My time in Munich wasn’t long enough, but it did give me a glimpse of this beautiful and fun city. To begin my exploration, I felt an independent city tour would be best. I decided to begin with a Rick Steve’s recorded tour of Munich; however, found out very quickly that this wouldn’t work for me. I have a very poor sense of direction, so decided to abandon this and go with navigating by map. If you aren’t comfortable navigating on your own for a city tour, I highly recommend hop on, hop off tours. I have used tour companies before, but wanted to get around using the map, landmarks, and if I got horribly lost, go below to the U-bahn to get back on track. The public transportation system in Munich was excellent, as well as the German people.
I began the tour by exiting the U-bahn at Karlsplatz, walked through the Karlstor Gate and strolled down Neuhauser Street, which is a pedestrian area full of shopping opportunities. Seeing the gate, shops, and various statues was truly fascinating.
The street led me right to the Marienplatz, the central square in the city centre and one of my favorite spots. The Marienplatz has the Glockenspiel, and Old and New Town Hall. You can actually go into the New City Hall and pay a nominal fee to ride the elevator to the top to get a great panoramic view of Munich. I decided to do this and even though I went when it was cold and very windy, it was well worth it to get a birds-eye view of the area. Unfortunately both days I was at the Marienplatz, I missed the Glockenspiel’s show, though viewing the clock even without the moving parts is still quite interesting.
Next, I walked through the Old Town Hall gate and visited St. Peter’s Church. Afterwards, I continued to the Viktualienmarkt, an open air market and pedestrian only area. I enjoyed looking at the different vendors here and even laughed when it started to snow. It added to the beauty of the area. I ended my tour and meandered back toward the U-bahn by way of the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady). I didn’t go inside since it was beginning to get dark and I am most comfortable navigating on my own during the day.
Yesterday afternoon, after arriving in Munich at our hotel, we took the S2 up to Dachau and the local bus to the Concentration Camp Memorial. It was quite moving. We didn’t realize the size of the place. The weather was very nice and we walked quite a bit around the grounds and then through the museum portion. It was very depressing to read the supplied information stations and know what mankind is capable of doing to itself. We walked all the way back to the central station, skipping the bus. Taking the S2 train back into Munich we went to eat at a nearby restaurant. It was very good, filling, and affordable.
We had planned to take the train to Fussen today, Nov. 3, to go to the castles. We boarded and waited. It was past time for the train to leave, when a German voice came on with a long speech. There was no English translation provided. We asked a small girl what the message said. She told us the train had been cancelled.
We decided to make today our walking tour of Munich. We followed the routing outlined in Rick Steves book. We managed to see quite a lot today. The 11:00 am performance of the clock tower carillon was a big hit. Many tourist in the area taking photos and videos as well. The Frauenkirke and Ratskeller were on the schedule too. We walked quite a lot, but did not have the benefit of a tour manager to tell us what we were seeing, having to rely instead on our guide book.
A late lunch, early dinner was had at the Hofbrauhaus. It, too, was very good. The outdoor market was enjoyable as well. We purchased some souvenirs to take home to friends. Just walking through the market was a treat to all the senses. The smells were incredible.
We managed to fit in a visit to the art museum that features the Old Masters. Unfortunately the building is undergoing repairs. Large sections were closed of. We did see quite a few very nice painting. Reubens was prominently represented. We saw a Rembrandt and a partial Bos painting as well. It was 4 euros per person well spend. The other museum that featured Klimt, and the other artist of his time, was closed on Tuesdays. We would have liked to see that as well. If we get back from our day trip Wednesday we may try to go.
Back at the Hotel Dolomit now. The WiFi is not free. It is 3.90 per 24-hours. I thought that was reasonable so that I could post to the blog.
We are going to try to get up early and catch the 7:53 a.m. train to Fussen tomorrow. I hope it goes.