You may (or may not) have noticed my lack of posts lately. As you probably know, my hard drive crashed a few weeks ago, and I sent it in to a clean room to extract the data. Well, unfortunately, that didn’t work. The disk is scratched and they were unable to retrieve my pictures. I’m completely devastated and am still not over it. There’s one more thing I’m going to try to see if I can get some of the photos back, but I have no idea if it will work. On the upside, I have the majority of the photos backed up in other places. I am only missing a few countries, including videos I took on Kilimanjaro and pictures from the safari. I honestly just can’t believe they are gone for good. In that vein, I haven’t been able to load any new or old pictures onto my computer, hence the lack of posts. But hopefully I will be able to soon, and I do have some pictures from my trip in 2013 to Germany that I will share with you today!

This trip really came about because I had been bugging Maggie to take me to Bulgaria to show me where she grew up. Finally she was able to get some time off to visit her grandparents, and I jumped at the chance to tag along. But first, a stop in Munich to visit our friend Meike, who we met in India the year before!

I arrive in Munich a day before Maggie. It’s Thursday, so Meike has to work. She meets me in Karlsplatz so I can throw my luggage in her car and heads back to the office. I have the afternoon free to wander around so I head down Neuhauser Strausse towards Marienplatz.

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The last time I was here was in 2004. After my study abroad program in Hungary, I spent a month traveling through central and eastern Europe, mostly on my own, though my mom came for a week. She met me here in Munich, but I had a few days on my own. I did a bike tour of Munich and the guide asked us, “Has anyone seen the Glockenspiel?” Several people raised their hands. “For those of you who haven’t, don’t see the Glockenspiel. You can’t unseen the Glockenspiel.” Of course, that piqued my curiosity, but to this day, I still haven’t seen it perform! I wait around for a little while, hoping it my go, but eventually I get tired and move on.

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I follow the road towards the river until I find a nice little market and beer garden. I check out the stalls before settling down to rest with a beer. I’m definitely feeling the jet lag, but I have several hours to go before Meike is off.

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Between the beer and light site seeing, I manage to kill enough time until Meike is done. While I wait for her back in Karlsplatz, admiring the fountain, I get mistaken for a local when a girl comes up and asks me for directions in German. Usually Maggie is the one mistaken as a local and I always look like a foreigner, so it’s fun for me to actually blend in for once.

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Meike lives outside Munich, in a little town called Aschheim (I think. If I got it wrong, sorry Meike!!) We stop at the store for groceries for dinner, then head to her flat to eat. It’s adorable and really comfortable. After dinner I immediately pass out, exhausted from the day.

The next morning I ride into the city again with Meike to meet Maggie when she arrives. On Meike’s recommendation, I head to the Munich Residenz to tour the palace while I wait. It’s so ornate, as many palaces in Europe are. And it’s HUGE! I thought the morning would be more than enough time, but as it is, I end up hurrying through the last several rooms and am still late to meet Maggie! But it’s so fun to imagine all the important people who have stayed in these overly decorated rooms. I think you’d need at least 4-5 hours to see this place thoroughly.

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After hurrying through the last rooms, I run back to Karlsplatz to meet Maggie. Once again, we throw the luggage into Meike’s car and set off to see the city. The nice thing about Munich is that pretty much everything is within walking distance. It’s a city that’s easy to get lost in, but easy to find your way again, too.

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Maggie has never been here before, so we stop for lunch in a bier hall before heading back to Marienplatz down to the beer garden for another delicious German beer! Not surprisingly, you really can’t go wrong with the beer here.

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After resting awhile, we decide to head to the Hofbrauhaus. I spent a few evenings here 10 years ago, but Maggie wants to see the largest beer hall in the world for herself, and I certainly don’t mind returning. Unfortunately, it’s so full there’s nowhere to sit (it’s the Friday before the start of Oktoberfest, after all), but we walk through and around the outside.

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At a store nearby, we find a bike completely covered in knitting. I’m not really sure what the point is, but it’s so funny looking!

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Tomorrow we get our first taste of Oktoberfest, and I can’t wait! Munich, I love you. Don’t ever change.

Oregon Coast: Lincoln City to Depoe Bay
Dream Destination - Peru