We made our way from the quiet town of Lychen to the region of Bavaria and its most famous capital, Munich. They call this place the Texas of Germany, and for good reason. First of all, they’re proud of their country, and second, you can’t get enough of their meat, potatoes, and beer. We were happy to have spent our patriotic 4th of July in Germany’s most patriotic state.
It was a long, overnight bus to Munich, but we had finally arrived. We had next to no sleep on the bus, so the only logical thing to do was to roam the city streets and take in the sights. Jess was excited to be back in one of her favorite European cities, while Dan was overjoyed with the beer, brats and brass music. We checked out the infamous Marienplatz and Glockenspiel. We stopped for a few beers at the notorious Hofbrahaus. As the band started playing traditional music in their lederhosen, Dan smiled and we thought how much his Dad would love this moment. This was the stereotypical German culture we had been taught growing up and it was enough to snap us out of our zombie state.
After drinks, we wandered through Viktualienmarkt in search of the place where Jessie had her first ever (and most delicious) doner kebap on a backpacking trip 5 years earlier. As we turned a corner and spotted the infamous “first kebab” stand, Jessie jumped for joy.
It was time for drinks again, this time at the Augustiner-Keller Beer Garden. Here, we did a little blogging over beers and dreamed about owning our own beer garden. When traveling you meet people from all walks of life with all different stories. You find yourself dreaming about leaving it all behind and becoming a beekeeper, a yoga instructor or just a simple traveller (They call me the seeker). We spent a lot of time pondering this as we watched the locals pass by with huge pretzels and even huger beers.
The next day was the 4th of July, our country’s independence day. No, we were not in America, but what better way to celebrate than to head to the English Gardens? We headed straight to the gardens and stopped to check out the surfers on our way into the park. We enjoyed people watching on our walk as local Bavarians played in the clear river and in the green space.
Finally, we made it to the Chinese Tower very thirsty. We were happy to see some Americans from Arizona decked out in our familiar stars and stripes. We asked if we could join them, and they happily pulled out two chairs. We spent the afternoon ‘prosting’ and getting to know this cool group of people. We talked about baseball, travels and more.
Jessie especially enjoyed talking to David, a video-game developer who had worked and lived all over the world. He was very encouraging as we told him our dreams of potential entrepreneur endeavors. Roy, Scott and Sandi were equally awesome and presented us with another round every time we were posed to get up from the table. We could not have asked for a better 4th of July celebration.
When it was finally time to go, we hopped on the tram and met a bachelor party from a German/Swiss border town. They invited us to join them at an Irish pub where ‘the locals go’, so how were we supposed to say no to that? We were pumped when we walked in and saw American flags and a special Independence Day menu! The band played some rock and blues including the song Route 66, which reminded us of our other dad, Wally. Jess was dragged to the dance floor for this song with a short Russian guy.
We enjoyed getting to know Jay Feather, a musician in the group, and Millio, a wild Polish native. Suddenly, Jess wasn’t feeling so well (the Russian spun her one too many times, causing a day full of drinking to catch up with her) so it was time to call it a night.
The next day, we hitched a ride via Bla Bla Car with Tudor, a lad that worked for an engineering start up. Tudor had been traveling for months and was ‘from Europe’, as he told us. We’ve found this to be a common phrase from Europeans who have lived and worked in various countries throughout the continent. There’s an overwhelming sense of pride in the continent as not everyone claims a specific country as his or her home.
We can’t say anything bad about our time in Bavaria. It was a short visit, but it’s hard not to enjoy the copious amounts of beer, sausage and pretzels available in this fantastic region.