Technically, we started Day 4 in refugee recovery at Luisi Tambosi. We got off the train and tried to make it to Hard Rock Munich before midnight. We popped out of the subway at 11:45pm with an uncertain walk of ten to fifteen minutes ahead of us. Meanwhile, we could see people on the patio across the street. We took our weary souls into a charming Italian cafe that closed at 1pm. The kitchen was already closed but they had a list of paninis or flatbreads that we could still get. And they had really good Valpolicella wine. We ordered two flatbreads which turned out to be quesadillas. It was the ideal nightcap. The service was friendly and the classic music lulled us back to our life of privilege.
Classic music is big here. If it’s not a German pub band or rock street fair band, it’s classic music. The Splendid-Dollman pipes in the classics over breakfast. It’s a lovely accompaniment to the delicious coffee. They also lay out an extensive breakfast spread of whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and bite-size pastries. It’s my favorite way to eat a meal, taste sampling.
After the Salzburg saga, we decided today would be a casual day. We had a few must-see sights on our list. So, we set out for our foot adventure. Jenny and I both have FitBits and are averaging between 17,000 and 18,000/daily here.
We started by going back to the English Garden. We only grazed a small corner before it got dark on Sunday. It’s an expansive park and we were determined to find the main beer garden that serves up to 6,000 people. The landmark for the beer garden is a Chinese tower, Chinesische Wirtschaft. We eventually found it tucked away within the forestry. Seriously, this park is more of a forest than I-can-see-across-the-parks of Chicago. One of our discoveries en route to the beer garden were guys surfing on the rapids. It looked fairly harrowing for a stream. And we saw several wipe outs.
When we got to the Chinese tower, we celebrated with big beers and a big pretzel. One of the tidbits we picked up on a tour is the tablecloth rule. In a beer garden, no tablecloth invites you to bring your own picnic lunch. A tablecloth indicates food service required. Either way, a guest must purchase their beer at the garden. A euro deposit is required on the mug. Although they are cool with the Munich logo, I wouldn’t steal it. It requires two hands to drink from it. No way am I going to lug that around for the day.
We left the garden and headed back to Old Town. Our mom had told us that we had to see the Glockenspiel. And we always do what our mother tells us. At Marienplatz (Marien= Mary, Platz= square), in this medieval building, these life size figurines perform a routine at 11am, noon and 5pm. We only had one shot left to get it right, the 5pm show. The square filled up with people way before the magic hour. We scored front row seats at the adjacent beer garden and had a bite and beer. We tried ‘white sausages‘ served to the table in boiling water. They are tasty dipped in mustard but the gooey texture is a little disconcerting for meat.
At 5pm, the bell towers surrounding Marienplatz rang announcing the hour. All the spectators craned their necks to see the wonder. As the figurines begin to move, the crowd oohed and awed. The figurines on the first level went in a circle as if chasing each other. Then, two knights went towards each other. This was followed by the figurines on the second level dancing in a circle. The show lasted about 7 minutes. It’s amazing from a historical perspective but Disney and technology has ruined it from being marveling.
Since it was our casual day and we had gotten in our steps, we opted to pick up some cheeses, meats, bread and wine at the open market to take home. We decided to end the day lounging. We also picked up some cookies as souvenirs. We had seen these heart-shaped cookies everywhere. They are lebkuchen cookies with various Octoberfest greetings on them. They are wrapped in cellophane with two holes in them for a ribbon. A couple little girls were wearing them around their neck. Well, because it was a cookie, I decided to try one. It tastes like an award-winning gingerbread house. Not award-winning because of the delicious flavor but for the brick solid structure. They are nasty! They must be for show only. We’ll leave them for the next hotel guests as a welcome to Octoberfest.