MUNICH and SALZBURG: From lavish palaces to snow-capped peaks
Recently, I had two weeks off from working at my school for Easter Break. My good friend Maggie, whom I previously visited in Madrid last August, decided to use the holidays as a chance to visit me and see Germany for the first time. She originally wanted to visit Berlin, but since I had made two separate trips there in the last four months, we worked out a compromise: She would visit Berlin for a couple days while I had to work at my internship, then we would meet up in Munich.
Munich wasn't exactly a new destination for me, since I had visited it properly with my parents as well as made a quick trip down to see a concert during my study abroad in Germany three years ago. Still, since it had been a while I was looking forward to seeing the city again, as well as looking forward to getting to show Maggie what is undoubtedly the most beautiful of Germany's major cities.
Neither of us went into this trip with the intention of doing hardcore touristing. Moreover, our overall experience was marred by two unfortunate factors: the weather being largely uncooperative and me getting sick. So frankly, from a blogging perspective, we didn't really do that much (which I don't have a problem with, since the most important thing was that the two of us got to see each other). As such, I thought that instead of doing a straightforward write-up of where we went and what we saw, I'd focus on letting my pictures tell most of the story.
The first day our trip, I arrived in Munich around noon, and Maggie arrived a couple hours later. Once she came in, we went out into Munich's Altstadt. The weather wasn't the best, but at least it wasn't raining. We walked around the Rathaus and neighboring sights, and then worked our way to the Viktualienmarkt, Munich's open-air market.
Looking at the forecast for our trip, it was clear that this was going to be the only truly nice day while we were in Munich. We had already decided we wanted to go to Salzburg so that Maggie could say she had been to Austria as well as Germany, so we decided to make this day our Salzburg day.
During my trip to Munich three years ago, I also took a day trip to Salzburg with my parents. But I was particularly excited to see this city again, because I remembered it being such an incredibly beautiful, elegant city. It's an easy, two-hour train ride outside of Munich (by regional rail), and I highly recommend a trip to Salzburg for anyone visiting Munich. We were definitely not disappointed in our trip.
One of the most prominent features of Salzburg is the Festung Hohensalzburg, a fortress perched imposingly on a hill, looking over the Alstadt. We walked up to the fortress but decided we didn't feel like paying to enter the grounds. Instead, we kept walking over to the neighboring hills, and we were rewarded with some gorgeous views.
Overall, our day in Salzburg was about as fabulous as it could have been (excluding the nightmare that was trying to get back to Munich that night, but that's neither here nor there). My love for that city has been thoroughly cemented, and anyone traveling in this area should absolutely take some time to visit Salzburg.
On the third day of our trip, the weather was at its worst -- grey, rainy and dull. We needed to find an indoor option for that day, so we decided to head to the Residenz, the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchy. This was, yet again, something I had done before with my parents, but I didn't mind doing it again. I'm kind of a sucker for palaces and lush, extravagant interiors, and the Residenz does not disappoint on this front.
Our last day was only a partial day, since our train was leaving that afternoon. Still we took advantage of our four hours or so that day to make one final stop at the Englischer Garten, Munich's gorgeous, sprawling park. Once again, the weather wasn't terribly nice so we didn't really get to see the park at its loveliest or most lively. Still, the cool temperatures didn't dissuade the surfers on the Eisbach. That's right -- surfers. In Munich. Part of one of the rivers that runs through the park features an artificial wave were surfers can be seen testing their skills pretty much year-round.
And that, more or less, was my trip to Munich and Salzburg. We did more than was covered by this post (including a foray to a surprisingly tasty vegan restaurant and perhaps drinking a beer or three), but in this case, I think the pictures tell the most interesting story. There wasn't a lot "new" this trip, but I had a wonderful time getting to revisit one of Germany's loveliest cities and look forward to my next trip down.