I haven’t been smart about my Europe travels considering that fact that I cover one country a time. Nonetheless, it has allowed me to appreciate a country on its own and not include it in the combined experience of multiple countries.
I had the opportunity to go to Munich, Germany for work training as my last ‘course’ if you will, before I was a fully qualified clinical engineer for the company. I was supposed to be there for an entire month but I came back 2 weeks early. That left me with one weekend to explore the city and one of my closest friends (who now lives in London) flew over to explore with me. Work booked me to fly with Emirates so I had a stop over in Dubai and I had a super cute airbnb booked that was a few suburbs away from headquarters. I bought a ‘Monthly train pass’ which cost approximately 60 euros (yeah things are not cheap over there) and used google maps to learn about the train network. The full two weeks were jam packed with work and exams, so the most exciting thing I did during weekdays was grocery shopping at Aldi (because that was the only familiar grocery store) and running around the block.
Neha arrived on the Friday afternoon and in true ‘Neha and Nicki’ style, we dealt with what we were going to do for dinner first and then caught up. We walked to Vapiano which was a block away from my apartment, ordered our dishes and a bottle of wine, put the phones away and just had the most quality time together. We both talk a lot and were the last people to leave the restaurant that night. Again in true style, this was us straight after dinner…
The next day we got out of the house quite early as there was a lot to see and do that day. This day was all about sight seeing and soaking in the culture which meant german meals and pubs! There were a few train stations that we got off at, each having a historical landmark nearby. We went to a traditional restaurant, Augustiner Klosterwirt first up (which took us a while to find whilst walking through alley ways). The food was absolutely amazing and with both of us being foodies, we of course ordered a 3 course meal.
The Residenz in central Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture, room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections. The complex of buildings contains ten courtyards and displays 130 rooms. The three main parts are the Königsbau, the Alte Residenz and the Festsaalbau. A wing of the Festsaalbau contains the Cuvilliés Theatre since the reconstruction of the Residenz after World War II.
Tickets cost around 10 euros for a ‘choose your own adventure’ entrance. Since we went on the weekend, we saw at least 5 bridal parties getting their professional photos taken and it was gorgeous! Every room had us dropping our jaws.
The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is a beer hall in Munich, Germany, originally built in 1589 by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I as an extension of the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München brewery. The general public was admitted in 1828 by Ludwig I. The building was completely remodeled in 1897 by Max Littmann when the brewery moved to the suburbs. All of the rooms except the historic beer hall were destroyed in the World War II bombings. The reopening of the Festival Hall in 1958 marked the end of the post-war restoration work.
Seeing as we were literally winging it, we decided to find a theatre to watch ‘Avengers: Endgame’ as it came out that week but jokes on us… every single theatre and session were booked out in advance. We kept exploring, buying snacks and eating cheese. On our way home, we bought sangria ingredients and kebabs to cook at home and watch ‘Homecoming’ on netflix – love a cosy night in drooling at Queen B’s body!
On Sunday we had the laziest morning and headed out around lunch time… to our surprise nothing was open apart from a few cafes. That was totally okay though as we did most of our exploring the previous day. We were meant to go to Neuschwanstein Castle this day however all tour tickets were sold out. Nevertheless, I did all the research on it anyway so click on the name if you want to find out how to plan your trip. We were a bit gutted that we couldn’t go because we are like every other girl being disney fans but we can always do it another time!
Marienplatz is a central square in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It has been the city’s main square since 1158. We got off at the station and at the top of the train station stairs, it was a sight to see. Our sight was dominated by the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the north side, and the Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus, a reconstructed gothic council hall with a ballroom and tower) on the east side with everything around it closed…lol. There were buskers in front which made for some lovely entertainment whilst enjoying the view of the hall and indulging in crepes.
I was fortunate enough to have a local colleague show me around during a public holiday in Munich. First of all, it was my first time experiencing no speed limits on the autobahn 😐 I found myself looking at the speedometer more than my surroundings. It was an hour drive from central Munich to Andechs and I honestly had no idea where we were going until we got there. We parked a few streets away from the “starting point” meaning the beginning of the hike. It was a gradual incline walk up a hill and through beautiful villages (I sound like I’m writing a children’s book but I am being serious) and at one time running from tree to tree to find an arrow indicating which way to go.
Seen from miles around atop Holy Mountain above the eastern bank of Ammer Lake, Andechs Monastery is the oldest pilgrimage church in Bavaria and since 1850, an asset of the Benedictine monastery, St. Boniface, in Munich. When we finally got to the top, it was BUSY! Where on Earth did everyone come from because we hardly saw anyone on the hike up. We walked to the other side of the Monastery and there it was… a beautiful, big carpark 😐 Yeah, we just exercised for nothing. So! turns out you can DRIVE TO Andechs Monastery and I have linked the guide here. We spent a few hours here looking around, eating pretzels and sausages and I finally got to see traditional German folk dances! It was honestly the best end to the trip.