So, my blog is a bit out of order (OBVIOUSLY) because I went to Germany the weekend after my Statistics 207 class ended. That was February 3-5. You’re probably wondering why I haven’t blogged about it yet… Well… You would understand if you were here! It’s been like a whirlwind. I haven’t processed that it is already March… In fact, I never processed that it was February. Just so everyone knows, yesterday marked my NINTH full week in London; that means we have less than six weeks left. 41 days to be exact. Scary.
Anyways, on to Germany: after I finished my final Statistics test, it was time to pack! When I looked at the weather, I knew I needed to pack warm… REALLY warm. To those of you who don’t know me, I’m the kind of person that wears a sweatshirt in July, so these temperatures may as well had been “absolute zero” — aka: the coldest temperature there is.
There was one TINY hitch though. I was NOT about to pay 60 pounds to check a bag at the airport, (For the record, that would have cost more than the round-trip flight.) so I could only carry on ONE carry one bag.
Repeat: ONE carry on bag (my purse is included in this by the way) dealing with those kind of temperatures. Result: I looked the Michelin Man on the plane because I wore so many layers. It’s fine; it happens.
After the plane landed, we bought tickets to get to the main train station Hauptbahnhof. Our hostel was less than a five minute walk away, so we had no trouble finding it. (Of course, me having the directions printed off helped a lot too… to any future GLSers reading this, PRINT OFF THE DIRECTIONS TO THE HOSTEL BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR FLAT).
After we checked into our hostel, we asked for recommendations on where to get some really good, authentic German food, and they sent us to Augustiner-Bräu, Munich’s oldest brewery. The food was SO fantastic, and I literally had the BEST pretzel I had ever eaten. It was SUCH a good choice.
After we left there and took care of some housekeeping things, we set off to explore Munich! Now, you’re probably wondering why we choose Munich… Normally when people go to Germany, they go to Berlin! Well, my brother studied abroad in Germany and told me that if I wanted the most German experience in the least amount of time, Munich was my best bet. Boy was he right!
We saw SO many amazing things that Friday. We started off seeing the Olympic Stadium which was amazing in itself! BUT when we started exploring the grounds around the stadium, we discovered a COMPLETELY frozen lake next to a beautiful hillside. We wanted more than anything to go sledding, but decided since the once snow was more like ice, it PROBABLY wouldn’t be the best idea.
After we left there, we went off to find Saint Peter’s Church, because we were told that it was a MUST to climb to the top of the tower to see the view. Along the way we ran into several BEAUTIFUL buildings and accidentally wandered into Saint Peter’s looking for the steps to get to the top. It was one of the most intricate churches I have ever seen in my life! I felt so blessed to have been able to see it. Well, we found the way to climb to the top, and after almost 400 steps, I saw one of the most amazing city-scapes I had ever seen! Oh, it was also FREEZING. We spent less then five minutes outside because the wind was hitting us so badly. I mean, I would do it again, but it was SO COLD! (Well, so I thought anyway, I had no idea about what was coming the next day.)
We left and did some more exploring. We found another church even more intricate than the last (which we did not think was possible); we saw a palace (no big deal); the last sight we saw was a man-made wave for Germans that were eager to surf! Seriously, it was a huge wave in the middle of a river that people surfed on. Can you say awesome??
The sun started to drop and so did the temperature, so we decided to take refuge in a restaurant. We thought a heated room and some hot food would help us warm up! We chose the infamous Hofbräuhaus. Long tables, loud music, pretzels. It was fun!
After we ate, the sun was officially gone, and we headed back to our hostel after a long, cold day. We all wanted to get a good night’s sleep because we all knew we had a big day ahead of us.
Our alarms went off, and we ran (literally ran) to our train to Fussen. We were running a little behind schedule… Regardless, we made it on the train, and our two hour train began. We were on our way to see Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was modeled after! Surprisingly, there is actually more history than that, but I won’t go into it because this blog is already long winded.
The train ride to Fussen was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Too see the German countryside covered in snow is a sight that should be seen by everyone. And let me tell you, when I saw the Alps covered in snow, the only word that came to my mind was majestic. You see, the castle we were going to see is nestled at the foot of them, and the Alps are literally one of THE most MAGNIFICENT sights I have ever seen. I still remember the feeling of being absolutely speechless (those who know me know what an accomplishment that is) when I saw them.
We got a very nice taxi driver to drive all five of us (he was only supposed to take four) to the visitor’s center to buy our tickets to tour the castle. After those were bought, we proceeded our hike up to it… in -15 degree weather. It was SO. COLD. But we didn’t care! We were headed to see one of the most talked about sites in Germany, probably in Europe, and maybe in the world! Our enthusiasm kept us going.
After touring the castle, we made our way back to the train station and headed back to Munich. We had two things in common on the train ride. We were frozen, and we were starving. (Just so every one knows, I did not feel my feel my feet until after we got back to the hostel… this wouldn’t be so notable except for the fact that, again, it was a TWO-HOUR train ride.) We were starving because… well… we’re poor college students! We all bought the “all you can eat” breakfast buffet at he hostel, stuffed ourselves, and vowed we wouldn’t eat until dinner. Andddd we didn’t.
When we got back, we searched for a while, and ending up settling for a VERY close-by Italian restaurant that ended up being SO delicious! (Don’t judge us! It was close to our hostel!) We ate until we were too full to eat anything else, then went and found dessert. (We may have been in Germany, but we are still American!)
After we got back, we were all exhausted. We agreed we didn’t want to go out, bot we also agreed staying in the room wasn’t an option. Our solution: we went to hostel in the bar, ordered a lemonade, and talked to the bartender all night! Surprisingly, we never actually got his name, but we knew he was from Dublin! He was really cool; he let me and Cassidy go behind the bar and check out the stuff that was back there… He WAS going to let us slide a glass down the bar into the sink… But then he decided he didn’t want to pick up broken glass. (Two thoughts went through my head: #1: Thanks for believing in us! #2: Well-played bartender, well-played.)
We turned in pretty early because we had to get up to catch our flight. The next morning went well! We made it to the airport and back to London in one piece!
To sum it up, the trip was amazing, and I would go back again in a heartbeat! That being said, I would go back in the summer… Hey, I’ve seen it snow! I need to see it differently right?
The blogs about Scotland and Italy will be on here soon!