Trip 39 Day 1 & 2
Wednesday August 24, 2022
It seems like a long time since we’ve been here , though it has been three years. We flew from Dallas to Charlotte, NC to connect to fly to Munich.
We arrived fairly early in the morning and before taking the train into town, wanted to try to get an EZ Pass so we could use the electronic passport control. When we deplaned, we initially stood in a very long line for passport control, but found that we could walk to another (unmarked) area which was much shorter. The Federal Police are located in terminal 2, but not in the actual terminal, but in an adjoining office building. It took a while to find this out, as, predictably, there’s no signage. We waited outside until they buzzed us in and it was actually a short wait to get that application processed. We’ll use that when we plan to come back in November.
We can take the train (S Bahn) into town, about 40 minutes.
We bought one of the 9€ tickets that gives us train/tram/Ubahn use through the end of the month. What a deal! You do have to use a debit card, as a PIN is required and our credit cards don’t have PINS. It’s about 40 minutes into town to München Hbf (main train station). We’ll be leaving in two days and driving a rental car, but with the beginning of the massive rebuilding of the train station, they’ve closed the area where the rental car offices are located (and that entire side of the train station, including the food court), so we decided to see where the car rental relocated. GPS may get you where you’re going, but not necessarily the most direct way. Instead of cutting through the train station and the street across, Google Maps sent us out to walk around the entire train station.
The massive renovation/expansion of the main train station has started (we saw a mock-up of the new station three years ago), but except for the areas closed off inside and removal of the food court, not much has outwardly changed. We did see the site near the Marienplatz where they’ve begun the creation of a new S-Bahn line, but it’s walled off, so there’s little to see yet.
From the train station, we took an Ubahn and then a bus out to our hotel. The last few visits to Munich we’ve stayed a little further out, in the Schwabing area. Not as convenient as a few times when we stayed very close to the train station, but in timing it, it took 13 minutes from the time we took the bus across the street from our hotel, to the Ubahn station and then to Marienplatz.
We needed a few hours to recuperate from the flights and time change, but our first foray into central Munich was to the Viktualienmarkt. It’s an interesting area, with a number of specialty shops lining the street across from the Biergarten, and then within the Biergarten itself are a wide variety of small specialty shops selling cheeses, honey, flowers, meats, olives, handmade goods.
We sat at a common table under the shade of horse chestnut trees and I went to one shop for Weisswurst and another for ein Maß (1 liter mug of beer) and a huge soft pretzel. It was Wednesday mid afternoon, and crowded, but the weekends on a beautiful day like today would be massive.
By the time we finished eating, we decided to make our way back to the hotel, still jet lagged.
Thursday August 25th, 2022
We’d tentatively planned on visiting the legal library in the Rathaus, but found that it is only open to the public on Saturday (when I’m sure it’s massively crowded). We wandered around some of the passages in the Rathaus.
On any day of the week, you’ll usually find street artists performing to crowds. Some are musicians, some jugglers. Today we saw a group performing with a piano, flute, bass They were quite good. Further down the Marienplatz, the crowds were gathering in the plaza for the glockenspiel to start. The animated performance is on two levels of the middle tower of the Rathaus.
We took time afterwards to have an afternoon snack at a restaurant that overlooks the square before making our way over to the area of the Residenz (now a museum). The Residenz is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany. We didn’t go in, as we’ve visited before, including the Treasury.
The photo doesn’t do justice at all to the size of the Residenz, as along the side it extends for, literally, blocks. And in the rear of the building complex are the gardens (Hofgarten).
Walking down one side the building to the Theatinerstraße, an area full of higher end shops, hotels, the Theatinerkirche (church) and just before getting to there, you pass a small side street (gasse) with some curious gold colored cobblestones. Walking down this small alley was used to avoid having to give a Nazi salute, but if, instead, you went directly down to the Nazis’ memorial at the Feldherrnhalle to the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch during Hitler’s reign, you had to salute.
We visited the area looking for a particular shop along Maxmillianstrasse, but when we got there, the sign on the gated (but open) door said they were closed. So, we caught a tram to take us back up to the Stachus and Karlstor (a gate thru the original city wall) to look for a department store that we hoped would have what we sought. We were lucky enough to find what we were shopping for and it was a nice discount to the same article in the US, with the Euro at near parity with the US Dollar.
We ate a light dinner at the Augustiner-Keller Biergarten before calling it a day to take the UBahn and bus back to our hotel.