Brian and Branden visited Munich, beta-testing my hosting and tour-guiding abilities. I took a week off in order to show them around my new home city.
Last Wednesday, Branden arrived. I picked him up at MUC and brought him to my freshly cleaned apartment. There were two goals for the day: acquire additional sleeping surfaces, and keep Branden awake until late. We definitely succeeded in the latter--Branden stayed up until nearly midnight. The former goal was only partially successful. We found a camping mat that would suffice for me, but didn't find anything appropriate for Brian. So we postponed further shopping to Thursday.
I also showed Branden around the city center some, seeing Marienplatz and the Frauenkirche, among other things. We then met up with Sara at Qezherkraphf and grabbed dinner at a Bavarian restaurant in Schwabing. We finished out the evening lounging on my balcony, drinking Salvator Starkbier. Yummy.
Thursday morning, we repeat the trip to the airport to pick up Brian. Again we're faced with the goal of procuring an additional sleeping surface, as well as trying to keep Brian awake. So we start out throwing a football around in the English Garden. A successful shopping trip netted us an air mattress for Brian to sleep on. We then met up with Sara downtown and enjoyed a Bavarian dinner at the Augustiner restaurant on Kaufingerstraße. Again, we finished the evening lounging on my balcony.
Friday was a tourist and beer garden day. We started off with a trip to the Olympic Park, where we visited the nearby BMW Museum and walked around the grounds of the park. We also had a beer in a small beer garden in the park.
We then made our way down to Schwabing, wandered around some there, and hit the Chinese Tower beer garden in the English garden. That was followed up by another trip to the city center, where we saw Marienplatz again, and then had a beer in the beer garden at the Viktualienmarkt. We ate dinner at the Sankt Emmeramsmühle and finished the night with a viewing of Josie and the Pussycats.
We started Saturday off with a trip to Hofbräuhaus with Sara for a traditional Weißwurst breakfast with Weißbier. We then spent most of the day at the Deutsches Museum. Then we spent the evening at Sara's for a game night. Florian, Tenley, "Paleontologist" Dave, Teddy and "Laser" David are some of the characters who showed up. We played team Risk, which Dave and Sara won. An entertaining evening.
Sunday morning we headed to the Frauenkirche for Palm Sunday mass. The day then included some more wandering around Munich, another trip to the Chinese Tower (so we could hear the oompa band play), and dinner at Brauhaus zur Dicken Sophie, another traditional Bavarian sort of place. We ended the evening with some News Radio.
Monday was driving day. We rented a Mercedes (which sadly came with automatic transmission) and headed to Dachau. There we discovered that concentration camp memorial site is closed on Mondays. Should've planned that a bit better. So we headed on to our next destination: Schloss Neuschwanstein. Once we got to the Autobahn, I pulled over and let Brian drive. The castle itself was impressive. We didn't buy tickets to get into the castle, but instead enjoyed hiking around the outside and enjoying the marvelous views. Branden drove us back. Both he and Brian exceeded 200 km/h (125 mph) in the unlimited sections of Autobahn. So they got to experience that aspect of German life as well.
Monday evening we participated in quiz night at Gunther Murphy's, with Sara as the fourth on our team. We were in second place after the five rounds, but the table round killed us, so we ended up outside the top three. But it was fun nonetheless.
This morning I dropped Brian and Branden off at the airport and proceeded to sleep until 3 in the afternoon when I got back. It was a ton of fun to have them here, and I appreciate their coming and putting up with my chaotic tours of Munich. I love this city, and despite being new here, had a great time showing it off. If you're thinking of visiting, you can check with Brian and Branden to get their testimonials before you make the trip.
I'm feeling too lazy to polish this up, so it's little more than a list of activities and links. And yes, an entry or two on Saudi Arabia are still coming.