Munich – the land of delicious sausages, pretzels, and beer!

I am impressed that people actually drink beer in the morning and it’s normal ☺ They also eat sausages anytime of day! Germans apparently live to work, in comparison with Spaniards, who work to live. The streets are pretty empty even though restaurants and bars seem full. It’s also weird to me that more Germans (and especially Austrians) smoke than other people in Western Europe. In Austria there are still smoking areas in bars and restaurants that are packed with people while the non-smoking parts are nearly empty. In Austria, people brought their picnic baskets with food to the beer garden and only buy the beer there. This concept reminded us of the sociedad gastronomica in Pais Vasco. The idea of eating with company (surrounded by others) seems to be important in multiple cultures.

Lucky, one of Giovanni’s mom’s best friends, graciously hosted us in Munich. She cooked a delicious traditional German meal, including crispy pork roast (schweinebraten), purple cabbage (rotkraut), bread dumplings with gravy (knödel mit sosse), potatoes with cheese (kartoffeln mit käse), and apple strudel. We also went to a traditional restaurant named Augustiner, and ate half a duck, more pork, chicken, and beef goulash with potato dumplings. The only veggies were potatoes and cabbage! Giovanni and his cousin Ramon also each drank 3 liters of beer! I think Giovanni averaged 1 liter per day and I averaged 0.5 liters per day.

While in Munich, we also learned about the city’s destruction after World War II. Many of the sights in the city center (Marienplatz), including cathedrals, old town hall, and other buildings, were destroyed by American and British bombing raids in the mid 1940’s. And from what I hear, other cities in Germany such as Frankfurt, were completely leveled by Allied bombs. I am quite impressed with the reconstruction efforts during the second half of the 20th century and that most buildings apparently look like how they did before the war. I didn’t know that Munich was where the Nazis first rose to prominence and Hitler made his first attempt at grabbing power.

Did you know that Munich is one of few German cities with lots of cathedrals and a Catholic majority?

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