Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Last Night in Munich

What can I say about Munich? It hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible.

Monday I tried to get my Russian visa (as I mentioned) and found out that I can’t do it here. It takes two weeks and they have to keep my passport. I’m not ok with that. I’m still trying to find out if there is anywhere else that might be able to do it with a day’s turn around so I’m not without my passport, but I don’t know if it’s going to be possible, quite unfortunate. My experience going to the consulate was quite interesting though. I planned to arrive first thing in the morning in case it took a long time, so I got there about half an hour after they opened. There was a mass of people standing outside the door and all of them were trying to talk to one official looking guy who was standing by the door with a clipboard. Since I don’t speak Russian or German I had no clue what anyone was saying and I felt like I was in the most unorganized chaos.

I had to push my way to the front of the crowd – only then to realize that there was a metal barrier separating the crowd from the official. It was weird. Anyway, I stood there awhile waiting to get the guys attention to ask him where I needed to go to apply for the visa but he kind of kept ignoring me. Finally he left and gave the clipboard to another guy who I was able to talk to. He sent me right into the office to window #3. I waited in line inside for about 20 minutes only to find out that it wouldn’t work. The guy looked at me like I was crazy for even thinking about it. He gave me paperwork to fill out in case I changed my mind and I left.

I hadn’t gotten much sleep on Sunday night, so after I got this news I was pretty upset and the lack of sleep wasn’t helping. I went to the grocery store to buy some food for lunch and then came back to the hostel and took a nap. I couldn’t think straight and I thought it might help. It did. I woke up feeling like I had a few next steps in place.

Monday afternoon Lisa (the girl I met at church) and I met up and went on a free walking tour of the city. It was very informative and stuff. I think my Berlin guide was a bit better, but even so, it was a good tour. We went by lots of buildings, statues, and monuments that I had seen, but didn’t know any history about. We also went to the Hofbrauhaus and saw the famous beer hall. After the tour, Lisa and I decided to get dinner at an Augustiner Braustuberl. It was pretty fun. The beer hall felt quite a bit more authentic and not so touristy (although I’m sure it was full of tourists) and we got a good deal on our dinner. She ended up coming back to my hostel for a few more beers and we chatted late into the night. It was fun and I enjoyed my time with her. I’m sure we’ll continue to be e-mail buddies.

Yesterday I got up (after limited sleep) and headed (via train) out to the town of Fussen where I bussed to the other side of the valley to visit the castles of King Ludwig II. I got back to Munich around 8pm and really just settled in for the night. The castles were fun to see. I didn’t bother to go in either of them, but enjoyed being outdoors in the Alps and just being outside on a gorgeous day! I definitely got my exercise! I also bought some apple strudel from a café/bakery in town that I ate on the train, without a fork. I’m that talented.

Today I went on a paid tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site as well as climbed the tower and visited St. Peter’s Church in town. It was another gorgeous day so I can’t complain too much. I’ll write more about Dachau in another blog. I think I have a lot to say about that one so I need a bit more time to process. After I got back from the site visit I went to St. Peter’s church in the center of town and climbed the tower. I also went into the church. It’s a beautiful church, but it didn’t have quite the same impact that several of the other churches have had on me. I’m not quite sure why.

I’m now back at the hostel gathering information and making plans for the next phases of my trip. Tomorrow I head to Vogtsburg where I will stay with my cousin’s friend for two nights. I am looking forward to some time out of the city and away from large crowds. It’ll be nice to just have some down time. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some laundry and sleep in a little and continue with my plan making. :)

I think that’s it for now. I’m excited for tomorrow; I have a Skype date with my friend Ashley. If you’d like to have a Skype date with me just let me know and we’ll set one up! :)

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