Happy Father's Day!!!! We got it right this time! We hope all the dad's are having a great day! We (Danny) will throw one (a liter) back at the Hofbrauhaus for you guys.
To Melody and Barry: Thank you for everything that you did for us; you made our trip even better.
To Jaime: You are so lucky you get to come visit your parents here...enjoy your last few months! Have fun with Stroup when he gets here. It was so much fun hanging out with you! We will definitely keep in touch. You are an AMAZING friend!!
Today was a very fun day. We woke up around 9:30 and walked over to Marien Platz (downtown Munich - where we were last night and where the big festival is going on). When we got to the Platz, there were already people drinking and having a good time...it was awesome. So we met Jaime and decided to grab some breakfast on the fifth floor of a building overlooking the plaza. It was a great view. You're not going to believe that Danny is eating all different sorts of wursts with mustard and curry; it's very strange. After breakfast we decided it would be a great idea to do the bike tour throughout the city.
The bike tour was very cool. We started off in Marien Platz, learned a little bit of history about the city and how it came into existence. Monks where the original inhabitants of the area, hence, Munchen (translated to Monks), and they brewed their own beer (the best in the world). Which is awesome because it became a city 850 years ago yesterday! From there we walked a few blocks to the bike shop where we were able to pick up our bikes for the trip. Also, right from the beginning, our tour guide was very funny (an irish guy with a perverted sense of humor). Good tour guides seem to be the common trend in Europe so far. Anyways, so we first rode our bikes right up to the Hofbrauhaus and learned a little bit of dark history about it from the war times and how it was used as a political campaigning spot for the Nazis. They were essentially manipulating the drunk Germans. From there we rode up the street to another plaza, the real name we cannot remember but the tour guide (Stevo) called it the Gene Hackman plaza because the statue in the middle looks like Gene Hackman. We think it was of the first king of Bavaria....Max maybe?! After a little while there we rode down "designer row," a very expensive strip of stores like Gucci, Prada, Versaci, Valentino...if you can name it, it was there! We turned off this street and rode up into the old royal residence. There are 7 court yards in this residence. Huge! Because of this big fest that is going on we could not ride our bikes into OdeonPlatz...the next plaza we came to. So we left our bikes inside the residence and mingled a little bit with the locals. We also learned the the lion is the symbol of Bavaria and there are two big stone lions in OdeonPlatz that have very significant meaning. One points toward the royal residence with his mouth open, signifying that people should question and have a say in the government, and the other points towards an immaculate church with his mouth closed. This signified that no one should question the Catholic church and that the church is always correct.
Also something interesting in Munich was that many buildings have gold mosaics on the front. This is cool because everyone of these buildings faces West, so that when the sun sets it makes the picture that much more beautiful.
Continuing on the bike tour we rode to the edge of a very peaceful garden, that was once the royal garden. We again had to get off our bikes and walk them through the garden...Pedestrians only! After we made it through the garden, our tour guide vered from the intended path. Instead of going directly to the Beer Garden from there, we went and saw a piece of the Berlin Wall; which was convieniently located across from the U.S Consulate building. So if we lost our passports we would go there. But we're not planning on doing that! It was time to head to the Beer Garden. So we took a lovely trip through the backside of the English Garden. We were warned not to get lost because it stretches over 1000 acres. (Central Park is only 600 acres)! So it was pretty big. We stopped at the Beer Garden and had a Liter (Danny had the Dunkel - dark beer, and Leigh and Jaime had the Helles-the local beer) and something quick to eat. We ended up staying in the beer garden for a little over an hour. It was very cool. And apparently, in order to be considered a beer garden, it must have a chestnut tree in it. This was originated from the Monks trying to keep their beer cool. They tried to put the barrels in the water but the sun still got to them, and finally the chestnut tree supplied enough cover from the sun to keep the barrels cool.
It was finally time to leave the beer garden and we went out the "front side" of the English Garden. Europe is known for it's exhibitionists. We definitely saw one! Everyone's head turned as this man walked down the sidewalk completely NAKED!!!! Hopefully for his sake he wouldn't be walking too long otherwise his knee-caps would have been bruised!!! After that site we saw something else, much cooler though. The nearest beach to Munich is 400 miles away, but there's still surfing in Munich. There were 10 people in wetsuits, surfing on the river as the water came under a bridge and created a crest with a lot of force. It was awesome. That was the end of our biking journey. We went back to the bike shop and dropped off our bikes. The whole tour lasted from about 12 to 4:30. It didn't seem that way though. It was a great way to see the city and learn a little bit about it at the same time. Even better, they have these bike tours in Paris, so when we go there we can do one as well.
After the tour we said goodbye to Jaime and her mom and headed back to the hostel for a much needed shower. Now we are just updating everyone on our adventure so far before we head out to get dinner and a liter at the Hofbrauhaus!!! We'll probably call it an early night though tonight since we have to catch a train to Venice tomorrow. Country number 3 tomorrow!!!
Again Happy Father's Day!! And thank you everyone for your message posts.