Sunday, October 31, 2010

Off to Prague

Originally I wasn't planning on going to Prague but everyone I met along my trip said you can't miss it. Thus I decided to go to Prague.

I got up early to travel to the train station. I got to my train, which went to Nunberg and then transfers to a bus until Prague. The trains are supposed to be on time, but my train departed late and arrived late. I was supposed to transfer to my bus at 11:40 AM in Nunberg. My train arrived at 11:38. I had to run to the bus station and just barely made it before they left.

My bus... yes I was running late and still snapped a picture.

Somewhere between Nunberg and Prague

Here are my first images of Prague... my jaw dropped when I saw this.

Prague Castle

Oh in case you're wondering, I will be posting everything that happened in Munich... I'm just behind in my blog as usual. Those posts will still be in chronological order so they'll show up older than this one.

Munich Foods

Augustiner Bräustuben serves up a more authentic Bravarian experience than the Hafbrauhaus. You can get great beer and large portions of food here for reasonable prices.

I sat at a table with an older German couple. They did not speak English but through the universal sign language of smiling, nodding and pointing I was recommended this beer: Augustiner Edelstoff. It's a lighter sweeter beer and the old man was drinking it.

I ordered the Bravarian specialty pan: crispy pork knuckle, pork roast, duck and sausages served with dumplings and red cabbage. The German lady I sat with motioned it was really big to which I smiled broadly; exactly what my fatass wants. =)

All gone. What a fatass.

I even ordered another beer. Yes, amazing isn't it? Look, you can't go to a beer house and not order beer!

When the band finishes playing a song they raise a glass to each other and the crowd and drink. They got refills frequently.

I actually went back to Augustiner on my last night in Munich. It was good! I met a nice Australian couple that told me they regretted not going back here on their 2nd night so I decided to learn from their mistake. I learned later that on their third night they went back to Augustiner before moving on to their next stop.

This time I ordered the weinersnitchel. I had my first one in Thailand of all places and had been craving a real one for almost two years. Well I finally had a real one and I must say I think the ones I had in Thailand were better. This was ok, but a little dry.


Vomit across the street from Augustiner... it's not mine!

I asked... what is this? The lady working there said: ham and cheese. Great... ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

Carbonated apple juice and an chocolate eclair. I don't know why europeans like carbonated water and juice so much, it's gross.

On the way back from Dachau I was starving so I got a kebab.

Quarkballchen - sweet bravarian snow balls that I got in Fussen while visiting the castles there.

My last meal in Munich before leaving for Prague.

I bought this, it looked better than it actually was. Quite a few were of bad quality.

Not food but some brand trying to be fasionable.

A quick walk by Englischer Garden

Englischer Garden is a park in the middle of Munich. It's one of the larger urban parks in the world, bigger than New York's Central Park. It's recommended as one of the places to see in Munich, but it wasn't very high on my list. I had already booked my ticket to Prague and was planning to just relax on my last night in Munich but a Dutch guy I met named Robin convinced me to take a quick walk through part of the Garden before I left.

What convinced me to go was Robin told me he saw people surfing in the park earlier. By now it was already night and nobody would be surfing but I had to see the place where people surf. It turns out there's an artificial wave produced by a pump and people surf on that wave. Too bad I didn't see this during the day with people actually surfing.

The wave people in Munich surf on.

There are other attractions in the park: a Chinese Pagoda beer house, a Japanese Tea House and Garden built to celebrate the 1972 Olympics, people sun bathing in the nude during the spring time, and more. I'll let you look that up in wikipedia.

Anyway, I didn't see much, but I'm glad I got to see the wave where people surf.

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle

So a side trip from Munich that's highly recommended by everyone is a trip to see Neuschwanstein Castle. I remember on guy in particular, a Japanese America I ran into from West LA (sawtelle area) was raving about it, you can't miss it he said! The reason this castle is so popular is because this is the castle that the Walt Disney castle is modeled after. 'Mad' King Ludwig II (he wasn't actually insane) of Braveria had the castle built as his retreat, however he died under mysterious circumstances and so the castle was never finished. Close by Neuschwanstein is Hohenschwangau castle which is where Ludwig II grew up. Both are open to the public.

You can get there from Munich by just going to the train station and telling information you want a trip to "the castle". They will know what you mean and can book the round trip for you to Fussen, the town where the castles are located. Once there head to the ticket area, just follow the crowd. To go inside the castles you'll need to buy the tour tickets. They are marked for entry at specific times so make sure you get there at your specified time. The ticket agent will help you make sure you have enough time between tour times. Bring your student ID, you get a nice discount.

I grew up and spend the majority of my life in Southern California so I've pretty much been freezing my ass off while in Europe. You can call me wuss but I'm just used the weather being sunny and warm. The rest of you are just jealous. Anyway, the reason I brought up the weather is because I didn't check it before going so imagine my surprise when I saw snow outside while on my way to Fusen. It wasn't really surprise so much as a feeling of oh crap! However that feeling lasted only a split second as I began to look at all the snow covered homes we passed. Maybe this is pretty mundane to people from areas that snow but for me this was new and it was amazing. Yes I've seen snow before, like at Big Bear, but it's nothing like this. After that I got really excited... wow Neuschwanstein is going to look amazing with the snow! Man, I must be really lucky.

On the way to Fussen.
I'm not used to seeing things like this.

Once we reached Fusen I exited the train to see how cold it was outside. It was snowing! Like actual snow flakes were falling. I've never been outside while it was actually snowing. The excitement of snow caused me for forget the cold outside for a second as I proceeded to be an idiot and catch snow flakes with my tongue. I know, I know, how old am I? That's what kids do. Yeah, yeah, well I've never had the opportunity to do so before so whatever! I also threw a few snow balls... Anyway the cold. Honestly, it was cold, but I didn't feel that much colder than I was in Munich, the only difference this time was I was trudging around in snow. That said, I regularly felt like I froze my ass off in Munich so that's not saying much.

Outside Fussen, not far from the train station.

Hohenschwangau Castle

In between Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein

All the walking around in the cold and snow made me hungry. Luckily some dude was selling sausages. One please!


These fried doughnut like things were hot, sugary and good. I already had that sausage before this, so I'm just being a fatass. I got a second helping later too.

So remember how I got all excited about the snow and thinking I was really lucky? Yeah... now remember how I said it was still actually snowing while I was there? Yeah... This was my view of the castle.

There's a castle in this picture. Really! You just have to trust me.

Yeah... what the hell?!?! You can't even see the freaking castle! My pictures look like crap. Man, I went all this way to see fog. Here's what I thought I was gonna see:
I thought I was going to see this.

Picture from Go there for awesome pictures of what I could not see.

Here are my crappy pictures of Neuschwanstein.

I dunno exactly what these kids were building just outside the castle but it doesn't look like a snowman to me.

Oh well, who knows, maybe some day I will go back and visit Neuschwanstein some day. All I can say is if I go back it better be sunny with clear skies.

On the way back to Munich I was lucky enough to sit next to this. Gross. This Vietnamese lady decided to sit next to me and that it would be cool to take her shoes and socks off prop her nasty feet next to me. Not cool. This lasted basically the whole trip back.