You’d never guess from these photos, but for the majority of my time in Munich, the weather was miserable. And after a solid two and a half months of absolutely perfect weather (I can count on three fingers the number of times it rained or wasn’t a sunny blue skies day) it was a bit of a rude awakening to find myself in a much colder, much rainier climate. I didn’t have many cold-weather clothes with me, and my little canvas shoes got soaked through in no time at all. I also felt myself getting sick, so I did a lot of sleeping, and one of my two days in Munich was spent indoors at my hostel (the first and only time I did this on my *entire* trip!) with a quick trip to the train station for food and to ask about train reservations.
But it wasn’t all bad, by any means! The train ride from Venice to Munich alone was reason enough to visit Munich – I was lucky enough to see some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s all lush and green, with enormous mountains towering on both sides of little villages (and even littler trains) and mist everywhere. It’s inexplicable, but it’s gorgeous. I spent the majority of the ride nursing a tea in the dining car, gazing out at the countryside. It was lovely.
In Munich itself, my experience varied. My first day, I marched out into the city, only to be met with rain seemingly every time I stepped outside (which, obviously, subsided as soon as I ran for cover – at one point it was actually laughable, the consistency with which this phenomenon happened). There was thankfully a stretch of sunny skies weather in the afternoon and I got to explore the English Gardens, Munich’s largest and most beautiful park. It’s a great park: people everywhere jogging, eating, climbing up to the gazebo on the hill, and even surfing!
After being in Italy for almost a month, I was craving something other than Italian food (Italy doesn’t have much good food of cultures besides its own!) – specifically, Asian. My first night, I was too tired to venture very far in the pouring rain, so I went across the street from my hostel to a very German place: think pretzels, schnitzel, waitresses in dirndls, big family-style tables and lots and lots of beer. It was extremely busy, so I got the single vegetarian dish on the otherwise totally-carnivorous menu – mushroom gravy with a dumpling. I took it back to my hostel bed and it turned out to be a lovely, hearty meal. The other nights, I ventured out to Asian restaurants and was psyched to be eating fried rice, spring rolls and curry. Amazing.
When I initially planned to stop in Munich, it was because I’d had it recommended as a nice city en route from Italy to Amsterdam. At the time, since I’d be stopping there in September, it didn’t even occur to me that Octoberfest might have been on. Turns out, it wasn’t – it started two days after I left. It was a shame! But I was excited to keep moving and keep my rendez-vous with my cousins in London and relatives in Wales. It was cool to see them setting up the fairgrounds (right near my hostel) for the festival, but after meeting some of the people who came to Munich for Octoberfest (including one guy who threw up all over himself and his bed next to me in the dorm room) I decided it was probably for the best I didn’t go this time around – I’ll just have to come back with a few friends another time. :)
- Jasmin Asia Cuisine: delicious food, amazing service, peaceful restaurant.
- MiMi Asia Restaurant: a quiet neighbourhood place, full of locals, where I had a really amazing curry
- English Gardens: this park is so wonderful to explore! Don’t miss the surfers near the entrance to the park.