04 May 2009
Aprilfest in Bavaria
Now I've never been to Oktoberfest, but I bet it is in close competition with Aprilfest . Okay, I made that up, but Munich in April is amazing. The city smelled of sweet blossoms and beer. Easter weekend was another great reason for locals to squeeze into the ol' Lederhosen or Dirndl and wear a feather in their Alpine hat. The Biergartens were packed with families and friends socializing with mass (or masses) in hand. Our Bavarian couchsurfing hosts took Jon and I to the "local" Biergarten (opposed to the touristy ones) in Munich and helped us order the typical Bavarian snack of Obazda and a fresh pretzel bigger than my head. Obazda consists of everything bad for you- butter, brie, and camembert cheese in a spreadable consistency. This is to be eaten along side a liter mass of tasty German beer. But don't be fooled: you cannot eat and drink simultaneously because the mass glass requires two hands to hoist it to the lips (at least for the ladies). One biergarten was followed by another. I don't know how the Germans do this on a normal basis. I was biergarten-ed out in just one weekend! The Englischer Garten was a neat place, though, because while the German men drink, there is a giant park for the children to play in. When night falls, the Chinesischer Turm lights up and casts a cozy ambiance over the garten. Don't worry mom and dad, I didn't just drink German beer the whole time in Munich, I also tried the German food, like the wiener schnitzel and döner kabab (a Turkish/German specialty). Not to be cliché, but the Hofbräuhaus was a great place for German music, food, and fun. It does uphold a very touristy reputation but maybe that's because it's so good!
After our reservation with our couchsurfing hosts expired, we checked into the Wombat Hostel, which I mention here because it's the best hostel I've stayed at in all of Europe. The people, guests, atmosphere, and accommodations were superb and we made a lot of friends. 5 of my Mizzou friends were already checked in there for the weekend. But when I hopped into my bunk in a room of 10, I noticed a MIZZOU shirt on the girl across the room. We began talking. Thinking about it now, I still find it a weird coincidence that out of all the people in the world, I was randomly put in a room with a Mizzou girl who knows most of the people I do. She was studying abroad spring semester in London with another one of my friends. It's proof of this small world we live in.
So the holiday weekend in Munich was full of culture and was a great beginning for the rest of my trip as I headed up into Northwestern Germany for the rest of spring break.