Sunday, January 11, 2015


The last part of the trip, Joe and I spent in Munich before taking a direct flight home! 

Day 10
We got up at 6 to get everything ready to leave.  After eating breakfast, my uncle helped us pack the car, then my cousin joined us for the drive to Ljubljana where we would get on a bus to head to Munich.  We found the bus easily, and boarded and then hit the road.  The bus ride is about 6 hours because they stop every 2 hours for a break so you can stretch your legs.  We slept a good portion of the first half of the trip, and then I took the time to catch up on writing.  My grandma had packed us lunch so we enjoyed lunch around 12:30.  We hit quite a bit of traffic, but made it to Munich a little before 3.  We walked a bit before finding the train station to buy tickets.  We bought a 3 day unlimited pass so that we could use it to explore the city.  It was 27 Euros for up to 5 people to use the pass, so we thought it was very reasonably priced! 

We took the train 4 stops to our hotel.  The train station is at the bottom of the Hilton Munich City hotel where we are staying the next two nights.  We got checked in quickly, but our room was not ready so we headed up to the executive lounge where we enjoyed some tea and snacks.  Our room was ready in about 10 minutes, so we headed to our room.  We freshened up a bit before heading out to explore.  It was a bit rainy (although not windy) and above freezing and dark, so it might not have been ideal weather to explore the city but it wasn’t too bad either!  At least we weren’t cold!  I had an umbrella and Joe had a rain jacket so we really fared well.  We took the train into the city center and explored the main part of the city. 

We explored a couple of churches, the main attraction being Frauenkirche which is one of the largest churches in the world.  It was not as exciting as I thought it would be, although it was massive.  We went into St. Peter’s Church which is the oldest church in Munich, and it was stunning.  The detail on the alter was absolutely amazing, and the tasteful Christmas decoration made it so much more beautiful.  They also had a beautiful nativity scene on display!  We also explored the main square which is home to the old town hall and it now has a lot of shops set up, and beautiful festive lights.  After we stumbled upon the Hofbrauhaus, we decided to stop in for a drink!  We sat next to a lovely British couple which kept us laughing!  We tried to hold as many liter mugs as we could, but we definitely weren’t successful!  Those things are heavy!  After finishing our drinks and a pretzel, we made our way through the winding streets to a restaurant Joe had picked out the night before.

We grabbed dinner at Nurnberger Bratwurst Glockl am Dom.  It was super crowded but we were very lucky to get seated right away with a table for two upstairs!  We ordered beers (radler for me and a dark beer for Joe) and had another pretzel for an appetizer.  Joe ordered the sampler platter of sausage with potato salad, which had 4 small pork sausages, and cheese sausage, and ½ a stadtwurst (Munich Original Sausage).  I had the Munich Original sausage with sauerkraut.   We split them all, and everything was amazing!  I am not a big fan of sauerkraut, but this one was amazing!  After finishing dinner, we took the train back to the hotel.  The hotel has an executive lounge, so Joe had a drink while I sipped on some hot cocoa before we headed to our room.  We relaxed for a bit and got showered up before calling it an early night so that we could wake up early and enjoy Munich to it’s fullest tomorrow!
Day 11
This was our last full day in Europe before flying home!  We woke up around 7 without an alarm, and were headed to breakfast about 30 minutes later.  We had breakfast at the executive lounge at the Hilton, and it was amazing!  Joe got his salmon lox that he loves, and we both enjoyed the fruit spread, some meats and cheeses, granola and yogurt, hot tea, and so much more!  Joe said we knew it was a good breakfast when he didn’t even need the bacon and sausage!  After breakfast we got bundled up and headed to the train station.

Our first stop was the Olympic Park.  It was slightly snowing out, but the temperature was right around freezing, so we weren’t too cold!  We walked all around the park, the frozen ponds, and all of the buildings.  We found the pool, of course, as well as the indoor  and outdoor tracks.  After exploring the whole park, we took a ride up to the top of the broadcasting station, which is the highest point in all of Munich.  We loved the panorama views and the detail they put into explaining what buildings you were looking at.  It was well worth the $3.50 in admissions/person (admission fees seem to be much cheaper in Europe!).  From there, we ventured out of the park, and on to our next destination.

Our next stop was the BMW museum which was right next to Olympic park.  Neither one of us are huge car people, but we really wanted to see this, since I had seen the one they have in Greenville.  We showed our GT ID’s to get the student rate and paid 7 Euro’s a piece to explore the museum! We spent quite a few hours exploring the three floors they had filled with old car models, motorcycles, history, motors from boats, planes, etc., and so much more!  Everything was written out in English, and since we did the unguided tour, we could move along at our own pace!  After the museum, we headed to the train station and were off to our last stop of the morning.

The beer gardens are one of the leading attractions in the summer, and I had enjoyed them a handful of times in my past trips to Munich.  That being said, I had never experienced them in the winter!  We loved walking around the ponds and making our way through the gardens.  The ground was still a bit snowy so it was beautiful!  After walking through the majority of the gardens and finding the beer house and the arch, we made our way back to the train station to head back to the hotel.  

We made it back to the hotel around 2, and stopped by the executive lounge for some snacks and tea.  After we finished up, we headed to the room to relax for a while!  Around 3:30, we headed back out for our last minute sightseeing and dinner!  We took the train to the main square where we got to see what we had seen the previous evening in daylight!  We walked around for a bit before visiting a church that was recommended to us by a friend.  The Asam Church is the most beautiful church that I have ever seen and is my top 2 favorite churches that I have seen in my life (the first still being the Notre Dame in Marseille)!  This church is located on a random street so it can very easily be missed.  What makes it so remarkable is that every single piece of wall, ceiling, window, and floor is the most intricate piece of artwork!  The alter is breathtaking!  This is definitely a hidden gem and a must see if you are ever in Munich!  After spending some time in the church, we walked past the theater, before heading to dinner.  Dinner was at Opaija which was the highest rated restaurant in Munich on Yelp!  It is a bit hard to find since it is hidden in an alley but located in the city center.  The food was amazing and definitely surpassed the previous night.  Joe got the sampler platter of sausage and had the cheese sausage, traditional sausage, and a white sausage with fries and sauerkraut.  The amount of food for 8.50 Euro was amazing!  I got the wiener schnitzel and it was amazing!  The veal was so tinder and I got two huge steaks!  They were literally overlapping and covering a full plate!  Instead of the fries, I opted for a salad.  That was another huge plate filled with some sauerkraut, a cucumber salad, a regular salad, a potato salad, and a couple more salads!  There was so much food, Joe definitely had to help me with eating one of the steaks!  We were sufficiently full after that, and headed to Hofbrauhaus one more time.  Joe enjoyed a beer and then we had to get our souvenir for the trip, a stein! It makes for a wonderful addition to our bar!  

After walking 10.5 miles (yes my phone was tracking it) we thought we had sufficiently viewed the city of Munich!  We headed back to the hotel where it was still happy hour for another hour in the executive suite, so I enjoyed some tea, Joe enjoyed some beer and mixed drinks, and one of my friends from studying abroad joined us for a relaxing evening.  We headed to bed fairly early and packed for the morning, ready to make the trek back home!
Day 12
This was a travel day, so we woke up in the morning and headed to breakfast right at 7!  After breakfast, we grabbed our luggage and headed to the train.  The train ride was about 30 minutes directly to the Munich airport.  I have 0 good things to say about the airport!   To start, there is no indication where you need to go to check in, and after finally finding an info desk and a lot of walking back and forth, they told us that customs was located at the gate entrance. When we got to check in, the Delta lady was clueless on what to do and asked us the same question about 10 times to make sure we were going from Munich direct to Atlanta.  After surviving that process, we headed to customs.   Once we made it to customs, the line was miserably slow and they had the most intense check I have seen going through the x-ray machines!  Almost every person set off the sensor, the person behind them had to wait to walk through until they got the full pat down, and almost everyone had to take out certain electronics and turn them on.  It was a nightmare!   We made it through that, then headed to the gate.  That was also a huge mess!  There were about 10 lines so nobody knew where to stand, they never announced who could board, and it seemed like all the Delta people were clueless!  Needless to say, we were glad we got to the airport with some time to spear since we made it just in time for boarding with all of the delays!

The plane wasn’t too nice, and the TV’s were pretty shabby, but Joe and I snuggled up for the flight!  After plenty of movies, a couple naps, some work, some bumps, and a very long flight, we made it to Atlanta!  The best part was flying over Greenland and seeing the beauty that it has to offer (although it is covered in ice right now!)  We were glad to be home, but then walked well over a mile in the Atlanta international terminal to get to customs, which were also a mess!  You would think for a newish terminal they would have it under control!  It took about an hour and a half to get from the plane to the Marta station to head back to Buckhead!  We made it to Buckhead, flagged down a taxi, and were home right at 5!  We were so glad to make it home, although our house was a mess!  We unpacked and cleaned a bit, but called it a night right around 8 since we weren’t use to the time change!  Quickly, we were back to reality, but were very blessed to have such a perfect winter vacation and holiday trip!