to Oktoberfest! Sadly it was raining/sprinkling this night. Started to get super crowded in one of the beer tents (which really could equate to a dance hall in Texas to be honest, the word “tent” doesn’t necessarily depict it very well.
With the rain and everyone seeking shelter in the beer tents it got ridiculously crowded and the door guys wouldn’t let us out. Megan faked a panic attack and FINALLY someone let us out. For the past few days Megan had mentioned there being a wine tent. Aren’t we classy ladies? Low and behold, we found it–the wine tent. Not only that but some nice boys in kilts (Megan has a little background with Scotland and Scottish boys so we hit it off with them and some dude from California who ended up being very pompous anyway, ha).
These guys were awesome. I had some strudel, we chatted with them about everything and made fun of one another’s accents and our night wasn’t a total bust with the cold rain and crowded tents after all!
Next stop after Munich, Rome! Flying Ryan Air was a trip, my bag barely made the weight limit by .1kg!! And we had to take a bus pretty far, but I wrote post cards and napped until we got there. Flight wasn’t long and we flew over the Alps, arrived in Rome about 9pm. Probably one of the most unorganized airports I have ever been in… Read on for my adventures in Rome in my next post!