Crossing Munich by car to find the hotel was a little tricky. Lisa drove, and I navigated. The traffic was thick, and the roads were complicated, but we made it to the right street, only to find that it was a one-way road, and we couldn’t turn it. So around we went until we could get there from here. Good to park the car for three days and not try to go around the city by car. The subway system is excellent, so that is the way to go.
After a nap and some rest, we went by U-bahn to Marienplatz. This is the main square; the heart of the city. It is a huge pedestrian zone, many of the streets nearby were filled with tens of thousands of people. The area has many department stores, specialty shops, and cafes intermixed with old churches and government buildings. One store was a high end delicatessen; we walked through even though it was packed with people, to see the fancy cakes and desserts, chocolates, breads, and other foods for sale. We wandered around this area for a long time, going in and out of stores. Eventually we made our way to the world famous Hofbrauhaus.
The Hofbrauhaus is a large beer hall and restaurant. It has been open at this location for hundreds of years. The patrons sit at large rough wooden tables on big benches. There is a polka band playing and it is filled with hundreds of people. The place is LOUD! The signature drink here is a big glass mug that holds one liter of beer. In a room on the second floor, some locals have their own beer mugs stored for them on shelves for when they are thirsty. I had a traditional meal of sausages and potatoes, it was ok, but what the tourists come here for is the atmosphere. There was plenty of it. It was a fun place.
When we walked to the subway stop from the hotel, I asked everyone to look around and remember how we got there. Sure, they said…. When we got back to our subway stop, we happened to exit via a different stairway. We arrived at street level in a dark place that look unfamiliar. Unfortunately, I had not brought the right map with me, the one that had a very detailed view of the roads of this part of the city. We guessed as to which way to go.
And guessed wrong! We proceeded to wander in the dark, going in circles for blocks on end, as I said to my party: “I think it is this way…” I would have hailed a taxi, but couldn’t find one. Because the subway system is so good, I don’t think there are as many taxis as in other big cities. We were tired and our feet hurt.
We came around one corner to see thousands of in-line skaters roll by. It must has been some kind of fund raiser or rally. Five to ten thousand young people rolled by in a buzz of excitement. At one point, we found a map in a pizza parlor, and finally figured out where we were and which way to go. Eventually we ended up back to where we had started our night’s excursion, the doorway of the Hotel Uhland, a tourist class hotel not far from the site of the Oktoberfest grounds. Time to rest our aching feet….