Eurotrip 2019 - Munich to Zurich
Nathaniel and I saved up a bit of PTO so we could spend a couple weeks in Europe, and boy was this one a whirlwind!
We landed in Munich, nice and early in the day. It was quite easy to find the train from the airport to the city, and I’m so glad we got off the train were we did! It was right in Marienplatz, the plaza where the Glockenspiel is! As we came up the stairs from the underground station, bells were chiming - it was seriously like a movie!
Our hotel wasn’t far, so we walked and stashed our bags, then walked back to the plaza to grab a bite to eat. While we were eating, the Glockenspiel chimed again, and the figures inside even moved! It’s like a huge cuckoo clock (without the bird), and was a lot of fun to watch from our table!
Next we started to walk toward Englischer Garten, at a somewhat leisurely pace so we could look around as we went. We saw a lot of interesting buildings, some lion statues outside the Residenz that people touch for good luck, and even heard some live cello music in a pavilion in Hofgarten that was decorated with seashells!
When we got to the park, we stumbled on surfers riding this standing wave that comes in to the river at the edge of the park. It’s funny what you find when you don’t have any agenda. We got some fun pictures and continued through the park. We got to a biergarten that had a Chinese pagoda to sit under (I had done research this and this was our destination in the park). We sat and shared a giant stein of beer, then walked back through town to our hotel to check in.
The next morning we headed to Marienplatz again to get breakfast, and to get some pictures in front of the Glockenspiel without a bunch of tourists - it didn’t go off that early, but there were hardly any people, so it worked out fine.
We then checked out of our hotel, walked to the train station and rented a car! We drove a LOT on this trip. That day we drove to Neuschwanstein Castle along the Romantic Road, which brought us through some super cute towns. I highly recommend if you’re driving in the area. While we were driving, we listened to an episode of What You Missed In History Class about King Ludwig who built the castle, which was a fun way to prepare for our visit. Parking near the castle was a bit crazy, but we got in and started walking. We didn’t go in the castle (they were sold out until late afternoon, and we didn’t want to wait), so we just walked to view the castle. There are SO MANY PEOPLE here, so be warned that getting a nice picture without people will be difficult. We didn’t go to the bridge with the best vantage point, but we did get some really nice pictures from a couple other locations. Had we had more time (and had I realized that so much walking/hiking could be involved), we would have taken a longer hike in the area. Guess we’ll just have to go back sometime 😉
We left and drove to Zurich - we even were in Austria for a brief moment, but we didn’t stop because we didn’t even know the route was going to go that way!
Driving on country roads and highways isn’t so bad. The road discipline (especially in Germany) is great - left lane is just for passing, etc. But the city driving is a bit more intimidating. The signs look funny and the streetlights aren’t where you’d expect them to be, but Nathaniel was such a trooper and got us to a parking garage super close to our hotel in Zurich safe and sound. Getting out of the garage on foot was confusing - we ended up going up several flights of stairs and popped out near homes and a tiny park. It would have been more enjoyable without our suitcases, but it was cute! Eventually we got our bearings and went to check in to our hotel. The location was great - right next to the Limmat river and their downtown area - but it was above a bar so it was a little loud at night.
After cleaning up a little, we walked to dinner nearby, and after dinner we walked around a bit - it’s very pretty by the river at night! We went back to our hotel to grab our cameras to take night pictures over the river. Nathaniel got some very pretty ones 😍. We also saw piles of metal fences ready to be set up, and realized that we happened to pick the same weekend as the Zurich Ironman to visit! Luckily we didn’t get trapped by any racers!
The next day we started wandering around and ended up going into a couple cathedrals (one of which, Predigerkirche, is now part of a library). We also had to stop by H&M because Nathaniel forgot to pack pants.
We didn’t do too much other than eat and explore on foot, but we stayed along the Limmat most of the time, got some great pictures, and hung out where we could see people jumping into the river(s), swimming and rafting. We also stopped in a store called Musik Hug because they had a bunch of Steinways, including a gorgeous natural wood grand which I wish I could (a) fit into my house and (b) afford.
We also grabbed gelato and chocolate while we were out, then headed back to our hotel to change for dinner. I made a GORGEOUS silk dress (blog to come) that this weather and city were be perfect for, so once we were ready, I made Nathaniel be my photographer along the river so I could get some photos for my blog. He is such a sweet guy for putting up with me! 😉
The next morning we had breakfast, saw some swans and hit the road!