When I woke up Monday morning, UULL had left me a very long list of suggestions for my day, including walking directions and train directions to a bunch of attractions, proving again that UULL is probably one of the greatest hosts a person could have.
Day 2, 3, and 4
After a quick cup of tea, I got dressed and hit the pavement for my first day alone in Munich. I wandered back to the main square, Marienplatz (Mary’s Square). I went to the tourist center and bought a map and then headed to the English Garden, the largest urban park in the world. On my way, I found a very pretty little park with fountains and gravel pathways.
I did not take any pictures of this park.
When I reached the English Garden, I walked all the way to the end of the river, where a wave machine-thing was going and people were actually surfing. It was fairly awesome. I took off my shoes and found a soft spot in the grass and sat in the park for nearly the entire afternoon, people-watching, which is my favorite thing to do in a strange city.
I did not take any pictures. I had the camera in my bag and totally forgot I had the camera in my bag and thusly totally forgot to take pictures.
Here’s the big lesson I learned on day 2: I do not really enjoy traveling by myself. This was a HUGE surprise, as I am a girl who values being by myself. I enjoy my own company. But put me in a strange city, in a foreign culture, and I get very shy. I was so afraid of being the dumb American tourist that I didn’t eat until 3:00 that day, just because I didn’t want to go into a cafe and make myself look like a fool. Also, when traveling, I like sharing the experience with someone. As I wandered Munich, I kept wishing my sister was there because she and I have never really visited a foreign country together, just the two of us, and it would have been so fun to see the sights with her.
Finally, my hunger got the best of me and I found a grocery store near UULL’s flat. A grocery store seemed WAY less intimidating (and way less expensive) than a cafe. Plus, BUENO BARS. (Bueno bars are my favorite candy bar in the entire world. Chocolate covered wafer pockets filled with creamy hazelnut goodness. Um, YES PLEASE.) After I grabbed lunch, I hiked the FIVE FREAKING FLIGHTS OF STAIRS to UULL’s flat and took a little nap.
UULL came home and made us a tasty dinner of burgundy mushrooms and toast with ricotta. Then we took a walk back to the English Garden and had a beer in the beer garden. Because UULL was there, photographic evidence of this excursion actually exists:
When we got home (after stopping for more ice cream at Balla Beni), UULL and I decided I would take a train to Salzburg the next day to see all the Sound of Music sights. Sadly, that plan was derailed when I woke up at 4am with a terrible headache. Instead of seeing if the hills really are alive with the sound of music, I spent the day in and out of bed, dozing and reading. I did manage a walk in the late afternoon Munich sunshine, which was nice. UULL came home and made us a tasty bean salad for dinner. And we managed to take a walk back to Balla Beni for more delicious ice cream. Headache or no, I will never turn down Balla Beni’s bitter chocolate ice cream. SO delicious.
After a good night of sleep, I woke up the next morning feeling much better and excited for a trip to Salzburg. I jumped on the train and enjoyed a beautiful 2 hour train ride to Salzburg. The official Sound of Music tour was 37 Euro, which is about $50, which is about RIDICULOUS and waaaay out of my budget, so UULL circled all the main sights on a map so I could do a sort of self-guided Sound of Music tour. My first stop was the fountain where Maria and the kids sang Do Ra Mi.
AND I took a picture! Check me out, for crying out loud:
I spent the rest of the day wandering around Salzburg, browsing shops, enjoying the booths at the farmers market, and hiking up to some sort of famous fortress. I cannot remember the name of this fortress. I also didn’t take any pictures of this fortress. But it was very cool.
I DID take a picture of the river in Salzburg:
See up at the top righthand corner of that picture? That’s that fortress I visited. It was neat. Maybe someday UULL will tell us all what that fortress is called!
I also definitely spent the entire day listening to the soundtrack of the Sound of Music on my iPod. Cliche? Yes. Awesome? OBVI.
After a looooong train ride back to Munich, I hiked the FIVE FREAKING FLIGHTS OF STAIRS back up to UULL’s flat, just in time to meet her for dinner. We had delicious curried sausage and a tasty salad, followed of course by Balla Beni. We were both tired after our days, so we snuggled up in her living room and watched a movie before bed.
The next day, we would leave for Austria. First though, I would spend the morning/afternoon at Dachau.
More on that next time.