Thursday, March 3, 2011

Luke's birthday in Munich

For Luke's birthday we decided to head up to Munich. Tuesday, March 1st is a holiday here in Switzerland so he also took Monday off and we had 4 days to explore the city. Munich is about a 5 hour drive from our house so we left Friday after work and 7 hours later (after several bathroom breaks for Jack) we arrived at our hotel. 

We spent the next several days exploring the city. One of our first stops was the Hofbrauhaus
The Hofbrauhaus is one of Munich's oldest beer halls. It was founded in 1589 as the brewery to the Royal Residence.
It has a very casual feel and rows and rows of tables of people drinking beer.

We had a few beers and ate lunch here. These are the menus

Typical german (and swiss) dish of boiled sausages with a bretzel (aka pretzel). It was served with the most delicious sweet mustard. 
Enjoying their drinks
Luke wanted to try the 3 different types of beers offered here so he got the "small" glass of each. The regular glass is twice this size
Another day we were able to visit the Park Cafe (aka Lowenbrauhaus)

It had a much more sophisticated feeling

Luke enjoying a Lowenbrau beer
Jack with his fresh squeezed orange juice
Most of the time we spent walking around the city. The main center of the city is the Marienplatz which has been the central square since 1158.

On Sunday there was some type of festival going on so we stopped by to check it out:

Jack wandering around the square with his balloon
Apparently the festival was some type of event for kids. There were hundreds of kids and most were wearing costumes or face paint. Everyone was lining up by the stage to see the show so we tried to get a spot as well.

Since this was a children's event, we expected some clowns to come out with balloons or something. So we were really surprised when this is what we saw:
The kids seemed to enjoy the event...and so did the parents. I was a bit shocked to say the least. It was hours of different groups dancing for the kids in their bikinis. (Don't forget that it was not much more than 30 degrees out)

We left the entertainment to walk around the city some more.

Here are the gates to the city:

There is even a place where surfers can surf on the ice creek.

On Monday, we visited the Residenz which is the formal royal residence of the monarchs in Germany.
It was absolutely huge, with hundreds of rooms!

Here is the chapel which was rebuilt after it was destroyed in WWII
A picture of the church after being bombed in WWII
On Tuesday we headed home and made a slight detour to visit the Neuschwansteain Castle. It is one of a few castles that was used as inspiration for the Disneyland castle.
The only way to reach the castle is to walk or take a horse drawn carriage.

We opted for the carriage
Views from outside the castle

If you can see in the distance there is a bridge over a waterfall just outside the castle

No pictures were allowed inside so I pulled these from the internet. The inside of the castle was amazing. Since it is only 125 years old, the castle is in great shape. Just about everything inside was original.
But only about 15 of the planned 200 rooms were completed. King Ludwig died before he could ever finish his castle.
Leaving the castle
We missed the last carriage down the mountain and had to walk. On the way down we got some nice views of the other castle (Hohenschwangau) right across the way

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a GREAT Birthday adventure to me! :) Hope you enjoyed it! Miss you guys.