Day 19: Munchen

Today was another day of bad weather. In the morning it was on again off again drizzling and raining. Eventually it stopped about when I was leaving my hotel, though it was still cold and very windy. I felt lazy still today so I took until almost 9 to check out and get the day started. My room the night before was comfortable though had no included toilet or shower, but that’s how you save money. The room was quiet and that’s what matters the most to me, getting a good night’s sleep.

Today I didn’t plan to spend a whole lot of time in Munich because the train to Berlin takes a good 6 hours even though it goes 200 mph in sections. I went to the train station tourist office and asked for recommendations, and was told to head down to the city central, and have a look around there, maybe go to the Residenz museum, which is the old Bavaria castle. Inside they have a collection of artwork and sculptures and the place is supposed to be like it was in the late 1600s. I was underwhelmed though, most of the building was destroyed in WWII, and had been rebuilt, but not furnished or redone in quite the same way as it was before it’s destruction. The free audio guide in almost every room had to say that these were not the same sort of wall hangings or chairs as were originally here, but he taken from someplace else because they were from the same era. There weren’t nearly as many famous paintings or sculptures as my lonely planet guide made it out to be.

Walking around Munich was fairly nice despite the poor weather. I’m sort of noticing a trend lately in cars. In France you saw everything Renault, and Peugeot had done a good job designing and marketing their cars to the youth crowd, with a number of Citroen, and a sprinkling of cars from America and Japan. In Munich though you see a whole lot of BMW and Benz with the less affluent crowd driving VW. I’m a little surprised though at how many people drive BMW and Benz, the business down in this part of town must be very good. The pedestrian area like many other large old European cities is pedestrianized and filled with fashionable shops. The one nice and unique thing though were the number of fruit stands around the area. Everything they were selling looked so nice, with lots of cherries, apricots, grapes, and plumbs. I couldn’t help but buy some blackberries and grapes.

I then booked my looooooonnnnnggggg train to Berlin. I’m covering quite large swatches of land this last week in comparison to how I went around Portugal.

After around 5 hours of riding the ICE high speed train through a large part of the German countryside I arrived at Berlin, only at the wrong station. I had seen a sign for Berlin and got off since it was 7:00, when my train was supposed to arrive, only we were a couple minutes late, and Berlin’s main station was a couple minutes down the line. Opps. I then had to hop on a couple of suburban trains to get to the main station where I could find a tourist office to help me find a hotel. I’ve found this to in general be a good way to get a room when its getting a bit too late to be walking around randomly(plus it saves time) and when I don’t have internet to find a place on my own. The tourist officer was able to find me a place in a nice area not too far from a metro station for 36 euros with included shower, toilet and breakfast, which really is one of the best values I’ve had for a room including much of Portugal. The room was “built by Ikea”; the beds, the lamps, even the cups in the bathroom were from Ikea. The walls weren’t particularly well insulated for sound, I could hear a couple having sex a room or two over, but I don’t blame them for keeping me awake.

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