Our next day was my birthday. We got breakfast bagels with mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and pesto - not the most German of breakfasts, but still good. We tried going to the geology museum to see the dinosaurs, but it was closed for construction, so we headed to the shopping district where Caitlin and I perused then split a pretzel filled with cheese, as the pretzels are massive. We thought we'd head over and check out Oktoberfest, but quickly learned you must come very early (1 or 2 in the afternoon) or have a reservation to get a seat at the beer gardens. Despite being too impatient to wait ages for a chance to have a beer, I enjoyed a bratwurst from a street vendor, and decided to try again a different day.
Our third day in Munich we were still fairly wrecked and decided to relax in our luxuruious residence and make some plans for the next few weeks. It ended being most of the day, but we salvaged it by going to a traiditional German restaurant for dinner. The Lowenrau Keller was also celebrating Oktoberfest; though it was not on the same scale, there was plenty of weissbier and roast duck to go around. A very good night, all in all.
Thursday we returned to the shops (after more bagels), and I decided to purchase a pewter mug. Well, it's really more of a goblet or a chalice, but you get the idea. This time there were also a number of musicians playing in the street (check out the video below), and we happened to be there at noon when the bells chime and the figures on the town square clock dance. We purchased some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor, and reattempted Oktoberfest - much earlier. We arrived by two o'clock and got seats right away in the Hofbrau garden. We shared a litre there amongst the decorations of hops, discouraged a few German lads, cheered for those who stood on the benches and downed whole litres, and sang along to songs even though we didn't know the words. Next we moved to the Hacker-Pschorr tent, and found seats with two lads from Finland. The were much more pleasant company than the aforementioned drunken Germans, so we all moved after another litre to the Paulaner garden. This time we sat ourside, and switched to weissbier. We even decided to walk home at the end of the day instead of taking the tram - not too shabby, possibly even respectable.
Our last day in Munich the weather was gorgeous, so we strolled over to the Museum of Man and Nature and around the grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace. The inside seemed to me like most palaces, but after seeing the grounds it's not hard to imagine why they decided to build the palace there, surrounded by streams and forests. We frequented the Lowenbrau on the way home again, but this time I sampled the ox loin steak, perfectly cooked.
It's taking too long to upload pictures, but as soon as we get to better internet connection I'll add them on, so check back later. Next we're headed to Verona in the Italian countryside for a bit of relaxing, and then for a trip to Venice.....auf wiedersehen for now!