I recently returned from a business trip to Germany. This was my first trip there and it was a great experience. I’d lived in London for 3 months so I was used to the European vibe, however, Munich is very different from London. For one thing everyone speaks German. Fortunately, most of them speak English as well. I was lucky enough to stay at the Mariandl, a beautifully ornate hotel with a gorgeous bar, and live American music every night. My office was only a few blocks away and I enjoyed the short trek into work. I was warned to beware of cyclists on the sidewalk. They have their own lane and they stake their claim to it without a blink. I darted out of the way many a time. I envied them as well, thinking how nice it would be to bike to work. Having to would not be great, but from time to time would be nice.
On my day off I travelled to Neuschwanstein, the castle King Ludwig commissioned in the 1800s that took 18 years to build- he only lived there 172 days. He was charged with using the public’s money for his elaborate castle and was kicked out. However, he never used the public’s money, he only overspent his own and asked his parliament several times for the remaining money owned. He owed 6.2 million marcs- his original budget was 3.2 million. Tired with his requests, the Bavarian government had him deposed and he was out June 9th 1886. On June 13th he was found dead in Lake Starnberg near Castle Berg. Six weeks later the castle was open to the public.
I enjoyed trying new Bavarian foods each night after work. This is my Weinerschnitzel with potatoes and strong dark beer.
The highlights of the trip were meeting my German colleagues in person, going to a traditional beirgarten, visiting a castle, and trying several different traditional Bavarian foods. My favorite food by far was the Weisswurst, white sausage. It’s served in a pot of hot water brought to the table. You slice it out of its skin before you dip it in the amazing honey mustard. Yum! I was so intrigued that I read up on it on wiki and learned that it was traditionally made in the morning and the sausages should be consumed before they could hear church’s noon bells. The sausage was so fresh and included no preservatives, that it had to be consumed quickly so as not to spoil.
I also tried Schweinebraten and Wienerschnitzel, both close contenders.
Overall, the trip was a great experience. My advice is if you have some time to spend in Europe, try to hit a few countries to get the most out of you time spent flying. I’d highly recommend visiting Munich, if only for Octoberfest. Just kidding, there is much more to Munich than beer, but the beer is pretty great too.
I missed Oktoberfest by 2 weeks, but I was able to visit the fairgrounds as they set up the many large indoor beer houses. I’m sure I was trespassing, but who knows if I’ll make it back- I had to see what all the fuss was about. After that visit I am even more excited to attend. It was the size of my college campus and was a mix between Busch Gardens and a local fair. Very exciting!