Holy moly! How on Earth is it already July??
Monday was our first full day of work. I can get a lot more done now that I’m here for more than 3 hours a day, and it’s nice to be making progress! I was so exhausted from the hiking trip though, it was a bit hard to focus. After work we headed into the city to do a bit of shopping and I FINALLY bought a pair of Birkenstock shoes! Now I can be like a real German. After shopping, we ate some burgers and then weren’t quite ready to go home, so we just walked around the city. Munich is absolutely beautiful, and it was moments like Monday night that really make me appreciate how cool it is that I get to live here!
Tuesday was the Fourth of July, and we were not about to let the fact that we were in a foreign country stop us from celebrating. We all wore our national wardrobe of red, white, and blue, and had ourselves a good ‘ol American BBQ. We went to the store with a couple of our German buddies and purchased burgers, chips, and some watermelon for the barbecue. I also received a package from my mom this day (thank you so much btw Mom, you are the BEST!!) and inside there was SALSA, QUESO, and BEAN DIP! I have missed Mexican food so much it’s unreal, I nearly cried tears of joy when I opened the package. I brought some of it to the barbecue to share (but I kept some at home for myself, because I live for chips and salsa). Some of our friends that we met at the English Gardens, Robin and Anna, also came along to the barbecue. We spent the afternoon listening to country music and eating American style food. However, we did not drink American beer, because why would we do that when we have perfectly good German beer?! This day was honestly so fun and it felt like home, despite being halfway across the globe.
We did not do much on Wednesday aside from working. I got some chores and stuff done at home. It was nice to organize my life a bit after a crazy past couple of days.
After work on Thursday, we headed to the Isar river to go swimming. We met up with our German teacher Lydia and one of her German friends, Rick, and spent the afternoon by the water. It was a really cool spot, and the water was not nearly as cold as the Eis Bach in the English Gardens, so we could actually swim in it. After swimming, we accompanied Lydia and her Sister, Anna, to one of Anna’s work-friend’s dinner party. On the way to the party, we walked through the location that they host Oktoberfest at every year and there were already tents being set up! It’s JULY! Tent is actually an understatement for the size of these places. They’re more like legitimate buildings with an infrastructure and everything. I am really sad that I have to leave Munich before the Oktoberfest, but I guess that means I’ll just have to return sometime in the future! At the dinner party we grilled some brats and grillkäse, which is literally a chunk of cheese you put on the grill (it is awesome), and then headed home.
We started out Friday with work as usual, and then headed into the city for the highlight of our week, Paulaner’s Freibeir Freitag. I’m not sure if I’ve explained how this event works, so I will now. The Paulaner company posts hints about the event’s location on Facebook throughout the week, and people try and guess where it is. Normally, people are able to figure it out the day beforehand, but this week we weren’t completely sure until like 5:25, which is normally when you need to be in line by! However, this was okay because almost everyone wasn’t able to figure it out until then! We spent the evening dancing and enjoying the beer and pretzels provided. This event is awesome and the same people go each week, so you start to recognize them from the week before! Unfortunately, this was our last day with Lydia, and so the evening had a bittersweet feeling, because we did not wanna say goodbye. We were so lucky to have a teacher that was also a good friend!
On Saturday, we woke up bright and early and headed to Berchtesgaden with some of the buddies. We took a boat ride across the Königsee and my word was that place beautiful! The water was the most beautiful tealy-green and there were towering mountains around all the edges. We travelled about halfway where we had some lunch, and then took another boat ride to the other end of the lake, where we went on a hike towards a waterfall. We passed the Obersee on this hike, which Jayme recognized from a picture on Pinterest which was kinda hilarious, but also really cool! Unfortunately though, we did not make it all the way to the waterfall because we had to catch a boat back. After traveling back across the lake, we decided to get some Chinese food for dinner and oh my goodness, it was so incredibly delicious!
We began Sunday with a typical German breakfast of coffee, bread, meat, and cheese. It was actually delicious, and I should really be eating this more often! After breakfast, we headed to the Salt Mines, or Salzbergwerk, in Berchtesgaden. When we arrived for the tour, we put on some super cute jumpsuits straight out of the 80s and then hopped on a little train and were taken underground to tour the mine. When we got off the train, we got to go down a SLIDE into the mine. And that wasn’t even the only slide in the tour, there was another one too! We also got to ride a boat across an underground lake called the Mirror Lake, and watched multiple light shows. This was honestly one of the coolest tours we’ve taken during this trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in Bavaria. After the Salt Mine, we headed up the Eagles Nest, which belonged to Adolf Hitler. It was kind of creepy walking through the same halls he did at one point, and eating in his tearoom. It’s really hard to believe that all of that history happened in Germany, but they always make sure to preserve the history of the Nazi regime to serve as a reminder of what can never happen again. On our way down the mountain from Eagles nest, we stopped and rode some Alpine slides for 2 Euros each and it was so fun getting to speed down the mountain like that! After the slides we headed back to Munich and back to campus.
This week was super fun! I feel like I did a lot of different things this week, which was awesome. I cannot believe that the end of this week marked four weeks until I go home! As they say, time flies when you’re having fun!
Take a look at those super cute jumpsuits and the rest of the week’s pics here!