Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Munich, Germany 2/18 - 2/19

The last stop of our vacation was in Munich, Germany. There wasn't much that attracted us to the city from a tourist prospective (such as major landmark or skiing), so we let our stopover in the city be less then 24 hours.
On route by train from Austria to our last stop.
Direct train straight into Downtown Munich.

In order to make things easy, we booked a reasonably priced hotel walking distance from the Munich central train station. To our surprise, the room was quite nice. It was spacious (compared to our apartment in San Francisco) and decently decorated.
Larger than we expected

Once settled in, we popped out of the hotel for a traditional German experience: dinner at a beer hall. The hotel recommended a beer hall named Löwenbräukeller a short walk down the road and the place met our expectations - this voluminous and loud restaurant served local beer and good food.
I have no idea what this menu says.

Our flight departed in the late afternoon, leaving us time to explore the city in the morning. We tried to squeeze in one attraction that was recommended to us by a friend - the BMW Welch Factory Tour. We booked our tour for the earliest time in the morning in order to make our flight but our schedule was going to be tight. We dragged all of our luggage with us to the factory so we could head straight to the airport after the tour. Once at the front desk to check in for the tour, we learned that the tour was longer than we expected and since it was through the actual factory, we could not separate from the group to leave the tour early due to safety regulations. After heavy contemplation, we gave up our spots in the tour group. Time constraints would have been too tight and we were not willing to miss our flight home.
BMW Munich
Free storage lockers large enough to hold our luggage.
Contemplating what to do about the factory tour over a pretzel doughnut breakfast.

I guess not being able to take the BMW factory tour gives us an excuse to come back to Munich.

Instead of taking the factory tour, we spent a couple of hours at the BMW headquarters checking out their concept and high end cars. We also got an opportunity to see the BMW Museum. It was just enough to keep us entertained until we needed to head to the airport. Thankfully we didn't need to find a willing cab driver to take us and all of our stuff from the BMW building to the airport. A train station was a stone's throw from the headquarters' entrance and with only one transfer, we would be at the Munich International Airport. You have to love how well European cities link together destinations by train.
Electric Concept Car
Stylish transportation for India
1955 BMW

Once at the airport, we got into a heated discussion with a Lufthansa Baggage Check-In clerk. This woman wanted to charge us double price for checking in two snowboards even though they were in one case. No one else who worked at Lufthansa heard of this policy so we got off only paying for one snowboard case. Thank goodness! Note to self, don't fly Lufthansa with sport equipment. Once we got on board, it was a smooth trip directly to San Francisco.