I arrived at the Munich airport just after 6 AM on Sunday, October 30. Rather than rush to catch a train into the city where I knew things would be closed (for the most part) and my hotel would not yet be ready for me, I lingered in a coffee shop and made a plan while drinking some bottled water (with gas) and feasting on a bag of peanuts I’d stashed in my carry-on bag.
The 10,9 ERUO train ticket got me to the Central Munich station easily and comfortably. I love electric trains. I watched out the windows, I read and I mini-napped along the way.
From the station to my hotel was a short walk, made a bit longer because I didn’t know which door to exit for maximum efficiency. All told, though, I did not waste too many steps. Miraculous considering I was clearly hitting the “please sleep now” wall according to my body-clock and I don’t speak or read German. I fount the ARTHOTEL and confirmed that my room would not be ready until 2 pm (maybe a wee bit earlier) and that I could put my bag into a baggage closet while I ventured off for a day of seeing sights.
I was thankful at this point that I had, indeed, planned ahead and studied some maps so I knew how to walk into the old part of the city without further thinking.
The streets were more empty than full. It was, after all, a Sunday morning. So, what does one do in Munich on a Sunday morning? Follow the crowd that there is and go to Mass. In fact, I went to most of mass at St. Stephens (the fact that I can’t understand German, it was standing room only and I was among the standing, and that I’d been awake for 24 hours by this time all contributed to my exit about 10 minutes into the “sermon”). The music was EXTRAORDINARY.
I walked and walked. I took photos. I walked some more. By mid-day I knew I needed to get some food and head back to the hotel and wait for my room. I did not have the mental capacity to order unfamiliar food in an unfamiliar language, so I did the tourist thing and ducked into a Burger King. I did access wifi at the hotel while I waited for my room to come available. And I read.
A 2 hour nap and a hot shower and I was ready to go back out for a few hours of exploration. I found myself in an area of Munich where the many shops and restaurants were predominantly Turkish. Yum. I had a meal, chosen thanks to a photo menu board and a kind man who did not mind playing a bit of charades with me as I ordered. I walked about after supper, including some exploration of the train station where I indulged in a traditional cookie from Rischart.
And then I slept. I slept for almost 14 hours. I totally missed breakfast (too bad, because it was part of the hotel deal and, I found out the next morning, it was a good breakfast).
Monday I headed into the same area of Munich I’d been the day before but this time the streets were full and then some. It was Halloween (a newly recognized holiday in this part of the world) and people were bustling about in the stores like it was a weekend before Christmas. I wandered further and had many more places to explore. I didn’t expect to make any purchases, but could not resist one Christmas tree candle thing (on sale, even) and some earrings (also on sale, now that I think of it).
I truly enjoyed the freedom of trying a few different foods from vendors in the market area. I loved loved loved the foot-long bratwurst (I chose the vendor by the longest line)!! I also enjoyed a bit of gelato.
I was back in the room in the late afternoon where I did my packing and plan for the next morning and checked Facebook and email before heading out to supper. I did not want to walk back into the tourist part of town, so decided to try some Doners at the train station and was not disappointed in that choice.
Sleep and up early enough to enjoy the breakfast at the hotel when it opened and then off to catch the S1 back to the airport where I met Heather and Rodney with whom I shared a shuttle over to Linz…but that is another story for another day.
I’d love to visit Munich again some day. It had been 25 years since my list time there. Hmmm…