Münchener Frühlingsfest

April 19, 2013-MunichBeer-4955

April 19, 2013-MunichBeer-4955

As stated in the post yesterday | http://cameronpiper.com/munchen/ :

Every spring, Munich has something known as Münchener Frühlingsfest, or Munich Spring Fest.  This is an event very similar to Oktoberfest, but on a smaller scale.  The carnival takes place just south of the city’s center in Theresienwiese, where there are carnival games, food booths, rides, and tents such as the one pictured above called Festhalle Bayernland.  Servers are running around wearing typical Bavarian outfits and carrying liters upon liters of Augustiner beer.  Festival goers are wearing Lederhosen and the women are wearing a modernized dress, based off what the original used to look like.  On the far right of the photo, you can see the lights from the live band, that the whole crowd sings along to while standing on benches/tables.

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Since Munich was devastated by World War II, everything feels very modern and in far better shape than most cities in Europe. The downside is the lack of ‘monuments’ per say. With this in mind, and with three days left in our trip, we tried to space things out and casual experience what the city had to offer.

Unfortunately the walk home in the rain last night didn’t agree well with my camera. A failed attempted at turning it on was not something I had hoped to wake up to. My Canon 60D with its 24-105mm L series lens are supposed to be water resistant, but nothing every is one hundred percent safe. I took the camera’s battery out and took off the lens to let it dry while we were out so unfortunately any pictures below are from my iPhone 4.

Our day started out with everyone’s favorite – searching for Munich’s best food. We met up with Steve (whom I met in France/Dublin) and his friends to go and find some Bavarian cuisine. We ended up walking through a very nice neighborhood towards a place TripAdvisor had rated highly. Unfortunately TripAdvisor dropped the ball, and it’s address was incorrect – by over a mile. We ended up just finding what looked somewhat authentic. Well, since we were out of the touristy area, it was authentic enough that the servers spoke no English. The meal was a battle of sign language, pointing, and speaking slowly to try and get the server to bring us what we wished. I failed at trying to get a glass of water for about an hour, even though the entire table had some except for me.. The old lady must have not liked me..

MunichBostonIt was tough walking around the city and seeing the headlines on all the newspapers.

Our next stop was a walk through Englischer Garten, English Park. The park itself is larger than New York’s Central Park and one of the largest in all of Europe. One of the coolest parts of the park (which we stumbled into first) is a river that they had out a break wall in to slow the speed of the water. This created a simulated wave that residents realized they could ride on with surfboards. The best way to describe it would be to think of one of the amusement part wave pools for surfers. Even though the water was cold, the surfers were still out there in full wetsuits trying to get a few claps from the crowd.

MunichSurfingSurfers killin’ it

MunichChineseBeerGardenChinese Tower or Chinesischer Turm in German

After wandering around through a few more neighborhoods, it was back to the hostel to rest up a little before dinner.

MunichCarnivalFrühlingsfest at night

Andrew wasn’t feeling so well, so Grant and I made our way back to the carnival area to walk around and maybe try and run into my friends again.  After a few laps of the tent, I had almost given up hope – until Grant spotted Mark standing on a bench.  We had walked past him a few times, but I was happy to see him!  He had made friends with a few Germans, who knew plenty of English.  Grant and I learned some German songs, phrases, and tips about the city from our new friends.  Niklas was a huge help and great guy.  He had recently moved to the city (he’s the same age as us) to experience something different than the western part of the country he had grown up in.  It’s honestly surprising how much better the European school systems are about teaching their students other languages.  He began learning English in 5th grade and was completely fluent.

Similar to what we experienced in Ireland, the Germans have been awesome to us –  far different than many stereotypes westerners might give them.  Thank you Niklas for proving this yet again!

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