We came to Munich for one reason and one reason only: beer. We've both been to this city before - Sarah with her family and Hirsh with work - so we didn't have to rush around and see all the sights like we may have done otherwise. Since we're still nice Southerners, after all, we thought it would be poor form to start drinking right away. Instead, we spent much of the day running life errands that we'd been putting off. And Germany seemed like the perfect place to get everything done efficiently.
Our first stop was a shipping location where we packed up and sent off some goodies we've acquired along the way to lighten our load. After much research, we settled on Deutsche Post/DHL as our agency of choice. The funny thing about this DHL branch is that it's located inside a liquor store! (Germany has shut down many free-standing post offices and integrated them into other neighborhood stores). However, we feel reasonably confident that German organization and efficiency will outweigh our communication barrier with the store clerk. So...we'll see how this goes. We may have sent our extra pants and shirts and gifts off to Siberia.
We took the highly efficient and convenient metro from our Ibis in the 'burbs to the center of the city. First priority, as usual, was food. We found a great casual lunch spot in the open-air market that seems popular with the locals. On today's menu were beef goulash soup and broth soup with liver pâté, and a couple giant German pretzels! We stuck with Coke to drink, but there were plenty of folks in business suits enjoying a beer. Deutschland!
Next agenda item was finding a place to get Sarah's hair "did." You know when your hair gets to that point where it feels disgusting and you just can't handle it anymore? Sarah's hair had gotten to that point a couple of weeks ago, and Hirsh was tired of hearing about it. We assumed we could wander around this metropolitan city and pop into a few hair salons until we found a place with an opening, but we assumed wrong. Turns out, most hair salons are closed on Monday in Munich, and the ones that are open mostly require appointments, so this became an odyssey where we visited about ten locations before finding our hair styling Goldilocks that was open with availability, not too sketchy, and not too expensive.
Success! Sarah could not stop raving about how soft and clean her hair felt. This was followed by an equally successful trip to Starbucks - a first on this entire trip! With freshly cut hair and a Starbucks in hand, Sarah was in hog heaven.
This was followed by shopping for new clothes. At this point we're pretty sick of wearing the same thing every other day, so we made our Zara/H&M runs. There's an H&M store about every ten feet in Munich, so we had the opportunity to see the same merchandise over and over and over, just searching for our sizes.
Not sure what's going on with the Mr. Burns pose here. Perhaps Sarah is plotting additional things to buy.
Then we walked to the center of the main pedestrian zone, the Marienplatz, to see the famous Munich Glockenspiel do its thing at 5:00. This super fun clock puts on a show two or three times a day (depending on the season) where the figurines reenact a royal wedding, a famous jousting match, and a traditional local dance. The groom in that wedding famously opened the Hofbrauhaus.
After a fun 15 minute show to signal the hour, we decided it was finally beer o'clock. We made a beeline straight for the Hofbrauhaus because despite having both been to Munich before, neither of us had visited this establishment. Blasphemous, we know.
This place is of course touristy, but great fun. It's lively and raucous with a live band and everyone's there to have a good time. The tables are large and you typically have to share with strangers. What turned out to be the highlight of our time in Munich was when these four wonderful young professionals from Ukraine sat down with us. We had so much fun talking to them about politics, traveling, borscht(!)...
The more we travel and the more people we meet, the more we realize how similar we all are. It was great getting to know you guys!