I told Mike A the next time he heads home to LA, instead of driving he should just take public transportation. If you have have $45.25 to spend and 30 hours to burn, you too can get from San Francisco to Los Angeles only using public transportation. CalStreets has the full, detailed itinerary.
We arrived in Munich on Wednesday morning and thankfully Scott & Erik were at the airport waiting for us. There was a little scare because Scott wasn’t sure he was going to make the flight. We traveled to the city on the S-Bahn and stayed at the Euro Youth Hostel. Shortly after Brandon, Neeta & Eric arrived on the Euro Star and we all caught up together at the hostel. Scott is very familiar with the town so we explored the city with his help. The first “we have to go” destination was the Hofbräuhaus to eat snitchel, drink mass (liter beers) and listen to polka music. This wasn’t the only stop, but I’m sure glad it was the first!
Afterwards we headed over to Hirschgarten, the largest beer garden in Munich. It is called the Hirschgarten because they have deer in the park (Hirsch = deer, Garten = Garden) which we saw walking up. Here we discovered some of the best beer in the world called Radler which is a 1/2 pilsner beer and 1/2 lemon-lime soda. Sooooo good. Last, we went to visit Schloss Nymphenburg to see one of Munich’s largest palaces.
On Thursday Scott took off to go to Fröttstädt, but the rest of us stayed in town for more sightseeing. We started off by seeing the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz, or center square of Munich. The whole thing is 11 minutes long and we missed the first 7 minutes, but it’ so slow we still got to see the good part at the end. Then we took a Mike’s Bikes tour through the city which was a great way to really get to see the city. After the tour we did a mini bar-crawl going back to the Hofbräuhaus, then an Augustiner-Bräu house and finally the hostel bar.
We arrived in Fröttstädt after taking the ICE train from Munich. The train goes soooo fast; I was doing some quick conversions and figured we were going between 150-180 MPH. We met Stefanie’s family who lived in former East Germany. They were so much fun and hosted a Polterabend which is a party the night before the wedding where everyone breaks porcelain to bring good luck to the couple. They also had another tradition where a young tree was placed outside and everyone tied white bows to it to wish the couple well.
Before the wedding we went to Wartburg castle to take pictures. Today’s history lesson: Wartburg castle is where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German. You could see for miles on top of the tower so we took lots of pictures of the countryside. On the way home Frank gave us a little tour of the autobahn as we hit 200 km/h (125 mph).
The wedding was beautiful. It was a small ceremony at the city hall in Waltershausen on a perfect day. During the ceremony I was to hold the rings and as a joke on Scott, we replaced them with condoms. His face turned white as a sheet when he opened the box! We had also hidden the rings in a Kinder Egg, so Scott & Stefanie both opened the eggs to find their rings. The reception was very fun to because right when we got there they had to saw a log together. Then I had to make a speech in German & English to the everyone, which I was so nervous about, but I ended up nailing it! Here it is…
Den Weg, den ein Mann geht um eine tolle Frau zu finden…
(Ladies and gentleman… The distance a man will go to find a good woman...)
Scott ist um die halbe Welt gereist, um seine bezaubernde Braut Stefanie zu finden.
(Scott traveled half way around the world to find his lovely bride Stefanie.)
Wir kennen Stefanie nicht sehr gut, aber eins wissen wir mit Sicherheit.
(We don’t know Stefanie very well, but we know one important thing about Stefanie.)
Sie hat Scott gluecklicher gemacht, als wir ihn je zuvor gesehen haben.
(She has made Scott happier then we have ever seen him. We wish you the very best.)
Lasst uns anstossen auf Stefanie und Scott, wir wuenschen Euch das allerbeste fuer Eure gemeinsame Zukunft!
(To Stefanie and Scott, we wish you the very best. We toast you, and wish you both love and happiness.)
The rest of the night was great; we danced, took shots and partied celebrating Scott and Stefanie!
After the wedding we drove with Tobias to his home town to celebrate his masters thesis completion. Tobias lives in Dublin but is hopefully moving to San Francisco within the next year and working for Google. We caught up with the Marmann’s (my German family) at Weingut Burggarten (his uncle’s winery) and all went to a street festival in Reil. The night ended up at the “magic cellar” where LOTS of shots were taken. The next day we took boat ride down the Mosel and went through a lock!
We also went back to Reil and had Spaghetti Eis which is ice cream pressed to look like spaghetti! Sooooo good. Last we went and visited our friend Timo who lives in Briedel. Timo’s family owns a winery called Zum Eulenturm and has been making wine since 1525. They also burn schnapps so he gave us a tour of his family’s cellar. They have a huge copper distiller that boils alcohol and produces methanol, schnapps and a very fine alcohol used in perfume. We sat outside and tasted wine while watching the sun set.
Today we leave for Germany to celebrate Scott’s wedding to Stefanie (and for some exciting vacation). Scott is getting married to Stefanie on August 30, 2008 near Froettstaedt, Germany. He needs a little German 101 from his friends, so prior to the wedding we’re going to Munich and drink German beer at the Hofbrauhaus (because this is what all Germans do, right?).