No matter, when I thought of Munich, I had all these typical clichés inside my head (yes, even Germans have them, not only foreigners!): men in lederhosen, women in dirndl dresses, tons of beer, savoury food and a lot of yodeling and non-German gibberish. So there I was, on a train (almost 6 hours of slowly dying limbs), that took me all the way down south to Bavarialand. I was excited like a little kid, mainly because I was about to see a good friend, I haven’t seen in a year, but also, if my persoanl clishés about Munich would become bittersweet reality, or would remain as these. The very first thing, I noticed, when I arrived in the capital of Bavarialand, was: there is no gibberish going on. I was confused. And disappointed of course. I wanted people to talk thick Bavarian, making me crack up and saying to myself: “Ha, the only thing, I got, was pretzel or something!”. Everyone was talking standard German! What was going on?! I started pouting at my friend: “Aw maaaan, it’s like I’m home. God damn iiiit!”. So we were heading out to a restaurant and there it was: gibberish, or as I started calling it “Bavalian”, because it seems like a mixture of Bavarian and Italian (if you go further down south, it’s even worse). That was the first time, I felt like a foreigner. I didn’t understand a single word, of what the waiter was saying, so I was politely smiling and nodding at him. It might seem naive and a little foolish, but that’s what you can do, if you get the feeling of people not being criminals. Although it was an Italian restaurant (Mafia?!)…
The very next day, I was ready to conquer Munich with my camera! Paparazzi alert! The first place, we went to, was “Marienplatz”. It’s the central square of Munich and incredibly beautiful (mainly because of the city hall!). It was a Saturday and what do we always have to expect on a Saturday in a world famous German city? Yes, millions of tourists! It’s funny, how I’m not considering myself as a tourist (although I couldn’t be a better one, because of my huge backpack and camera covering my face), every time I hear myself saying things like: “Urgh, all these tourists. How annoying!”. I know, it might seem very arrogant, but I just can’t help it. My persoanl highlight besides the city hall, was climbing up the “Sankt Peter” church, which had like a billion steps and made my lung nearly collapse. From up there, we had an amazing view over the entire city! We even could see the Alps! From all the walking and tourist nidging, I became hungry and was ready for a real Bavarian meal! “Let’s go to the “Hofbräuhaus!!!”. It wasn’t a good idea. It was loud, hot as the desert itself, filled with drunk people from all over the world (greetings to my Swedish guys all dressed in lederhosen!), so I just took pictures and got the hell out of there. It might have been 10 minutes, I was in there, but I was all sweaty, as if I was taking a sauna bath for 30 minutes. So we went to a smaller and not as crowded restaurant, where the waitresses (of course) were serving in their dirdnl dresses and thick Bavalian accents, so that this time even my friend didn’t understand, what they were talking about. I only knew half of my meal, because I didnt know, what the other half meant, so I was taking the risk and was ready for a yummy surprise. And it was yummy indeed. I had a huge dumpling with a delicious mushroom cream sauce and a salad on a side. I closed my eyes, listening to the waitresses accent and thought: “Yes, I am in Bavarialand!”. No more pounting.
Day two in fancy-schmancy Munich and I was about to discover the two most beautiful places: the “Hofgarten” and “Englischer Garten”. I couldn’t believe my eyes about the beauty of these two parks, so that I was taking pictures at the “Hofgarten” for about an hour straight. I just couldn’t stop and wanted to capture every single detail. Every time, I am entering wonderful places like these, I’m blinding out everything, that is surrounding me and then it’s just me and my camera. Nothing else matters! I guess, only people with a desire for photography understand this magic moment. At some point, I remembered, that I wasn’t by myself. Ooops, I should go check on my friend. I found her sitting by a water fountain. Bored. Understandably enough. “I should go travel by myself…”, is what I was admitting to myself. Still blown by the beauty of the “Hofgarten”, we came to the “Englischer Garten”. I almost became unconscious and thought: “It can’t get any better…”. A perfect double park Sunday with a pretzel and lots of potato salad by the lake.
Today was the day: we are going to “Schloss Neuschwanstein!”. I was exremely excited again and kept telling my friend, that it was going to be really awesome! She just smiled at me, with her eyes halfway closed and tired. The poor thing kept falling asleep on the bus, while I was starring out the window, eyes wide open, all sparkly thinking: “Oooouuuhhh! Looooook! The mountains and stuff! How cool!”. “You’re exhausting me…” is what she told me several times. As we reached the castle, that strongly reminds me of my favorite Disney movie “The Beauty and the Beast”, surrounded by this foggy atmosphere, I was speechless and just enjoyed the view. I was insisting of walking up there, because I wanted to get an incredible view of the castle, rising between the coloful trees. That was unnecessary. I’m sure, my friend, would have enjoyed the shuttle bus or the cute little horse-drawn carriage. “I thought, I’d have an awesome view of the castle, while going up there. Well, you never know before…”. I don’t know, what she thought in that moment, but I can imagine. “Schloss Neuschwanstein” is, as a friend of mine said, “incredibly unrealistic” and it’s true. You have the feeling of being in a different time (if you blind out billions of tourists with their cameras and every single technical equipment, you can see inside the castle). I really loved the way Neuschwanstein looked from the outside, but the inside was depressingly dark, cold and even a little bit spooky. I was expecting something completely different. Another thing, I wasn’t happy about and never will be as a photographer is the sentence: “Please, do not take any pictures.”. If there is anyone near you, that goes: “Uuuuurrrgggh! Are you kidding me!!!? I am so not gonna buy any postcards!!!”, it’s probably me!
Overall, I can say, that Munich is definitely worth to visit! This city has it’s own peculiar charm and is indeed fancy-schmancy. Besides the most visited places by tourists, it seems like a quiet city. Beautiful arcitecture, great food, a huge market, that is open from Monday until Saturday (how awesome is that!!!), that makes you feel comfortable in a second. Munich, I for sure will come back again.
P.S.: I’ll upload all the pictures as soon as I can!