Fresh from the natural surroundings of the Swiss mountains, and slightly sad to leave, it was time to head to neighbouring country of Germany. On a litle map, Munich looks fairly close to Switzerland, and it is, but not to Sion. So after a long day of travel we rocked up to the beer obsessed city and took a walk.
With just two nights and one full day, we didn’t have long to see the sights. After a long night (our English room mates were the young, loud, annoying type that have no courtesy for others, and the type of Brits we left home to avoid) we got up and met the free walking tour. Which, I must say, was absolutely brilliant, educational and informative. The guides work on a tips only basis and there is no pressure to cough up at the end, though the quality of the tour was so good and much better than paid ones we had done in the past, to not tip would have been an insult.
With a new feeling of being historical geniuses we continued with the day by checking out areas that demonstrate the scars of Germany’s ugly nazi past. Buildings are covered in bullet holes and plaques that once represented the Nazi’s bare empty spaces on walls to remind you of what once was. Munich does not shy away from its history and, the ability to learn about its past and how the Munich of today has been shaped, is ever present.
Whilst Munich has suffered such tragic events, not all is seriousness and sadness in the city. Which brings us to the most important thing to note when talking about Munich; beer. The people of Munich LOVE beer, and the city is home to the worlds biggest beer festival, Octoberfest (which takes place in… September). There are beer halls aplenty and many places you can rock up and quench that thirst. Alternatively, nip to the shop and buy a bottle. Drinking beer on the street is a common sight and completely accepted and okay! Not being a fan of beer myself (sorry to any Germans, particularly Bavarians out there!) I relied on my trusty steed Ed to try them all (a tradition in every country we visit).
So, all in a days work we had walked around the city and taken in the most important sights, from the infamous cathedral which took just 20 years to build to the Rauthaus-Glockenspiel, (nestled into the New Town Hall, it tells the story of the marriage and a joust – which Bavaria, of course, win everytime. It’s also known as the world’s second most overrated tourist attraction…) we had learnt about the history and we had learnt about beer. All necessary boxes were ticked. Had we had more time in Munich, the list of things to do, excursions to join and of course visiting every beer hall the city has to offer (which is a fair few) would easily fill a few days and I hope to return, and by that point hope to have trained myself to like and enjoy the Bavarians favourite thing ever.