Last night we had a great welcome dinner with the 2 softball teams and one baseball team that is all traveling together. A group of us stay up all night drinking and getting to know each other. I must say the Wisconsin girls made a great impression and we were the only girls left at the end of the night! So since we missed the tours yesterday because of our flights, today we got to spend the entire day in Munich! We started off with a bike tour of the city and got to see a ton of places. Here is a picture of part of my group before we headed out.
Almost immediately we ran into a half marathon going on through the city. Me of course had to get off my bike to go cheer on some runners. Near the running route was the city centre. In the centre there was an old building called the Neues Rathaus. Many years ago, people danced in front of this building because they believed it would eradicate the plague. Fortunately for them, penicillin was discovered recently after. So in hopes to continue the eradication of the plague, people gather every 7 years and dance in the centre.
The next stop was the Haufbros House, the largest beer garden in Germany. In the old days, people went outside to pee in the gutters in the alley. However, people were dying in the cold Germany winters, so the deer gardens made troughs under the tables so people could stay right inside!
The next picture is in a square with a statue of Max Josephid and the Bavarian National Opera House. On the top of the opera house is a gold painting. This was strategically placed so that when the sun set in the west, opposite of it, the gold paint was glisten in the square. The opera house was built a total of 4 times. Twice it burnt down during construction, once it built down when it was made of wood, and another time once it was built with stone it was destroyed in war. Max’s son was Ludwig, whose wedding lasted weeks and began the start of Octoberfest.
Here is photo of us biking around one of the 7 royal courtyards.
Mariah is here rubbing one of the 2 lion’s face outside of an old government building for good luck. A teenage boy wrote an anonymous letter to the king telling him he was a horrible king and was disrespecting the church with all his womanizing. The boy turned himself in for a reward. The king pardoned him to avoid an uproar from the boy’s hundreds of supporters. So the boy left the king with a reward and his life and rubbed the lion’s face for good luck.
Also, we got to walk on one of the last streets of gold in Munich, where the streets used to be paved in gold. Once the economy hit a low patch, people realized how valuable this gold was and started destroying the roads.
This small sliver of gold remains near the St. Kajetan-theatinerkirche Church. This yellow church was built in honor of a king’s son. The king and his wife had 7 daughters. The king and his supporters prayed in the courtyard for the king to have a son and the king promised God if he was given a son he would built the most beautiful church the world has ever seen. After the birth of their 8th daughter, then the queen finally had their son. The next year the building began. It took over a century for this church to be completed.
On our bike journey we got the chance to see a piece of the Berlin wall. Here is our awesome tour guide Matt touching the wall. After World War II, pieces of the wall were sent to other countries in Europe.
We got to stop for lunch at the 2nd largest beer garden in Mein Englisher Garten. The Mein Englisher Garten is 20% larger than Central Park in New York. Here is my friend Steph and I with our giant pretzels and beer for lunch.
Next on our way back through the park a few of us brave ones decided to take a little dip in the Ice Bach River….the name was way was true that is for sure! The water that feeds this river comes straight from the Alps. The current was so strong it pulled us down the river! A little bit farther up the river was a group of surfers river surfing!
We ended our tour and used the remaining time to go get a beer at Haufbros House. Our tour was so much fun! We played mullet and stranger danger games! Mullets are popular in Germany due to the Hoff! Tonight a group of us all are taking the tran downtown to do some shopping and go to some local pubs and clubs! So far I am having a great time and wish we could spend some more time in Germany. However, tomorrow morning we leave for Prague and will get our first team practices in.