Thursday, July 01, 2010

Germany Trip, Day Two: Touring Munich

My sleep was restless the previous night. It was somewhat a relieve to finally hear my alarm goes off. After the morning routines I went down to breakfast.

The breakfast was nice, quite a variety but, as I learned later, not change at all each morning. There were scramble egg, 2 types of sausages (I like the white one), cereals, 3 types of yogurts, 4-5 bowl of cut fruits, 6-7 kind of breads, and 3 kind of juices. Overall it was a hearty selections but not very flavourful. I tried to eat as much as I can with in an hour, this times not forget to pick out various of teas to take home.

I left the hotel around 9:00 I went to the main train station to look for the place to buy package tour to see Neuchswanstein. I got the brochure from the hotel lobby the night I check-in. I tried the information counter but they just point out that the train will leave for Fussen city at this and this time. After getting no help, I examine the brochure more closely and found a map to their office. Turns out their office is not far from Marientplatz. So I took the subway and heading to it.

The Marienplatz was not as what I envisioned from the game. But then my memory of it was rather vague now… I wish I played it again before the made the trip.

Anyhow, the rain was drizzling all the time. I am glad I packed my umbrella otherwise I might be sick before the trip ends. I walked around the square a bit and then set off the look for the tour office. It wasn’t hard to find. The staffs look young and hips, a few of them I would certainly wanna… Anyway, when I arrived, the person in charge was not there so I have to wait a while. The office was warm and dry which is a nice break for me from the cold rain. After the guy in charge arrived, I tell him what I want, etc. He explained the tour to me. He said the advantage of buying the tour from them were that they use coach bus which use roughly the same amount of time traveling to the castle without the hassle of using the train which will need another bus to go to the castle anyway. Plus the tour guide will buy the ticket for us in advance with the right timestamps to get in so we don’t have to queue up for tickets.

I opted out from the bicycle tour part of the package, which save me 10 Euro. I don’t know how to ride the bicycle anyway. I paid for the tour and then I pointed to the ‘Free Walk Tour’ brochure and said I will be doing that today and wondered if they will come out with when it’s raining. The guy said these guys will be there regardless of weather. Soon I bid them goodbye and return to Marienplatz, waiting for the gathering time for the Free Walk Tour.

There were a fair amount of people waiting for the tour. Turns out two of them were Thais. The guide, who is Chinese but speaks with perfect American accent, began by regale us with the history of the city. He said the Marienplatz, though looks old, it is actually been rebuilt like that because the original was destroyed during the war. The same goes for many historical buildings in Munich. The city started out as the city where monks brew beer which became popular by the locales and attracts more resident. Then we went to one of the church, inside there was a footprint of the engineer who built it. Then we walk pass another church which has a cannon ball lodge above one of the tall windows. The guide told us that this is not a well known fact even to the locals. The cannon ball was stuck there during the First World War and then fell out during the Second World War. A resident found it on the street near the church, kept it, and return it to the church after war and told the church to put it back up :P I notice many plagues attached around churches so I ask the guide what they are. He said there used to be cemeteries around the church, once the development start to happen around the church, they moved the plagues and put it around the church so relatives can still come to mourn. Later on we walked to a plague, a Jewish memorial of that location dedicated to one of the early event of Jew persecution. The guide said there are hundreds of these small memorial plaques all around Munich, all of which are simple plague with no label or indication to what it is. He added that he prefer this type of memorial more than the large showy type in Berlin. Since this way whoever saw them and got curious will do research about it and it will have more meaning than just listening to the guide.

Then we went through the Viktualienmarkt, a local fresh market. The guide mention that the price of goods here are not cheap. In fact, you will find cheaper stuffs else where in the city.