Munich reminds me a lot of Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest, except it’s the real deal. I was there during Frühlingsfest, which is about as close to Oktoberfest as you can get outside of the fall months. The weather was beautiful when I was there, and it was great just to walk around Englischer Garten and enjoy the sunshine after a couple of rainy days in Salzburg.
While I was in Munich, I took the advice of my middle-aged German hostel roommate and, rather than going to Starnbergersee as I had planned, went to see Kochel am See and Walchensee. Both offered a nice break from city surroundings: crisp, clean air, crystal clear lakes, and snow-covered mountains all around. I took a rowboat out onto Walchensee for an hour and got in a good workout too.
I went to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle on my last day in Munich. The whole area is really nice — the Alpensee is right there, and Hohenschwangau Castle is within sight too.
After all of the walking in Kochel am See, Walchensee, and Hohenshwangau, I was ready to take it easy in Lindau. It’s a charming summer town: the island sits right on the edge of the Bodensee, and you have a view of the Alps all around the lake. It was the perfect place to just unwind.
I only spent two and a half days in Switzerland while visiting a friend, but we packed a lot into the the time we had. All in all, we split our time between St. Gallen, the Appenzeller mountain region, Zurich, and Lucerne.
St. Gallen’s famed Abbey is spectacular. The church’s domed ceilings are covered with intricate paintings that must have taken countless hours to complete.
Our time in the Appenzeller region was spent hiking from Wasserauen to Seealpsee. Emerging from the forested hills to see a striking panorama of mountains stretch in front of you is quite the experience.
Zurich surprised me right from the start. We stepped off the train, and there was a national beach volleyball tournament happening inside the train station. Walking along the river to Lake Zurich and back, it was cool to get a glimpse of the city’s architecture before heading on to Lucerne.
Lucerne was packed with tourists, but the crowdedness was even more amplified by a citywide run that was going on that day. Still, it’s a beautiful city. Aside from the wooden covered bridge that it’s known for, Lucerne boasts a good view of the mountains and a nice lake too.
Things I’ve seen:
What I’m listening to:
Shad & DJ T.Lo – Boarding Pass
Chance the Rapper – “Everything’s Good”
Kanye West feat. Mos Def – “Goodnight”
Rapsody – “The Drums”
Best local food I’ve eaten:
Fried pork knuckle with potatoes and sauerkraut in Munich. The meal itself was delicious, but the most memorable bit was the company I shared it with. I went to a German restaurant and asked for a spot for one, and to my surprise, the waiter sat me at a table with two elderly Müncheners who hardly spoke a word of English between the two of them. It was the perfect baptism by fire for practising my German.