Europe 2.0 – Day 35 1 July

Last day in Munich!!! Oh boy, I was so excited to leave because one, our landlord doesn’t like us (claimed that we flooded his bathroom – he actually says ‘float’ instead – which is untrue but nonetheless we have apologized to him). Two, YS and I realised that we could really have used a hostel instead of Airbnb. YS prefers the former because she likes how the busy vibe gives her security, while I feel that an Airbnb at the price of a hostel is usually quite far away from the centre. (Ours was about 20 mins away; not very inconvenient per se but we were constantly worried stricken by taking advantage of the honesty-based transport system. Why won’t they just put gantries?) Three, we both can’t wait to eat gelato! 🙂

We woke up bright and early to visit the Olympic Park with our packed breakfasts but lo and behold, it was kinda underwhelming as compared to what the reviewers on Tripadvisor say. I expect to see some monuments about the 1972 summer Olympic games that took place there.

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Map of the whole park

But I digress. Upon further reading, I realised that there is actually some historical significance here. Firstly, it was the Olympics of Peace and Joy, a culmination of Germany’s efforts to show that they welcome peace and harmony after the 1936 Nazi Olympic games held in Berlin. When Hitler was in control, he made use of the Olympic games to show the might of the Aryan race and deceive the world about the situation during the third reich by removing anti-Jewish banners. Secondly, a Palestinian terrorist group, Black September, kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes in exchange for freeing of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. All hostages were killed in this incident and it was later spun off into movies, such as One Day in September, an Oscar winning film.

Besides from seeing the Olympiaturm, nothing else about this place was very memorable. We witnessed the aftermath of a carnival that took place the previous night and I was kinda salty about that because I had read about it but simply forgot to bring YS here!!! It would have been fun. So we just walked about and enjoy the simple things of a European park that we wouldn’t be able to experience locally – like being splashed on by a dog drying itself, breathing in fresh air, sitting on grass, watching the serene lakes, walking without sweating, enjoying the uninterrupted peace etc.

We later walked to Schloss Nyphemburg, which was around 3km away (goodness me). Either way, there wasn’t any Bahn stations reliably close toit so walking would necessarily have been involved. YS and I shared about prospects of our friends’ love lives, including me (since I was single and she was attached).  It was pretty relaxing as we were walking to the Schloss, along a stream, without any rush. Alas, we arrived at a perfect timing because right after we got our tickets, a longggg queue formed behind us.

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Way too huge?

My first impression of Schloss Nyphemburg, unfortunately, was ‘Not another palace?!’. But well, slightly different from the other palaces, like Versailles in France and Schloss Schobrunn which was modelled after it, Nyphemburg was larger and more sparse in its front and backyards, most likely because there were so many HUGE lakes around it. And they did not grow rows of popsicle trees, although sculptures of Greek mythology did line the paths. Gondola services in the lakes were even offered to the public as that was how the King used to travel from one palace to another!

As for exhibits inside the palace, I can only comment on what we saw in the main building as we did not purchase tickets for the side attractions (such as the carriage museum – we were so exhausted of integrating stuff into our heads by then). We did rent an audio guide though. As compared to other palaces that we’ve been to, Nyphemburg’s interiors were more modest. There was no hall of mirrors like Versailles, or Oriental wallpaper in Schobrunn. YS and I were also so tired from listening (and waking up early) that we had to sit down now and then to re-energize. Overall, there wasn’t much to enjoy in its interiors as much as its exteriors. And my friend who have been to Nyphemburg too, did not even purchase an admission ticket!

We overspent our time at the palace (because of taking so many breaks haha) and had to rush to the supermarkets, where we’ll be doing our final shopping.

SUPERMARKET SHOPPING IN GERMANY IS EXXCELLENTTT!

There was such a LARGE variety of quality products to buy. I found this complex that housed 3 supermarkets, Spar, Lidl and something. I bought chocolates, alcohol, 2 tubs of 500g CHERRY TOMATEN (MY FAV), and with all these in tow, I had one more thing to tick off my bucket list – to drink at the Augustineer beer garden. Unfortunately, we were in such a rush and they only had beers in 1L quantity so I didn’t get any drinks… (AWWW)

Finally, we made a mad dash to the train station and retrieved our bags. Only 30 minutes left to boarding!!! YS and I were panicking as she had to complete her nightly rituals of washing and brushing, while I, on the other hand, was more flexible about them. So she scrambled to find a public toilet while I looked after her things. When it was my turn, I went to buy a snow globe of the Neuschwanstein castle, YS’ favourite, as a parting gift for when we arrive in Singapore.

Up the train we go, and it was time to meet our room mates for the night! We were bunking with 3 other Korean girls, who knew one another since primary school, and a friendly Norwegian man. (And…oops I forgot his name already! Let’s call him Mr N.)

I was trying to open my bottle of Augustineer beer which I thought I have already half-opened at a convenience store in the station, but it still clinged strongly enough to the bottle lid. I slammed the cap against edges of whatever I could find, and when it seemed like an Augustineer beer would elude me again, Mr N came to help. He was stronger and of course, the cap managed to come off. I shared the beer with him, and we began to learn of why he came here.

Mr and Mrs N were adventurers. They liked to hike and do so almost every year. Touristy attractions weren’t their thing; they enjoy pitching tents in the mountains (or some other place that was remote) and exploring the alpine region. And nope, no camper van involved. Mr and Mrs N lived like true, roaming settlers who stayed at whichever point they decided to rest for the day. Meals came out of mess tins, and directions were in the form of good old paper maps and compasses. Did I also mention that Mr N is an active members of the scouts? YS and I were so in awe!

Mr N also built the house which he and Mrs N (and her 2 children from a previous marriage) were staying in. They did not plan to have any children, another thing which I was envious of. (In fact, Mr N made a face when we popped that question.) From there, we shared about our childhoods and lives. Mr N was given many opportunities to explore the wild as a kid, because they lived in the quiet countryside. This was in stark contrast to us Singaporeans, whom we lamented had to go through different kinds of stressors every day. Well, the grass is always greener on the other side.

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