Sunday, June 13, 2010

Muellers in Munich

Prost! Welcome to Munich the land of beer, pork, castles, beer, lederhosen, beer, pretzels (!) and did I mention beer? I wouldn't dare tell you that we had visited Germany in the past week, for I now know that I was truly in Bavaria and that any good Bavarian will tell you that they want nothing to do with the "fish heads from the North". Read: Northern Germany is near the water = fish heads. In fact they won't even eat fish, it is considered such an insult. That's ok though, who needs fish when you can have pork knuckle, pretzels and beer?

This beautiful little city and the surrounding black forest is really as close to the fairytales as you can get, I can see why the Brothers Grimm were so inspired. The culture of the Bavarians runs throughout every aspect of their life (namely driving a BMW and putting away a few liters of brew at lunch) and they have an incredibly strong regional identity which makes them quite distinct, according to them, from their other Germany counterparts. You can pretty much tell they think they are the cool kids, and they are most definitely sitting in the back of the German bus.

We learned a few things on our trip:

1. Matt can't really be afraid of heights when he is willing to leap off the side of a mountain at a moments notice (and a few Euro lighter) - more on his paragliding adventures in a separate post.
2. I LIKE wheat beer! It's taken me 10 years (umm, 7 years if you are reading this Mom) and one too many frat parties to decide I don't like beer. Just when I'm about to throw in the towel all together Weissbier comes to the rescue, yum!
3. If you don't know anything about King Ludwig II you have to look him up, that man knows how to build a castle.
4. There is a such thing as too much pork (like when it starts coming in pudding form).
5. Trying to speak German can make you sound really silly once you realize some of it is like English with an accent. Like when I spent 2 minutes looking up "where is" in German. It's "vaw ist". Or when I told Matt we were looking for the "Kon-zer-t-ha-us" - on paper doesn't look like much but when you say it out loud and it comes out "concert house" you feel like you can speak German. It happens alot, I swear if you stare at any German world long enough you'll see English.
6. Mueller rolls off the tongue pretty easily over there, it's like the German version of Smith. Although I was called Frau Mueller a few times and that was just a little much.
7. Lastly, we learned that one trip isn't going to be enough. We can't wait to go back to Bavaria!

Example 1 of why Ludwig II is so cool. Look at this thing! Who cares if ran the entire county into a deep debt with his spending. How the heck else is Cinderella going to get to the ball, I ask you!

The view from St. Peter's Church bell tower. The New Town Hall with the glockenspiel, and the the two towered Frauenkirche.

The inside view of St. Peterskirche (see kirche = church, told you it wasn't that hard)

I didn't get to far into sightseeing until I needed my first pretzel. They were everywhere, god bless 'em. If you are missing any pretzels you can blame me - Pretzel Bandit.
The Deutsches Museum takes the study of German engineering to a new level. (4 levels that is, Matt catagorically when through every room). I'll admit this 1800's fishing boat was pretty cool.

The Chinese Tower in the English Garden right in the middle of Munich's oldest beer garden.

This is beer garden at the tower, it has 7,000 seats and on this beautiful Saturday afternoon we had trouble finding one!

The famous Munich river surfers. It's just one wave on the Isar but they dominate it even when it's only about 65 degrees! Wet suits required.

Rendez-vous at the Hofbrauhaus with the famous Mike's Bike tours.

We spent half a day at the Dachau concentration camp site. It was difficult and moving.

This is a statement in 4 languages: English, German, Russian, and Hebrew about how the world cannot let these atrocities happen ever again.

A chilling moment.
We hiked this gorge all the way to the bridge (seen at the top) to get the best view of Mad King Ludwig's beautiful Neuschwanstein. His mother the Queen had the bridge built so she didn't have to hike down one side of the gorge and up the other - I'll say.

Now THIS is a castle. Neuschwanstein was King Ludwig II's crown jewel. It is a total fantasy and looks right out of Camelot. This picture is taken from Queen Mary's bridge.

I think this is what people mean when they say 'pretty as a picture'. The view was honestly magnificent. I kept on singing "the hills are alive.." and Matt said "why do you keep singing that, where is it from?" Oh boy, movie night soon, even if I have to tie him to a chair.

Seriously, can you tell I love this castle. The guy had style.

This a pretty special view. This is Matt traveling on an updraft in a tandem paraglide.

It had rained for a whole month and had stopped that very morning. What a fantastic day!


udjim said...

It's obvious that you now truly appreciate the Mueller side of your family.

And (perhaps just as important) you know that this name does NOT rhyme with Bueller.

Unknown said...

Katie, in case your interested in a couple of well seasoned back-up singers who know the sound of hills AND music, give Doris and Shel a call... They will cover a range of octaves otherwise not possible outside of Myrah Carey's own vocal chords!