Tuesday began with croissants and coffee in the hotel room. The hotel is right next to the central Munich train station and there are all kinds of shops in the train station including a Starbucks and a nice bakery, so I walked over and brought back breakfast. We really like the Sofitel hotel for its location. It is a short walk from there to the Oktoberfest grounds, and only a little farther in the other direction to get to the Munich city center which was our Tuesday destination.
We walked along Bayerstrasse to the Karlsplatz. From there it is a pedestrian only street leading to the Marienplatz. Along this street we passed many vendor carts selling fruit, flowers and crafts. At one, Janet found a potholder she really liked. She would liked to have had two matching, but the vendor lady said it was one of a kind (until tomorrow I suppose). The Marienplatz is full of shops, cafes, tourists, and an occasional street performer. It is the location of the New Town Hall, which contains a famous Glockenspiel. We've been to Munich a couple of times before and never been in the Marienplatz when the Glockenspiel performed. We missed it this time too. :(
We visited several churches in central Munich including St. Michael's, St. Peter's, the Theatinerkirche and the Frauenkirche, which is one of the defining icons of the Munich skyline. We walked through the beautiful Hofgarten which was still in full bloom even this late in September. From there we walked to the English Garden where we paused to watch river surfers on the Eisbach. We continued across the Isar to the Angel of Peace monument which at 4km was as far as we ventured from our hotel. We started back but included a stop at the famed Hofbrauhaus for beer and Bavarian food. We then headed back to our hotel, but not to stay. We continued over to the Theresienwiese to check out Oktoberfest after dark.
The atmosphere in the beer tents after dark is quite different from our daytime visit. The music was louder and more contemporary. The crowds were thicker and rowdier. The tents were all standing room only. You couldn't find a seat without a reservation. We walked through most of the big tents and in some you could barely find room to squeeze between the other patrons. Everyone was standing on their seat, dancing or singing along with the band. It was quite a party. We eventually made our way back to the hotel and ordered room service for dinner.
Wednesday we checked out of our hotel in downtown Munich and took the train to the airport where we checked in to a hotel that was just a few minutes walk from the terminal. It was a nice hotel, but the internet connection there was really bad which is why this post is so delayed. We had a very nice dinner at the hotel restaurant. Thursday we left the hotel and checked in for the flight home. That was the only day it rained on the entire trip. We have been truly fortunate. Now we have a only a few days at home to catch up on things before we head out on our road trip. Watch in the days ahead for the first report on that trip.