Germany
Munich

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  • Day45

    Day 45 - Guten Tag Deutschland!

    September 17, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Inevitably I woke shortly after 3.00am & never got back to sleep again. Perfect preparation for a long day of driving!

    We had breakfast at 8.30pm, loaded up the car only to discover a tyre inflation system error warning light & a service warning light illuminated on the dashboard. We had messed about with it the previous evening & seemed to have buggered it up. Perfect news for a long day of driving!

    We popped into the a local Spar shop for some final provisions, sweets & drinks. After, with a little bit of trepidation, we headed to the Slovenia border crossing armed with a detailed travel itinerary of exactly where we had been in the last 6 weeks.

    It was 10.00am exactly as we approached the vehicle free border & as Jackie wound down the window & raised our passports, the guard who was having a fag, just waved us through. Great, I was glad I had spent time preparing our travel itinerary! Still I’m sure it will be useful at the other border crossings.

    The SatNav was set for Lake Bled without tolls & it took us back up to Koper, then north east on the A1. The A1 is a well maintained dual carriageway & the main road through Slovenia. We followed it to the outskirts of the capital city of Ljubljana, then picked up the A2, another dual carriageway north. Slovenia is a relatively poor country & they are definitely missing a trick by not charging a toll, because this is the main land route for Germans seeking sun in Croatia & Greece.

    118 miles later & around midday we arrived in Bled with it’s fabulous lake in the Julian Alps. There were car parks signposted, but I skirted the lake seeking a spot we could stop at for free. I did, illegally on the junction of a private road. We both got out to admire the lake from the waters edge.

    Lake Bled is very picturesque, surrounded by mountains & forests. The lake is 6,960ft long, 4,530ft wide & has a maximum depth of 97ft. Bled Island sits in the middle of the lake & has several buildings including the pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Above the lake sits the impressive Bled Castle on the north shore.

    After taking sufficient photos & disabling the warning light on our dashboard, we set the SatNav for München (Munich), Germany again avoiding all tolls. It was to be a further 250 mile journey arriving about 5 & a half hours later.

    We circuited the lake once more, then instead of rejoining the A2, we followed the 452 & 201 around the northern edge of Triglav National Park. The border crossing into Austria was at the remote Wurzenpass.

    We were the only vehicle at the crossing & we showed the guard our passports & stressed we were transiting straight through to Germany. The guard asked us where we had been & we told him Croatia, to which he asked us to wait & he ran into his office. Seconds later he returned with a Self Declaration sheet of paper in which I had to write my name, sign and date it. He didn’t look at our passports to check the details or write down our vehicles index, but instead sent us on our way saying we weren’t allowed to stop in Austria. That was easy.

    We then climbed up an extremely steep road over Wurzenpass & scarily back down the other side. Our route took us towards Villach, then along Route 100, which followed the Drau river & sat in the shadow of the raised A10 toll road. Our route took us through numerous pretty Austrian villages & then Route 99, up & down near deserted skiing resorts.

    It was a very enjoyable drive until around 4.30pm, we arrived in Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. The traffic was horrendous & we spent over an hour in a constant traffic jam. It prompted Jackie to ask the question “Would the toll road have avoided this traffic?” She then looked it up & the toll road was about 20 miles shorter & at least 3 hours quicker, BUT that’s not the point of a road trip!

    Eventually we made it out of Salzburg & reached the border crossing into Germany. The guard waved us on without even seeing our passports. WoW. We then hurtled along the toll free Autobahn 8 for 90 miles to Munich. Despite doing 80mph, a procession of BMWs, Audi’s & Mercedes sped past us as if we were hardly moving.

    It was gone 7.00pm, when we arrived in Munich, parked our car in a designated underground car park & walked to our hotel, H+ Hotel München. The receptionist was extremely helpful & provided us with a map for all the things we needed to see & a recommendation for dinner. Our hotel room is bijou, but very comfortable & functional. A good example of German efficiency.

    We dumped our bags & crossed the road to Schiller Braeu, a Bavarian bar & restaurant. We walked in & a very officious serving wench (Helga) shouted at us to put on our masks. The whole restaurant looked around at us. Good start!

    We had a couple of large home brewed lagers. Jackie had the most expensive thing on the menu again, Bavarian roast beef smothered in onions & roast potatoes. I had roast pork and crackling in a dark beer sauce, 2 types of dumplings & coleslaw. It was much needed superb hearty fare.

    After a short stroll around our salubrious surroundings, we called it a night.

    Song of the Day : Border Song by Elton John.

    Bonus Songs : Bled by Every Mothers Nightmare.

    Autobahn by Kraftwerk.

    Madame Helga by The Stereophonics.
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    Ann Annals

    We remember how fluent you were in German at Luffa!!

    9/18/20Reply
     
  • Day46

    Day 46 - Septemberfest in Munich

    September 18, 2020 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    After a decent night’s sleep, Jackie got ready whilst I caught up with my blog. It was just after 10am, when we actually got out on the streets of Munich.

    As I previously mentioned our hotel is situated in salubrious surroundings. It was referred to on Booking.com as the red light district of Munich, but to us you can’t ignore the fact that young North African and Middle Eastern males are hanging around in groups outside every single shop, which are mainly barbershops & fast food joints. It would be intimidating for lone females, particularly when you add limbless beggars into the equation.

    We stopped at a Coffee Fellows for a skinny latte & a bagel each. This was a mistake, because we were now full & bloated. We then commenced my walking tour of the Old Town of Munich. We entered the Old Town at Karlsplatz, walked down Neuhauser Street & popped into St Michael’s Church. We continued to Frauenkirche, the Church of our Lady, then located Marienplatz, the main square of Munich Old Town, with it’s gothic Town Hall, which was pretty impressive.

    We then popped into Munich’s oldest church, Alter Peter, then headed to Viktualienmarkt, a food market since 1807, selling a mouthwatering array of fine foods. It was too early to eat anything else, so we headed north to the Residence, an inner-city palace residence of Bavarian kings & rulers, now an art museum. On the roundabout in front of it was a beach, complete with sand and deck chairs.

    Behind the Residence, we walked through the Hofgarten , then headed out to Englischer Garten (English Garden). It was a big open park, complete with a naked man ensuring that everyone saw him. We walked a mile or so to the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) where we had a traditional litre stein of lager in the sunny beer park. The barman was an Englishman from Tunbridge Wells, who has lived in Munich for the last 2 years.

    Afterwards we took a stroll through Maximiliansanlagen park alongside the Isar river to the Maximilianeum, a palatial state parliament building. We then stopped at a traditional Bavarian bar, just outside the Old Town, for a pint of ‘normal’ German lager followed by an Oktoberfest beer.

    Suitably refreshed, we walked back through the Old Town to our hotel to rest our aching feet. Later that evening after researching TripAdvisor we walked over another mile and a half to a recommended Chinese restaurant called Man Fat. We had a very delicious duck in pancakes with hoisin sauce & crispy chicken with fried noodles & peanut sauce. It was definitely worth the walk there & back.

    Bayern Munich thrashed Schalke 8-0 this evening, but sadly no fans were allowed in the stadium.

    Song of the Day : In Munchen steht ein Hofbrauhaus by Bayernkapelle.
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  • Day2

    Residenz Museum

    February 9, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Llegamos justo para entrar antes que cierre y recorrer el palacio de los reyes de Baviera.

    El museo es grande pero en un rato vimos casi todo.

    Nos impresiono la cantidad de pinturas, tapices y esculturas que habia en cada sala!Read more

    Karina López

    Que hermoso!!

    2/9/19Reply
     
  • Day3

    Walking city tour

    February 10, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    Hoy a la tarde fuimos a recorrer la ciudad con un tour guiado. El primer walking tour que probamos en el viaje. Y anduvo perfecto.

    Tuvimos suerte, la guia que nos toco hablaba en ingles, pero los chicos entendieron todo. Les encanto como contaba la historia de la ciudad.

    Terminamos la tarde en starbucks (la unica cafeteria en una placita rodeada de Biergartens), sacandonos el frio de encima.
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    Ramon Serantes

    Que linda parece la Sagrada Familia

    2/10/19Reply
    Ramon Serantes

    Está en plaza de Mayo Es = a la Catedral de Arg. Lindo paseo. A disfrutar

    2/10/19Reply
    Milu Zubiria

    Que hermosa !!!!!!

    2/10/19Reply
     
  • Day10

    E6 & E7: München

    September 3, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Am Montag morgen schien das Wetter wieder freundlicher zu sein. Regen würde erst wieder gegen Mittag geplant sein. Deswegen beschloss ich früher (07:00 Uhr) die Etappe 6 nach Landsberg am Lech anzugehen. Leider musste ich darum auch ohne Frühstück im Bauch losfahren. Mein Plan ging dann aber schlussendlich auf und ich traf noch vor dem Regen in Landsberg ein. So konnte ich mein Zelt wenigstens noch im Trockenen aufbauen. In der Nacht traten dann erneut wieder heftige Regenphasen ein.

    Der Dienstag war bisher der härteste Tag was das Wetter und die Strecke anbelangte.
    72km, 700Höhenmeter und heftiger Dauerregen! Irgendwann merkt man gar nicht mehr, dass man von Kopf bis Fuss klatschnass ist. Man funktioniert einfach wie ein Motor und fährt weiter. Das Pedalieren gibt schliesslich auch warm.
    Als ich in München endlich angekommen bin, benötigte ich nicht lange, bis ich ein geeignetes Hotel gefunden hatte. Nach dem Checkin wurde zuerst die gesamte Ausrüstung im Zimmer ausgebreitet und zwischen "nass" oder "sehr nass" unterschieden. Damit ich das Zelt trocknen konnte, legte ich die Planen im Treppenhaus aus. Die Hotelmanagerin war darüber mässig begeistert, dies war mir jedoch egal.
    Ich gönnte mir dann auch einen zweiten Tag Ruhe in München wo ich mich auf die Suche nach dem besten Weizenbier und Currywürstchen begab.

    Heute (03.08.2020) gehts weiter Richtung Salzburg.

    Ride on
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  • Day2

    Full day of walking and riding the metro

    December 26, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    Coffee in the room with our profiteroles we picked up for dessert. Headed out to try our luck with the metro. Not bad for 2 girls from King, NC. Got a one day, all day pass. Made our way to Munchner EisZauber - the outdoor ice skating rink. Peggy had a blast, didn't fall once though got some assistance from a skating bear!!! Next stop the Hi-Sky ferris wheel. Amazing view when you are rounding the highest. Getting to be lunchtime here, and I'm ready for a bier, but Peggy wanted to climb to the to of St. Peter's... I won, too long a line... though the Viktualenmarkt and Biergardens were closed the day after the holiday, found an open air restaurant that had awesome food and beer!! Walked off the white wursts and currywurst while we wandered our way back to St Peter's church only to find a longer line than before. Beautiful day but not much open. Stopped for a few pretzels and strudel for later, then back to the hotel. Let's see what tonight brings!!!Read more

    Mark Holmes

    Love me some weisswurst and currywurst!!

    12/26/19Reply
    Peggy Schumacher

    Currywurst was great! Skating was fun too.

    12/26/19Reply
    Mark Holmes

    You aroused my curiosity with this fancy word! - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profiterole?wprov=sfti1

    12/26/19Reply
     
  • Day1

    Christmas in Munich

    December 25, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 4 °C

    2 pre nights/day before our cruise; we are going to see and do as much as we can, even inspite of the rain and wind. Today after landing early, quick customs and baggage claim, we headed to the Lufthansa Express (57 EU for 2 roundtrip transferes) to take us from airport to center city then short taxi ride to the Westin Grand. So glad rooms were available for early checkin; we could drop our luggage, changes clothes then head to the Cathedral of Munich were we enjoyed the celebration of Christmas Day liturgy with their Cardinal, 2 Bishops, priests and Deacons. Yes, it was in German, but we could follow along with the help of the liturgy aids. After, and now in the rain, we wondered around the Marianplatz to see the cleanup from their Christmas Markets, listen to the Glockenspiel play at 12N, and find a nice little place for some great German food and beer. Walked back to the hotel, still raining, but we did it. Great day, so ready for a full night sleep and praying for a bit of sunshine tomorrow. Enjoying the journey!!!Read more

    Mark Holmes

    Ah Ha!

    12/25/19Reply
    Mark Holmes

    Hoping that rain goes away soon! Hopefully, it will turn all sunny for your cruise!! Looked at the forecast for Vienna over the next 5 days - looks pretty good actually. Just need to get by today and the next day

    12/25/19Reply

    Sounds like. Wonderful and Joyous day!

    12/25/19Reply
     
  • Day11

    Mastering the Zipfelbob

    September 14, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The pictures say it all - Ian attempts to bobsled down the run. He does very well remaining upright, and incident free for the run. He reported back that he took on quite a bit of snow! Down his shirt front, and in his shoes, we weren’t properly dressed for this activity, but there were people in sandals and skirts giving it a go.Read more

  • Day11

    High on a hill........

    September 14, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Today we are spending the day with family. My father’s side of the family still live in Germany, and today Anke was our guide along with her daughter Anna. Last year we caught up with Anke’s parents in Hamburg (her father is my dad’s cousin), and her brother Folke and his family but, as Anke lives in the south of Germany, we didn’t get the chance to meet up with her.

    Anke and Anna picked us up from our apartment this morning, and we headed southeast to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. We drove through several lovely Bavarian villages on our way to Zugspitze. We have been very fortunate with the weather again, as today was sunny and warm, although we knew it would be chillier up on the summit.

    We arrived and parked, and made our way up the mountain in a huge cable car or gondola 🚠. The trip was very quick and smooth. At the top of the mountain we were standing at 2,962 metres above sea level. The facilities are very good, and you have a range of viewing platforms to look at the amazing 400 plus mountain peaks in four countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

    After checking out the views from all aspects of the viewing platforms - part of which meant we crossed over into Austria - we stopped for lunch at Panorama 2962, where the views were spectacular - possibly the best we will ever have at a restaurant. We had some traditional German fare for lunch, which was delicious and Ian tried a local limited release wheat beer that he thoroughly enjoyed.

    Following lunch, we caught another cable car to Gletscher - down the other side of the mountain. Here we found a small church, more restaurants, more stunning views and a toboggan run. This particular toboggan is called a zipfelbob, and was designed by a Bavarian. Anke, Anna and Ian had a couple of turns. I decided not to as I didn’t want to chance reinjuring myself.

    It was great to spend the day with Anke and Anna we had so much fun up on the mountain, and it was a spectacular place to visit.
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  • Day10

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    September 13, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We met up with our tour group at the main train station, a brief walk of about 5 minutes from our apartment. We set off about 9.45am on a coach for the 2 hour drive southwest of Munich into the heart of Bavaria, the land of the happy cows - reputedly the happiest in the world. The Bavarians celebrate their cows at a festival, which happens to be tomorrow. The villages have a parade with some of their cows, and the children make flower garlands for them. No doubt they also drink a lot of beer.

    We also learnt about the tradition and history behind the maypole. Each town has a maypole, and each year a new one is built and painted (white and blue). It also depicts pictures (the tradition began at a time when many people could not read) of all the services available in the town, e.g. butcher, blacksmith, tailor etc. The maypole is prepared in April from a newly cut down tree, and erected in the centre of town on 1 May to celebrate the end of winter and the approaching summer and harvests. There is also a rivalry between villages, where they try and steal each others maypoles, and so it is a carefully kept secret as to where the pole is hidden. If a pole of a rival village is stolen, then the village must provide food and drink to those that stole it, and those that stole it must return it and help the villagers erect it. These Bavarians are a crazy lot. In these villages all houses must be built in the same style, no exceptions.

    Neuschwanstein Castle is very close to the Austrian border, and situated in the lovely town of Hohenschwangau, perched high up on a crag surrounded by gorges. The castle looks quite magical, and it inspired Walt Disney when he designed both the castle in Snow White, as well as the logo for Disney. We were lucky to have a beautiful day - clear blue sky and sunshine, which really added to the castle’s charm. On arrival, we were split into groups, and we were lucky enough to be allocated unto Sarah’s group. We first went off to grab lunch, which we ate on the forefront of lake Alpsee. After lunch, we walked around the area a bit before heading up to the castle.

    Ludwig ll had spent much time in the area as a child and teenager, as his father had built a castle (Schloss Hohenschwangau) in the town as a summer home for the family). Ludwig and his younger brother Otto spent most summers in this area, and his mother loved tracking through the surrounding alps, not a common practice for a queen in the 1800,s.

    Ludwig II was known as the fairytale king, the Swan King and the mad king, but he was loved by his subjects. He ascended to the throne at the ripe old age of 18, after his father died of Cholera. Ludwig had not been close to his father, and so had no real idea of what it meant to be King. His idea of a King was based on how they had ruled in Medieval times, which did not work well in the 1860’s as he was a constitutional monarch who had to answer to the parliament, and did not have absolute power.

    Ludwig had several passions as a young man - music, painting, poetry, opera and architecture. He formed a close relationship with the German composer Richard Wagner, who was 30+ years older than Ludwig. His favourite opera was Lohengrin by Wagner. He saw it for the first time at the age of 15, and fell in love with the story of tragic love - Wagner’s operas appealed to the king’s fantasy-filled imagination.

    Wagner had a reputation as a political radical and philanderer who was constantly avoiding creditors. He and Ludwig became close, but Wagner’s perceived extravagant and scandalous behaviour in Munich was unsettling for the conservative government, and so he was forced to leave Germany. He settled in Switzerland and was supported by Ludwig from afar.

    Ludwig had homosexual tendencies but, as a devout Catholic, he denied his true feelings, although he did have a number of close friendships with men and he never married (he was engaged to his cousin Sophie but couldn’t go through with the marriage).

    Ludwig became a recluse, avoiding contact with people as much as possible. He was very sensitive and creative and really hated Munich, and so avoided going there at all costs.

    Ludwig built three fairytale castles and had plans for a further four. He had gone into debt personally to build these castles to the tune of 7 million dollars. In fact, he did not get the interior of Neuschwanstein completed - only 6 rooms are complete and we toured them today. They are over the top and ostentatious, and reflect Ludwig’s recession into a world of fantasy and isolation.

    Ludwig was declared mad by the parliament, placed under house arrest and was dead at 40. Mystery surrounds his death. He supposedly drowned in Lake Starnberg, along with the head psychologist who had been instrumental in declaring him mad without having ever examined him (it was all based on information provided by government officials). His death is still a mystery 150 years later. There are a multitude of theories about what happened, but most of them are just pure speculation.

    After touring the furnished rooms of the castle, we decided to walk up to Marienbrücke to get a different (most spectacular) view of the castle. After that, we decided on the recommendation of our guide Sarah to hike down through the Gorge to get back to the bus. This was fantastic, with great views of a waterfall and different aspects of the castle. This took us about 50 minutes, but was worth the effort.

    The other spectacular sight we witnessed today was people paragliding off the alpine mountain situated behind and way above the castle, the weather conditions were perfect.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

München, Landeshauptstadt, Muenchen, Munich, 80638, 81245, 81673, 81737