Day 5, 6, & 7: Munich & Neuschwanstein Castle

So I fell a bit behind with this blog since cheap internet was hard to come by in Germany and quite frankly, I didn’t have that much spare time. We arrived in Munich at around noon on the fifth day. Munich is the kind of city that I will definitely return to before I die. My trip to Berlin during my semester abroad opened my eyes to the historical side of Germany, however, Munich is one of the most culturally unique places I’ve ever been to. To start, the city is massive with enough offerings to keep a traveler occupied for weeks. Three days, including a day trip was definitely not enough time. The first day in we walked a good majority of the city including the city center Marienplatz, the city park which dwarfs NYC’s Central Park, and got to try some traditional Bavarian cuisine, which basically consists of meat and beer. Oh and meat infused gravy. German food is a bit rich for me but it was fun to try it out. The rest of our time in Germany we mainly stuck to the cheap traveler meal–Doner Kebab stands and in Germany’s case, sausage stands. 2.50 euro can fill you up if you know where to look.

The second day we took on some of Munich’s museum scene. We started at the Stadtmuseum, which covered the history of Munich, the Nazis party, and Germany puppets. Random I know, but pretty interesting. After that we explored the city’s three main art museums–the Alte, Neue, and Moderne Pinakothek, which covers everything from early traditional religious fare to neo classical and more modern pieces. Highlights included some beautiful Flemish art (something I knew nothing about before this), Early German, Venetian art (which never ceases to blow me away. Something about Venice…), and some more out there modern German art. There was also a great selection of Carvaggio, Goya, Dali, Max Ernst, Monet, Manet and an exhibition of Rembrandt. We covered a fair amount of art in one day but it was all very manageable and was eye opening to say the least.

On the third day we day tripped to Fussen, Germany which is situated in the heart of Bavaria on the boarder of Austria. The city serves as a hub for the extremely impressive and jaw dropping Neuschwanstein Castle, a true fair tale castle. The castle is situated high up in the Alpee mountains overlooking small villages, mountain lakes and miles of green pastures. Stunning. We toured the castle’s interior , which was impressive but was a bit of a let down due to the saturation of tourists and a tour guide whose accent overpowered her knowledge of the English language. The highlight of the day however was climbing up one of the mountains overlooking the castle. See the snow covered mountain in the left of the photo behind the castle, yeah, well we climbed that and let me tell you it provided one hell of a beautiful view. We were about 200 meters shy of reaching the top but had to head down to make our train back to Munich. Which leads me to the next adventure of the day. Apparently German country trains aren’t always reliable. Our train, which was scheduled to pick us up at 7:15PM never came. Instead we were herded like linguistically challenged sheep onto a bus and driven for an hour around the country side to a random train stop where a train was waiting to pick us up. It all worked out in the end but was a little bizarre since we had no idea where we were and were surrounded by other tourists who shared our same frustration. When we returned to our hostel we bought some cheap 1.50 euro beer from a kiosk down the street and hung out with some fellow travelers. One thing that I will always love about traveling on a budget is meeting fellow backpackers who are all there for the same reason–to see some of the world. Every traveler is different, each has a unique story. Hostels are the way to go even when you encounter some that are not so hot (ie our anything but memorable Dublin experience which included prison style showers, a screaming Indian family who liked waking up at 3 in the morning to bicker, and a some obnoxious English blokes who decided to smoke in the stuffy room that lacked windows and a proper ventilation system. Long story short, I can’t wait to write my review of Brown’s Hostel in Dublin for HOstelworld.com)

Anyway, I’m in Warsaw now which is unbelievable. I will try to catch up on this blog tomorrow with my adventures in Berlin and Warsaw.

Keep on keeping on.

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