This was my busiest and probably most exciting week yet since my parents came to visit me! Monday was a prep-day for my parents’ arrival. Since Kacper’s school friend was visiting from Berlin, a few of us went to an all-you-can-eat sushi place for lunch on Tuesday, and in the afternoon I finally had a bureaucratic appointment for my residency permit, something I’ve been waiting for since I arrived. In the evening a bunch of us watched Frozen and Frozen 2 in the TV room.
The first place we headed once my parents got into Munich was to Roncalli.
After helping carry suitcases to Roncalli earlier in the day Kacper and my parents got to really meet each other during dinner our first night.
Obviously, I was really happy to see my parents again. And they were happy to see me, too.
I exposed my parents to a variety of Munich’s beers. Here we are enjoying a Weißbier, or wheat beer, which is always served in signature tall and curvy glasses.
We walked through the Königsplatz almost every day.
Even though it's not time for Oktoberfest, I brought my parents to Theresienwiese, where the famous festival is held.
The best way to meet people in Germany, in this case Kacper’s brother and his girlfriend, is with a beer in hand!
Oberammergau is a quaint Southern Bavarian town famous for its performance of the Passion Play. Schloss Linderhof is a palace located only a short distance from Oberammergau. I’ve created a separate slideshow dedicated to this scenic day trip here.
The Temple of Diana in the Hofgarten is a perfect backdrop for photos.
The Antiquarium in the Residence Palace was pretty breathtaking, especially since as we walked into this grand hall, a string quartet was playing classical music.
The Residence Palace was enormous, and every room was uniquely extravagant and grandiose.
Marienplatz is impressive both in the sunshine and under moonlight.
There was a festival in Königsplatz that included this vibrant Ferris Wheel.
I treated my parents to a typical Bavarian Weißwurst breakfast. Unfortunately, being the first time I boiled the sausages by myself, I let the water boil too strong, causing the sausage to prematurely burst out of the casing.
My second visit to Dachau Concentration Camp was just as poignant as the first. If you are interested in reading more about the camp and my first experience visiting the memorial site, click here.
The ashes of Dachau’s victims were buried just beyond the crematorium. Today there are monuments commemorating the victims.
Not too far from Roncalli, we enjoyed a walk to Schloss Nymphenburg.
Peeking through the trees, Schloss Nymphenburg commands the view at the end of the canal.
The gardens of Schloss Nymphenburg appeal to locals and tourists alike.
On Monday, without rain in the forecast, we travelled south to hike in the mountains. More Alpine photos of our excursion can be found here.
Summer flowers were in full bloom throughout the Altstadt.
A trip to Munich isn’t complete without stopping in Marienplatz to see the “Rathaus,” or “town hall,” and its famous Glockenspiel.
We grabbed a quick but tasty lunch in the Viktualienmarkt.
My parents have been to the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh, but now they can say they’ve been to the original!
We had a beer in the Hofbräuhaus in the afternoon to avoid the jam-packed dinner crowd.
Regulars have a spot reserved to store and lock their Bierkrug on site.
We had a pleasant evening picnic with a fellow Fulbrighter and her husband in the English Garden.
On our last day in Munich, we headed a little outside of the city to the Starnberger See. We chose a spot near Schloss Possenhofen.
As our time came to an end in Munich, we partook in a local ritual of enjoying a beer on the Olympiaberg to watch the sunset over the city.
As always, the view over the Olympic Park was stunning
While this spot might not be at the top of a tourist’s list, it’s pretty memorable.
It was really a lovely closing moment in Munich.
Wednesday was an emotional high of seeing my parents for the first time in months. Kacper and I met them at the main train station and took them and their bags back to Roncalli. Once there I gave them breakfast and showed them around. They enjoyed seeing where I live and meeting some of my floormates. Around noon we helped them check into their Airbnb and left them to get situated. In the evening we walked a little bit into the city and went out to eat.
Thursday was a gray and rainy day, but we were determined to see the city. I gave them a tour of the “Altstadt,” or historic city center. We had a Bavarian lunch, and later that night we got beers with Kacper, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend.
We took a day trip on Friday to the Southern Bavarian town of Oberammergau which is famous for its enactment of the Passion Play once a decade. The citizens of Oberammergau promised God that if He ended their suffering from the plague, they would reenact the Passion of Christ every 10th year. This tradition, since its origination in 1634, has had international acclaim and draw. From Oberammergau we took a short bus ride to Schloss Linderhof, a small summer palace in the Bavarian Alps built by King Ludwig II. Also known as the Swan King or the Fairy Tale King, Ludwig is famous for building luxurious castles and palaces, including his best-known Schloss Neuschwanstein, which I visited three years ago which you can read about and see pictures of here.
Since there was heavy rain on Saturday morning, my parents went to the National Socialism Documentation Center, which I have already been to twice. In the afternoon with clouds still in the sky, we toured the Munich Residence, the palace for Bavarian royalty located in the city center. It takes up an entire city block, and we got to see about 130 opulently decorated rooms. That evening Kacper met us for burgers at a restaurant called Peter Pane.
We enjoyed a casual Sunday morning, and I treated my parents to a traditional Bavarian Weißwurst breakfast: “white” sausages, pretzel, sweet mustard, and wheat beer. The Weißwurst also has a mythical origin, which you can read more about here. After eating we made our way to Dachau Concentration Camp. For me, it was interesting to go back for a second time and pay attention to different elements. You can read about my first visit to the site here. In the evening I also treated my parents to another meal in my standard rotation, “Ofenkäse,” or “oven cheese,” which is basically a quick, cheap, and easy version of fondue.
We took another day trip on Monday to the South Bavarian town of Bayrischzell, so that we could hike the Wendelstein mountain. A post dedicated to pictures from this scenic excursion can be found here. We ordered delivery to meet our appetite for dinner when we got back.
On Tuesday we spent more time in the Altstadt and checked some more Bavarian essentials off our list – we had a Leberkässemmel, a Bavarian meatloaf sandwich, for lunch in the Viktualienmarkt and drank a beer in the Hofbräuhaus. That evening we met up with another Fulbrighter and her husband for wine and snacks in the English Garden.
We spent our last day in the Munich area just outside the city center, along the shores of the Starnberger See. We set up camp in the shadow of Schloss Possenhofen, a castle where Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary, better known as Sisi, grew up. There we enjoyed the sun, played Rummy 500, and swam. After a short walk, we headed to the nearby town of Starnberg, where we got ice cream. That evening my parents and I got Döner for dinner, and then Kacper joined us for a beer while watching the sunset from the Olympiaberg.