Thursday, September 25th, 1997 Munich, Germany
Breakfast at 8 AM, packed the car and left Oberammergau about 9 AM after showing Shari & Dave the Pilot house with the painting of the last judgment. Drove into Munich by way of the autobahn and went to Dachau to see the remains of the concentration camp. Dave, Shari & I walked around the grounds and through the sample barracks. Visiting Dachau is a very emotional experience and Jim decided that our tour in 1996 was enough for him so he found a quiet bench and read his book.
Back in the car we proceeded to Schloss Nymphenburg; the summer palace of the royal family. It is extremely large and we only visited a portion of it this trip. We arrived just as they were closing for lunch; so we found a bench in the park area and enjoyed our lunch with our breakfast sandwiches. Afterwards we walked around the grounds and located the hunting lodge. Looked in the windows and saw the graundure! It was closed for lunch. Then we walked to the former stables which now house the many carriages and sleighs of the royal family. There we were able to purchase our entry tickets…lunch was over for the staff.
Toured that area before we went into the main part of the palace. It was not as large and definitely not as decorated as others we’ve seen. But, this was actually used by the royal families for many years where the other palaces built by Ludwig II were rarely used and were built to fulfill his fantasies. By 2 PM we were on our way into the center of Munich to find our hotel. We had detailed street maps with us so the process was easier than most of our cities.
At the Konigswache Hotel we found an English speaking clerk who was extremely helpful. We discovered that Shari’s black wool jacket was missing…most likely back in Oberammergau! Dave & Shari made a call to the Wolf and couldn’t get anyone who spoke English! So back to the lobby and we got the clerk to make a call for us. It took four calls in all to determine that “yes” the coat was there. So our plans have changed and we will backtrack to Oberannergau and have a much more scenic route to Stuttgart tomorrow. Shari felt badly, but Dave had seen the coat in the closet and hadn’t reminded her and when she asked it the coats were all in the car I told her yes without checking as everyone else had left their jackets in the car during our stay there. So three of us had a part in leaving it behind. Also, we were kinda looking forward to the more scenic route. Oberammergau was only an hour south of Munich. Jim & I attempted to call Barbara’s friend Manfred. He was with a client and Andre was in Budapest the secretary said. We had stayed with Andre in 1996 while we were in Munich on our tour with Jim's sister.
We then got directions to the Oktoberfest and instructions on how to purchase the ticket for the underground. We bought two all day partner tickets for 12 DM each. Got on the train and went to the Marienplatz first for a look at the old city. Very busy as it was about 4 PM at that time. Walked down the street to Frauenkirche…rebuilt in the modern theme; and then to Sankt Michael which was rebuilt in the old theme as before. On the way we passed several mimes doing their thing for money. They are really quite good. The two that we saw here were both outfitted as statutes. The ones in Salzburg were doing period costumes. Then we waited until the Glockenspiel on the Neues Rathaus (the new town hall) gave a performance at 5 PM. We weren’t sure if it was going to do a performance or not as we’d left our book at the hotel. Shari remembered that her book said it only performed at 11 AM.
We later found out that they do two extra ones during the summer months at noon and 5 PM. So we enjoyed the full performance including the rooster crowing and flapping his wings at the end of the ten minute program. We then went in search of the Royal Palace (Residenz) where the royal business was conducted. There we also saw the Feldhernhalle and the Theatinerkirche. These make up one of the most beautiful plazas in Munich (per the tour books). Caught the U again to go to the Octoberfest. The hotel clerk had said to follow the crowds. The train was crowded when we got on and then suddenly there were plenty of seats. At the next stop we got off and back on in the other direction as we figured out we should have also gotten off where everyone else did at Theresienwiese.
Then we stood there not quite sure where to go! So we watched the next train and sure enough, nearly everyone was going the same direction so we followed the crowd and came up into a fairway in the park. It was like going to the LA County Fair in Pomona except there were these huge tents full of people (some say there about 5,000 people in each tent) all drinking beer. We found that all the seats were reserved! We walked through three before we finally found seating in the free area outside at the Lowenstein Tent. We kept stopping and asking people if we could join them; several said they had room for two but never four. Finally we found a table with two girls and an older couple…we asked and they said “yes”. We were very happy as up until this time we’d only been able to purchase hot dogs….12 inch bratwurst that we’d shared; but no beer could be purchased unless you were seated at a table!!!!
Our tablemates were great. The couple didn’t speak English but we managed to find out that he had a sister that lived in Florida. The two girls were in their late twenties and were from Salzburg. They were soon joined by a third girl who lived in Munich. All three were really fun. We bought three rounds of drinks….each beer stein was a liter. They were difficult to lift and drink out of! We soon discovered a group from Taiwan several tables away. We were toasting each other regularly during our party; at least once from the table top so we could say we’d “danced” on the table.
The people at the table behind us were great sports when I used one for a backrest. The younger gentleman from that table joined us for a bit…he was from Austria and the girls got quite a kick out of my ability to bring in a young man for them. But they didn’t like him! We had chicken and extra large pretzels with the beer along with curled radishes (made from very large white radishes) that the girls purchased. The girls spoke very good English and seemed to enjoy their evening with us. At one point I took off with the young man from Austria and had a ride on a spinning machine that they strapped people into. Lots of fun but we got lost on the way back to the table. Jim and Dave were out looking for me when we finally arrived back at the table. Soon it was time to call it a day. We headed back for the U and arrived at our hotel about 9:30 PM. Lots of Motrin will be needed for tomorrow!