Augustiner and Castles
I'm sure you will all be glad to hear I actually made it to Munich even though it turned out being more difficult than I had anticipated. Back on Saturday I took a bus transfer to the Zagreb train station. Unfortunately my train was late which made me miss my connecting train in Austria. Therefore I had to wait two hours for the next train but the next train didn't take me straight to Munich like the earlier train would have. I had to go to Salzburg (so basically I did my whole route from Salzburg to Slovenia to Zagreb again but backwards). Once in Salzburg I had to wait another hour and a half to get the train to Munich. When I was in Salzburg I was dying, I fell asleep on the train to Salzburg after I got a seat (I had to stand for the first hour of the ride because there weren't seats open!). It was a real struggle to stay awake to get my final train so I resorted to candy and coke to keep me awake. I finally made it to Munich around 1am, here's to hoping the rest of my travel days go smoother!
I started my day out late on Sunday because let's be real I was exhausted, not only from the travel day but from all of Croatia. I walked around Munich in the afternoon and it was completely closed down. EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays here. I was just trying to find something to eat and there were maybe 3 cafes I passed that were open. I decided to do a free walking tour (my favorite!) and it was awesome! My tour guide was from Texas and he was hilarious! I met a dad and daughter traveling for a month together and we hung out the rest of the tour. At the end it started to rain so our tour guide told us we would end the tour in the famous beer hall, Hofbräuhaus, and get a beer together. I sat at a table with the dad and daughter then a couple from NYC joined us. We had a great time and sat talking even after everyone else had left. Our tour guide told us that the Augustiner beer is necessary for us to drink because it is basically like charity. Apparently they don't spend any money on advertising and use a large portion of their profits to give back to the city. How awesome is that?! After that I walked around and took some pictures. I found one of the Augustiner beer halls to eat supper. In these kinds of places you sit at a table with other random people, which turned out to be aweosome! I sat down with a guy who is from Munich but lives in America now and a girl who is from Hawaii but lives in Colorado and was here for work. It was great getting to talk to them.
On Monday I went to the Neuschwanstein castle! I met up with the dad and daughter from yesterday's tour and we went together. I also met a guy who has been traveling for 8 months so we shared some travel stories and he told me about how he took an intense 2 week cooking course in Thailand, crazy! It was hard to get to the castle because there was construction on part of the railroad. We had to take a bus to a train station, take a train, then take a short bus ride to the castle. My tour guide was funny, nice and great to talk to! She told me her and her husband might be moving to DC next year so we exchanged email addresses to keep in touch! The castle was amazing! It is the castle that the Cinderella castle was inspired by. It certainly did look like a fairy tale castle. King Ludwig (who was a bit on the crazy side) had it built but it was never completed because when he died his family stopped the construction. We went inside for the tour of the 13 completed rooms in the castle. Ludwig didn't like to be around people so his was the only bedroom besides the servant rooms. His room was incredible with all of the intricate wooden carvings especially the gothic church inspired bed canopy! I kind of got a Biltmore vibe from the place on the inside. He also had a cave made in the castle! We walked through and it really did look like a cave. Then I fell in love with a mural of the Enchanted Forest. I was sad that we weren't allowed to take pictures, I hope I can find a picture of it online. I took a lot of pictures outside but it was cloudy so they didn't come out like I would have liked them to. The journey back was a little more complicated because we had to switch trains, our train was late, and there was mass chaos trying to get several different tour groups (about 100 people) into the correct buses. It was late when we got back so I just went to a beer hall that our tour guide recommended called Augustiner Braustuben. I was craving some Mac and cheese, my tour guide told me the German version is really good and that restaurant would have it. I ended up sitting with a couple from Pennsylvania on their honeymoon. They were so nice and we talked the whole time! An Italian guy joined us later, he speaks Engligh, Italian, and German. He is going to start physical therapy school in Germany. Then a couple from New York joined us! It was a great table and we had an awesome time! I even ordered a Munich beer because I couldn't go to Munich and go to all of these beer halls only to not get their beer! I will admit it wasn't horrible, but I definitely could not drink it all the time.
I can't believe it is August! This whole trip I've had so much time ahead of me but now I have less than three weeks and I don't like thinking about it. I still have a few places to visit so keep checking back!