With Neuschwanstein Castle shrinking into the distance we were making our way to the final stop on our German tour; Munich. We decided to spend the last two nights just outside the centre of town so that I could take a well deserved rest from driving. I love a good road trip, but after 1000km in 5 days it was definitely time to spend a day or two away from the wheel.
The hotel car park, if you can call the 3 spaces in a back alley a car park, was extremely difficult to find and after 4 loops around the block, and a phone call to reception, we finally found it. I was really glad that one of the three spaces was free as all other parking in the area was meter controlled by the hour and would have cost us an absolute fortune. I won’t go into too much detail about Hotel Hahn but I definitely wouldn’t stay there again and would advise anyone else to give it a wide berth. Dirty room, substandard breakfast, non functioning wifi and very unhelpful staff. When I went to reception to ask about the wifi he told he he couldn’t help me because he had people to serve at the bar in the next room and walked away from me…. That’s service for you! I don’t like including this negativity but, as we all know, this is part of travelling and I feel like I would be doing you all a real disservice if I didn’t mention it.
After we had finally checked in at the hotel, we decided it was time to go and grab a bite to eat before settling down for the night. After a little searching around I found somewhere that was advertised as having the best bratwurst in Munich… a no brainer really! On our way in to town we walked past the main train station and I was a little disappointed to see how loud, busy and dirty the streets were, as well as how they were crammed with scammers pretending to be beggars. I think the amazingly clean and beautiful towns and villages we had stayed in on this trip had set a very high bar and unfortunately Munich wasn’t quite hitting the mark.
Luckily the reviews of Nuernberger Bratwurst Gloeckl am Dom were not an understatement. As you walk through the door you entered a gloomy little room filled with dark wood panelling and small wooden tables covered in blue and white patterned table clothes; crammed full of locals jabbering away in high speed German and enjoying a nice cold Bier. We were quickly seated on the end of a table in the middle of the room and handed two menus; German and English. Clearly my German wasn’t as convincing as I would have liked!
As we opened the menu we were confronted with an unprecedented level of choice. You could have sausage, sausage or … yep you guessed it … sausage! My kind of place! Along with your selection of Wurst you had the choice of a large plate of Sauerkraut or Kartoffelsalat (Potato salad); the typical Bavarian accompaniment.
My fiancèe picked the standard Bratwurst with Sauerkraut while I made the very logical decision to get the mixed sausage platter (not the official name of course). Why have one sausage when you can try them all? What I was presented with was a mountain of Sauerkraut surrounded by four small Bratwurst, a full Rauchwurst (Smoked sausage) and half a Kaiser Wurst (Cheese Sausage). I have never eaten so much good sausage in my life!
Walking back to hotel, feeling like a fat sausage myself, we stopped at a small Kaffeehaus (Cafe) to satisfy my fiancèe’s sweet tooth. Of course I had a little bit too, can’t leave her to eat on her own now can I? We chose an almond cake and cheese cake, which I washed down with a milkshake (in case all the other food wasn’t enough!) which was lovely. The almond cake was by far the best!
As we sat in the hotel later that night I didn’t have the best first impression of Munich. The food was great, as it had been all trip, but with the combination of the dirty city and a very poor hotel, I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to the next day exploring the city. The one good thing I can say, is that this taught us an important lesson. If you have a bad first impression you need to take a step back and plan to see the place the way you like to see it. There will always be something you will enjoy, you just need to find it. For me, a busy city centre is not my idea of a fun trip (as you would already know from my account of Baden Baden here) so we planned a day of coffee shops, parks, walking and some open air markets with cold German beer…. A much better plan! I think this is good advice for whenever you travel. Don’t just follow the crowd and hope you will like what everyone else does, step of the beaten track and have a little adventure, you will often find the most magical places and fun experiences by chance so you need to just take the leap and give it a try.
Next time will be the final installment of our German adventure and finding a very different side of Munich.
Ciao for now!