Day 15: I’m Hoppy To Be Back In Germany

Having packed up everything last night for the trip to Munich, we have ourselves plenty of time to walk to the train station. Alas, plans have a funny way of changing on the road. After breakfast, my dad reminded me to have the Eurail pass handy so i don’t have to dig through my bag to get it at the station. Figuring the pass was in the main compartment of my bag, I nonchalantly unzipped that section of the bag and reached in for the pass only to come out empty handed (to further the problem, my passport was lost with it). After digging out the whole bag, everything included, I found it in some random spot. With limited space in the bag, the process of trying to fit everything back in could not be more cumbersome. After squeezing out every last bit of air space in the bag, I somehow pulled off the impossible but realized it was already 915. Running around a foreign train station like a chicken with its head cut off is not the idea of a good time. Talking with information representatives across misunderstandings in the language barrier only further pressed us up against the moment we had to be on that train. Either I made a huge mistake (most likely) or the information on the website was deceiving but the first train did not depart until 1:25 pm. Turns out a certain bus left at 1015 am for Munich. Traveling by bus was nowhere in my plans but if it somehow got me to Munich sooner, why the heck not? I will miss Prague just like all the cities I have visited but it will definitely not be one I will soon forget. The bus ride itself was smooth as the bus passed through Czech towns mounted on the hillside and green valleys. I knew we had crossed the border and were traveling through Germany when I saw the expansive farmlands filled with rows upon rows of hops, which made my mouth water on the spot. Nodding off into a nap, liter mugs of beer danced in my head. After a long day of travel, food sounded pretty good at the time. We strolled down Marienplatz, the main strip filled with restaurants, shops, and churches. After stopping from time to time for pictures of the area, we neared Hofbrauhaus, the famous beer garden renowned the world over for its deliciously intimidating large mugs of beer. From outside in a seemingly quiet alley we began to hear chants from within of people in a cheery mood. Once inside, I could not believe how large the restaurant was and how many people it fit. We sat down to a table with someone already there. This Aussie was in fact by himself traveling about. I ordered a liter of their dark special beer and a crisp roast of Bavarian suckling pig with gravy, potato dumpling, and red cabbage. The food and beer was fantastic; the meat was tender and moist while the beer was oh so smooth and refreshing. The environment of the whole place was relaxing and great for people watching with waiters walking around selling massive pretzels and the band playing authentic German music. We stayed at the restaurant for a good three hours enjoying the Aussie’s company and consuming the best of Munich. We talked about the differences in lifestyles between our two countries as far as culture, sport, politics, food, seasons, and anything else that came to mind. I’m jealous of the lifestyle he has. He is in his forties and will bank his vacation time so after working two years straight at a time he will travel for two whole months visiting relatives in Croatia and then from there backpack around. The man had some wild stories about running with the bulls in Pamplona and drinking beers at Oktoberfest among many others. We had a light today but it was a necessary break to keep chugging along through the rest of the trip. Tomorrow we will see Neuschwanstein Castle, the one Walt Disney had his castle modeled after.

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