Monday, July 30, 2007

My trip to Europe - Days 1 & 2

Okay, I've had enough time to settle back in to being home and working on my research project and have uploaded all the pictures I plan to for the time being to Flickr. So I finally feel ready to give a brief travelogue of what all I did on my trip.

Day 1 - Travel

The first day, I got up around 5:30 and my mom was kind enough to pick me up and take me to the airport. My passport still is valid, even if the photo is nearly 10 years old now.

The trip was pretty uneventful. Layover in Atlanta and then an all-nighter from Atlanta to Munich. I switched to an exit row seat for the overseas flight for the extra legroom and was happy that I did, although it turned out the flight was less than full and I probably could have stretched out just as easily in the back of the plane. I slept a bit, not sure how much and the next morning we were in Munich.

Day 2 - Munich

We had no trouble getting from the airport to downtown Munich via the S-train. Our hotel was just a couple blocks from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and upon arriving there around 9 or so, they even had one of our two rooms ready for us, so we stashed our luggage there and headed out to see the town. I guess I should mention at this point there were three of us: myself, Guilherme, and Laritza. A pretty diverse crowd, each of us claiming different home countries and languages, and ranging in age from 28 to 47 or so.

Anyway, Guilherme had been to Munich before and steered in the direction of the Marienplatz, a several block area of shops and sites in old town Munich.

Old Gate
Entrance to Marienplatz

Towers of the biggest cathedral
Towers of the main cathedral that we went up in later.

We stopped into one of the cathedrals there and mostly just wandered around for a couple hours. We ate lunch there. I bought a pretty safe looking baguette sandwich and bought a liter bottle of water that came in handy throughout the rest of our stay in Munich. After lunch, we went back to the hotel, got Laritza checked into her room and settled in a bit. I napped for an hour or so and Guilherme talked to his wife and daughter in Brazil using Skype.

After recharging our batteries a bit, we took some pointers from the Fodors guide I'd brought and headed out on the town again. We walked through some kind of botanical garden and then went to the main cathedral where we marveled at the scale of the thing and then paid a couple Euros to climb a spiral staircase up to an elevator in one of the towers to get a nice view of the city.

From the main cathedral tower
View from the Cathedral Tower

After that, we headed out in search of the Englischer gardens, which are Munich's version of Central Park. We walked through there a bit, saw a bunch of people cooling off in the river, and then decided to head to the Haufbrauhaus, Munich's most famous beer garden, for dinner.
Englischer Gardens - Water Park style
Raging Waters - Munich. Actually its just the river in the Englischer gardens.

Statue of Maximillian we came across in our travels

Hofbrauhaus - note the 1 liter mugs that about half of the beers come in.

I ordered a bratwurst that came with some mashed potatoes and sauerkraut for dinner, and was one of the few people only drinking lemonade.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

More photos from Day 2.

Coming tomorrow: Day 3 - Mass Transit Extravaganza


Rachel said...

Oh, you make me miss my mission (which was Munich by the way). Great pictures, looks like what I remember.

j said...

I'm glad you like the pictures. I happen to have a roommate who also served in Munich, although if I had to guess, I'd guess he was there a bit before you.

Rachel said...

I was there in 98-99