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München!

Walking Tour, Beer Challenge, Neuschwanstein & Hofbrauhaus.

rain 60 °F

And so the travelling begins. We’re going to back this up to about a week and a half ago. If you’ve kept tabs on the pictures, you have a general idea of what’s been going on.

But let’s see.. the 17th. My Jewish experience class took our first field trip! We took a REALLY nice bus to Plzen (Pilsen), which is about an hour west of Prague. There is the 2nd largest Jewish synagogue in Europe, behind the one in Budapest. It was gorgeous. Very elaborate decorations and pictures on the walls. Its not actually used for prayer because of the low number of Jews in Plzen ever since, obviously, the Holocaust. Afterwards, we walked around for a bit before we ran into the "Thank you, America!" monument dedicated to the US Army for liberating Plzen. One of my many proud moments to be an American.

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My class left Plzen except for four of us, who decided to stay for a few more hours to see the Pilsner Urquell brewery. It was quite the hike there from where we started but we eventually found it! We went to Na Splice, one of the biggest restaurants in Plzen and had some straight from the barrel Pilsner with our Czech pork! Good stuff! Then we took the tour around the brewery, which was awesome. What a long process, good lord! We got to go down into the cellars to see the HUGEEEEE barrels were its about 12 degrees Celsius. Crazy.

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Met the embassy crowd at U Pinkasu (my dad has been pushing for me to try this restaurant ever since I got here!) and it turned out to be a success! The cuisines were all legit Czech… of course I had to get the schnitzel, even though it’s German  Dinner pretty much consisted of bagging on Chris’s German friends, Robin, Sebastian, Lana and Yana and building coaster houses. They were such a fantastic crowd! Just a hoot to learn from! After dinner we headed down the street to this club called the Beer Factory. Always a plus when a place plays American music! Old school even, like Backstreet Boys and Cher and what not. So of course we dance and cut up… Chris even came across a bachelorette party and told them it was Simon’s (a marine) birthday so they would go out and dance with him! Never fails to be a great time with those kids.

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So we'll skip a few days to Friday at 11:00pm. By this time, I had had my farewell dinner with Chris and the Germans, because all of us were leaving for a while. I'm packed up and ready to head over to MUNICH, GERMANY! Yes, I was ballsy, I went by myself. I took the 11:55pm bus out of Prague to arrive in Munich around 5:30am. I already had my hostel, Easy Palace City Hostel, lined up for when I arrived at that ungodly early time. The bus ride wasn't too bad. We took 2 breaks, not including the ridiculous long stop at 3am at the German border to check passports. I sat beside of a fellow from Nigeria who was in the area on business. When we had to show our passports, he asked to see mine and was in awe by it. He looked at every page and kept saying "this is the first time I have seen an American passport up close..." yada yada. Yet another time I was exceptionally proud to be an American.

So here I am at a major bus stop in Munich, 13 metro stops away from my hostel at 6am. Rough. I buy a two-stop ticket and hop on towards my stop. MUCH more complicated than the Prague public transportation system, thats for sure! As opposed to Prague's 3 lines, Munich has about 12. Thankfully I'm so bright! Haha! I eventually make it to my hostel and put my luggage into a locker until check-in at 2pm. Thank the Lord for continental breakfast and comfy lounge couches! The guys at the reception desk (drinking beer at 6am, how European of them) kindly let me crash on a couch. Evidently a huge tour group from Texas that was staying there checked out while I was sleeping and started taking pictures of me because they thought I was a drunkie passed out on the couch haha, one hour in Munich and I'm already famous!

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After my wonderful nap, its free walking tour time! Bottom line, even in the rain, Munich is awesome. Lots of history, especially regarding the Third Reich.. I mean, I walked the streets that the Nazis marched and Hitler made speeches. So amazing. I met some cool people on my tour.. Josh, graduate from Purdue who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, Mike from Montreal and Jess from NY State. Sadly Jess had to leave that evening, so me and the guys decided to meet up that night for this shindig called the Beer Challenge. Now no worries Mema, its not really a challenge. It was basically a tour around the beer museum and 3 different beer halls/gardens. I sadly don't remember what the places were called, but the second place we went to was fantastic. It was probably about 4 stories underground and it was PACKED! Munich is famous for its liter beers.. I still can't believe a few of those things fit in my stomach! But all in all, it was a very fun night with some amazing people from around the world!

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The next day was phenomenal. I went to the Neuschwanstein Castle about 2 hours by train outside of Munich. This castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney for the Sleeping Beauty castle. Gorgeous site. I literally felt like I was just staring at a picture as I stood on Mary's Bridge. If you ever get a chance, read up on King Ludwig II's life and his relationship with the castle. Its such a sad yet very interesting story. Lordy I love Germany. But at the meeting point before the tour, I ran into 3 people from the beer challenge the night before, 2 girls from Australia and a marine from Texas who was on 2 weeks leave from Iraq.

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After a verrrrrry long day, we caught dinner together at Hofbrahaus, one of the most popular beer halls in Europe. Its also the beer hall where many Nazi functions were held. Had a traditional German meal of a pork knuckle and potatoes, never fails. The place was packed full of people with bands playing the German cheers song and crazy people standing on the tables dancing and singing along. We were there for about 5 hours before they were finally ready to close up lol. Awesome. I got hit on by a fellow from South Wales, whose pick up line was "OH MY GOSH. YOU HAVE THE MOST MAGNIFICENT SHOULDER I HAVE EVER SEEN!" Hm, never heard that one before, but nice try buddy! Haha. By the time I wander my way back to the hostel, I'm ready to crash. Until a group of about ten British people hanging out in the lounge area holler at me to chill with them for a while. Love friendly, non-creepy new friends!

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So this concludes my first out-of-Czech Republic adventure. Seriously, one of the best experiences I have ever had. I wish I could record everything that I did, everything that I saw. Its really hard to describe my feelings seeing these magnificent things in such a historic environment.

Sadly, this blog was from almost 2 weeks ago, so not everything is very fresh in my mind. Lucky for ya'll, 1: I have a bajillion pictures from it, and 2: this past weekend was just as fantastic and everything IS fresh, so if you are reading this now, I'm about to blog about the recent shenanigans! Stay tuned!

Posted by Courtster 08:47 Archived in Germany Tagged round_the_world

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