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Global travel blog that features travel stories on living, traveling and growing up in cities, villages and towns around the world!
You get the best things in life when you least expect them. My travel to Munich was one such experience, one I will truly treasure all my life. Although I had been to Germany a couple of times before for business; it was mainly restricted to the city life of Frankfurt. But this trip was not a business trip. I wanted to see more of Germany, so I embarked on my journey not knowing what to expect.
In the summer of 2011, I boarded an Etihad Airways flight to Munich. It was early in the morning when I landed. I hailed an airport taxi and made my way towards Hotel Park Inn where I had booked lodging for the next three days. My agenda on the first day was to visit the different places around the city – and what better way to do that than to take the Hop-on Hop-off bus.
I approached the reception and was greeted by a friendly hotel staff.
“Morgen,” he wished me.
“Morning, how do I reach Bahnhofplatz?” I replied.
He was prompt in showing me the directions and also handed me a leaflet of a guided tour of Munich, or more precisely one of its castles. I took the metro and alighted at Munich station. I then boarded the bus after buying tickets. As we passed through the city, I realized that it was very clean and the greenery all around made it more beautiful.
One of the places on my list was the famous Olympic Park, which was the site for the 1972 Olympic Games. We could see many joggers and walkers doing their daily exercise routines around the park. The park was huge, but it appeared to be safe. I went about taking some pictures of the park and the stadium where the games took place.
The bus takes you to 12 different places. By late afternoon, I was back at the Bahnhofplatz. I then happened to see the leaflet that I carried from the hotel regarding the castle tour. Wow! It was the castle that I had seen on the Disney logo many times.
“Sir, where can I find the Gray Line booking office?” I asked a gentleman standing besides me.
He pointed towards the end of the street and showed me the signage of Gray Line Tours. I realized that the people of Munich were very pleasant and helpful. I proceeded to the booking office and booked myself a ticket for the castle tour. I was asked to be there at 08:30 am in the morning.
I was now hungry and it had been a long day so I began looking around for options. I came across a restaurant that sold Turkish kebabs. I ordered a doner kebab to fill up my stomach and I was ready to return back to my hotel.
The next morning, I reached the pickup point. We were a small group of about 20 people who were going to take the castle tour. Our tour guide introduced herself and then proceeded to give us more details of our trip. As the bus left Munich city and made its way towards the countryside, we could see the beautiful German Alps.
The Linderhof Castle was smaller in size and stood against the backdrop of the Alps. After a guided tour of the castle, it was time for a photo shoot. The place is very scenic and almost everyone from the bus were clicking pictures. After this, our next destination was a small village called as ‘Oberammergau’. It was again time for some photos and a quick stop at the store. Since it was a Sunday, some of the shops were closed and the village was very quiet. We were then taken to a restaurant. The roasted duck along with mashed potatoes was very yummy.
After reenergizing myself with a tasty afternoon meal, I made my way towards the Neuschwanstein castle. It was a good 30 minute walk up the mountain. The castle stood out from amongst the trees. We were taken around the castle by our guide with a narration of the life and times of King Ludwig II. Once we were out of the castle, we were taken to the bus and by 6 o’clock in the evening we were back in Munich.
On day three, I had half a day to enjoy before I had to board my flight. I decided to go to the ‘Marienplatz,’ which is an iconic landmark in Munich. There are stores, restaurants, the city hall and lots of people moving around. Around noon, I had some light sandwiches and proceeded towards the airport.
On my flight back home, I thought about this trip and wondered if this was one of the best journeys that I ever had. And now after all these years, when I think back to my travels to Munich; it definitely was and is one of the best travel experiences that I had. Munich, hope to see you soon!
For more European journeys, check out Basel, Switzerland.