After our lovely welcome to Munich the evening before, I was looking forward to the following day. We knew we had a guided tour, with a local guide, and then some afternoon free time.
What I didn’t quite realize was that some of the other teacher chaperones had arranged for our guided tour to stop early so that we would have an opportunity to enter BMW World showcase or the BMW museum, which wouldn’t have been my choice.
Regardless, we started our morning by getting a tour around Munich and some of the history. We stopped at the summer palace of Maximilian the I and Ludwig the II’s family Nymphenburg, and I for one could summer here easily….
After that, we saw more sights via the bus on our way slightly out of the city to the site of the 1972 Munich Olympics, which right across from is BMW world.
We were dropped off and told we had two hours to explore BMW world, the Museum, and could walk to the Olympic grounds if we wanted.
It felt like a long time to those chaperones of us who didn’t hold much interest in cars, but the students did seem to enjoy it greatly.
We got back on the bus and were taken back to the main square of downtown Munich. It was such a hot afternoon, 95+ maybe?, that to be given about 4 hours of freetime in the heat seemed daunting. Most students just spent the free time in each city shopping, anyways, with some small groups doing one or two of the suggested activities. Some of us teachers talked about how they wished there was more structured activities or museum visits, or how if we’d known we were going to have such a large block of free time we could have created small groups of our own, going to the art museum, the engineering museum, etc. Ah well, maybe next time.
Nadia walked with us from the bus for about 40 minutes, pointing out where some of the different activities were as well as showing us smaller detailed of the city. She took us to the gold line which as painted in the city as a memorial to those who’d resisted Hitler. It’s said that they walked this path down a back alley in order to avoid a different memorial that Hitler had erected for fallen police officers during a raid gone poorly that everyone was suppose to stop and salute every time they passed it. Rather than salute, people who didn’t show their support would walk this longer way around the site.
At this point in my trip, I’d had very little alone time in the cities. If the female chaperones hadn’t had the chance to rotate which of us got the opportunity to room alone occasionally, the actual physical alone time would have been nonexistent, except for showering. Typically the chaperones enjoy eating lunch together , which as mentioned in some places can take the whole two hours of free time, etc.) but we try and all be really respectful of what other people need. I politely communicate that I could use some alone time in Munich so after Nadia announced the meeting point and time, I went back to an art/book store I had seen and enjoyed taking my time just looking. Then I went to the same market that Amy and I had gone to last night to buy some lunch. I decided I should do one of the city’s special attractions during my time so I paid $2 to go up the tower. Between prague, the “Disney” castle Neuschwanburg and now Munich, I feel like I have seen all of central Europe from above. It was a narrow entryway and as I was taking the first few steps up I thought oh this must be the path people take to go up and there is another path for when you come down. Of course, I was wrong. It was just completely cramped and narrow.
At 4:45 we all met back up and exchanged what we did for the evening. Nadia wanted to take us to one more site- a famous Church, known for it’s skull and angel details, on the way to the bus. It was an other no photographs allowed church but the detail was very cool!
Finally we were back at the bus and heading towards our 6:00 dinner reservation at one fo the most famous brewerys in Munich: St Augstine Brewery was originally founded in 1347 by… Augustine monks! (Munich itself was founded around the 700s by monks, who were originally on a misson to hungary but were unsuccessful and pushed back and settled in Munich.)
I also liked the story our local morning guide told about how people love their beer in Germany so much that they are the only country in Europe that has it in the lower bracket of taxed items, the “necessity” items. Other items considered unnecessary or “luxury” things like electronics, alcohol, etc., have a high tax bracket. But Germans consider beer a necessity for sure, and even refer to it as “liquid bread.”
Finally, after dinner we made our way back to our hotel for our last night in Munich. We travel in the morning to our final location and last stop of the trip! Can’t believe how fast it’s flown by.