Not having any luck with couch surfing (CS) hosts in Munich I found a hostel that was super cheap. They basically rented out floor space and yoga mats under a large marquee and charged only €7.50 per night. That I could afford for four nights. I was tired, even though I’d had a very lazy day on my last day in Zurich, and was in my fourth new country in two weeks. I walked along Marienplatz, the main shopping strip and tourist centre of Munich, and saw some of their iconic buildings. The city itself wasn’t all too impressive, lots of shops and that seemed about it. Nothing really grabbed me in Munich, which was ok considering I was primarily there to visit Dachau, the Concentration Camp memorial sight close to Munich (details of which will follow in a further post).
I did find one clothing shop I liked, Orsay, and the stores were only located in Eastern Europe, so I bought a few items on sale and got €3 off one jacket because a button was missing – which I was able to sew on again in a few minutes. I had one CS host reply and say I could stay for the next three nights, to which I said I would. Ori worked a job where he flew urgently required items of all descriptions to other countries, most often at short notice. He got back late one night and didn’t think he’d be flying anywhere for a few days, so I left the Tent Hostel and found my way to the train station he suggested we meet. His place was a tiny studio apartment and I wasn’t sure we’d both fit in there for three days.
Since Munich doesn’t have any ocean for people to surf in they surf sections of the rivers that are known to have a constant ‘wave’ from the structure of the river bed (or human made canal). I witnessed this surfing on a walk through the English Gardens, and it made me laugh because most people I know at home wouldn’t have the patience to wait for one person at a time on the wave. In the gardens I also saw a brass band playing, and did a double take when I saw the shape of Australia on their banner, and on closer inspection found it was the Victorian State Youth Brass Band on the European tour for 2011. Funny the things you see when travelling. There was also a competition promotion in a pharmacy window, to win a trip to Australia, and the window was filled with Aussie flags, kangaroos, koalas and cactus trees all hanging upside down from the ceiling.
Visiting the Hofbrauhaus I was reminded of our version of the large beer hall in Melbourne, and of many good nights with my friend Ash every time he returned home from his work overseas. I managed to drink a small glass of beer with lemonade in it, which I know is not true beer but it was the best I could do at Ori’s insistence that I had to have a beer in Germany. I understand the country is known for it’s big beers, but even so I’m not keen on the stuff in any form. I did like the cheap price of fruit in Munich though, I bought a banana and half a kilo of cherries and it only cost €1.87. I also tried their bratwurst and was surprised to learn they are more like hot dogs than sausages – that is if I ordered the correct thing.
I had seen enough of Munich after two days, and should have left early for Salzburg, but I was still not used to changing plans so frequently and felt I should stay the three days I’d originally nominated to the CS host.