Music is one of my biggest loves and the live music scene in Europe is a real treat for anyone with such an interest. As Australia is quite geographically isolated, foreign acts don’t always arrive at our doorstep all the time which means we aren’t exactly spoilt for choice. On the other hand, tours of London and the rest of Europe are so frequent that it’s moreso just a matter of biding time until an artist comes round for a gig! One such artist was Flume (Aussie, ironically) and so I ventured over to his concert in Munich with my cousins to see how the Germans party.
Coincidentally, some friends from Sydney were also in Munich the same weekend (and even more uncannily, I had just missed them in New York the prior week by one day!). So after landing on Saturday morning, I made my way out to the Marienplatz square to meet Julie, Mark and their adorable new addition Zac, who is living the travellers dream despite not even turning 1 yet! And what is the natural thing for Aussies do when in Bavaria? Hit up the beers! Given the chilly pre-Christmas weather, it was pure bliss catching up in a cosy German tavern over some Bavarian bevvies (and some French fries for Zacchy).
A few hours later and a little bit buzzed, we took a walk around Munich and Mark introduced me to these AMAZING creme filled donuts – like Krispy Kremes but better! It was the lead up to Christmas at this time so Christmas markets had started cropping up – We settled down at a little market to enjoy some grog (mulled wine), my first of many for the season. As it got dark, it was time for the Readings to head home, and for my cousin Ina and Florian to arrive.
That evening, we hit up the infamous Munchen Hofbrauhaus (HB), a HUGE multi level beer hall, for some dinner and pre-gig steins. This is where I learnt that it isn’t really custom to eat the outer casing of Bavarian sausages. Rather, as a neighbouring diner exclaimed, you must “suck the sausage”.. So if ya didn’t know, now ya know.
After HB, we made our way out to this industrial looking precinct where Flume was playing. The night was pretty awesome – being one of his smaller gigs on the tour, it wasn’t overly packed out, which is crucial for little concert-goers like me 😅
Following the concert, we headed home pretty tired, but not without my drunken self insisting on finding takeaway pizza. Nothing was opened, until we stumbled on a tiny bar on our street who said they’d make us a pizza, but was unable to do takeaway. Since I had plans to visit the Neutshwanstein Castle (the inspiration behind the Famous Disney castle) at the crack of dawn on Sunday, the intention was to have the pizza and bail. Yet somehow we made friends with all the locals from the bar who insisted we sample the beers and before we knew it, 3 hours had passed and I was slow dancing to Austrian love ballads with a big Bavarian woman named Danielle who barely spoke English except to express how much she wanted to visit Australia.
Severely hungover with only 3 hours sleep, I bid adieu to my cousins on Sunday morning to head out to Neutshwanstein castle, a 2 hour journey to the station (which leaves once an hour-90 minutes) followed by a bus ride. It was imperative that timing went to plan that day, as I had a flight back to London at 8pm. But as it goes, overly ambitious plans + a hangover is not a formula for smart decision making.
The plan – wake up early, catch the 2 hour train, catch the local bus to the end of the line, take a cable car up the mountain to get a Birdseye view of the castle, arrive at the castle, go to the viewing bridge, take a pleasant walk down, get the bus back to the station, and proceed onto Munich airport.
The reality – woke up pretty rusty, got the train 1 hour later than planned, got the local bus to the cable car (didn’t think anything of the fact that I was the ONLY person on a packed bus going to that stop). I arrived only to find the cable car closed – as I didn’t know when the next bus was coming and could see the castle on the mountain with a trail leading up to it, I made the decision to walk (Google maps said it would take half an hour).
It was all well and good and I felt awesome being one with nature, until 30 mins into the so-called 30 min walk, I was pretty alone in the middle of the woods, had discovered my boot sole was broken and consequently snow had made my right sock wet, and the path Google had told me to take was closed. To psyche myself more, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone would be able to find me if anything were to happen 😬 But it was too late to turn back, so I trudged on, only to find that the new path (obviously less taken) was steep and super slippery with snow and ice 😭
I made it back onto the civilian pathway after 90 minutes, but as luck would have it, entry onto the path was obstructed by a random gate. To go around, I would risk sliding back down the slope, to go over was too high, and so the only option was to go under, to the bewilderment of tourists who just saw a random girl pop out from the woods.
At the castle, I discovered the viewing bridge was also closed due to ice, so I started the descent. At the bottom, it took forever to find the bus stop. I eventually missed the train and had to wait 90 mins for the next. From there it became a dash to get to the airport, where I boarded as the final calls were sounding.
In conclusion, a weekend in Bavaria really proved how much you can do in the space of 2 days!