After leaving the brewery in Pilsen we left Czech Republic and headed on to Munich, Germany.
We arrived later in the afternoon, so after checking in to the hotel, we headed out to eat as a group to Augustiner Klosterwirt, which serves Augustiner-Bräu beer, where we ate soft pretzels, duck, cabbage and dumplings, and gelato.
The next day, we headed out on a bus tour of the city, and stopped to explore the gardens at Nymphenburg Palace, the summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs.
After getting back to the city center, we walked around downtown and to Marienplatz.
The square is dominated by the New City Hall, which replaced the Old City hall in 1874, so it’s not really that “new” at all.
The New Town Hall tower houses the Rathaus-Glockenspiel that chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century. While we were there during one of the 3 hours it chimes, we chose instead to head a couple blocks west to someplace a little more interesting, the legendary Hofbräuhaus München!
We got there before the lunch crowd so we grabbed a pretzel and some radlers – half wheat beer, half lemon-lime soda.
From Hofbräuhaus it was a short walk back through the Viktualienmarkt back to Marienplatz.
We chose again to do the optional tours and headed to southwest Bavaria into the Alps to Linderhof Palace.
This was one of my favorite excursions and absolutely loved the Rococo-style palace and gardens.
The palace was built by King Ludwig II starting in 1874 and is styled after Versailles, and it’s evident throughout that the French Sun-King Louis XIV was Ludwig’s idol.
We weren’t supposed to take photos inside, but I used my iPhone and was stealthy!
The grounds were equally amazing, (albeit a little less gold leafing, ha!), and everything was picturesque, especially with the Alps in the background.
Up the hill behind the palace we walked through the Venus Ghotto, a completely artificial grotto with a small lake where Ludwig would be rowed around on a swan boat while watching operas hosted on the stage.
Complete with waterfall and lights that were able to change colors.
It was completely ridiculous and awesome!
Outside, we walked the gardens and explored the various formal gardens and structures.
From Linderhof, we drove further into Bavaria to Oberammergau, famous for it’s Passion Play.
The story goes, that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague which was sweeping the region they would perform a passion play every ten years. A man travelling back to the town for Christmas had accidentally brought the plague with him and after he died it began spreading throughout the town. After the vow was made, not another inhabitant of the town died from the bubonic plague and all of the town members that were still suffering from the plague recovered.
The town was super cute and we spent our time wandering around the cobbled sidewalks and grabbed gelato and people watched.
The greatest thing we picked up though were Lederhosen for Mike. He’s been wanting a pair for years to wear to the Cleveland Oktoberfest where he judges the beer competition. And, if you’re going to get some Lederhosen, you might as well do it in a tiny town in the Alps in the middle of Germany!
After returning back to Munich we ventured out on the underground to Gärtnerplatz for a bite to eat. Our visit coincided with the Christopher Street Day celebration, an annual European LGBT celebration, and when we went back to Marienplatz the party was in full swing, so we grabbed some beers and walked around enjoying all the excitement.
We ended the night in a pub drinking beers and strudel, before heading back to the hotel to rest before heading to Salzburg in the morning. Perfect ending to our time in Munich!