Germany Tips and Surprising Facts
Octoberfest in Munich, Germany is a once in a lifetime experience where you can feast on local food and beer and dance. The 2018 Octoberfest runs from Saturday, September 22, to Sunday, October 7. Check out my photos from the 2017 Octoberfest.
Beer is considered food in Germany. In worldwide beer consumption, Germany is ranked number three and tied with Austria.
Try the local beer and tour a brewery like Hofbrau. The beer that we had sampled at various locations was not too filling though robust brew was available.
For an authentic Bavarian experience, try Zum Augustiner and dine with the locals. It’s a social event where tables can seat 20 plus patrons. Though the food was substantial, we chose a beer that lightened the meal.
Nudity in Munich’s English Garden or Englische Garten
Leave the city behind and enter Munich’s English Garden that rates as one of the largest parks in the world. You can walk, jog, or bike on the pedestrian path, stop in the Japanese teahouse, catch a football game or watch the surfers ride the river.
If the weather is warm, don’t be surprised if you see nudists in the park. Nudity is cultural and welcomed at designated public parks, swimming pools, beaches, and saunas. If you are clothed in a “textile free” location, an authority figure may ask you to undress.
Three-Story Slide in the University of Technology in Munich
Stop by Munich’s University of Technology on a weekday where the efficient-savvy Germans had developed a functional piece of art. It’s a sliding board that transports students from the third floor to the first within seconds. Visitors are welcome to give it a try.
Car loyalty is a lifestyle in Germany, and it’s not uncommon for adult children to choose the same make of car as their parents. The Mercedes-Benz Museum capitalizes on this loyalty by offering hands-on-design opportunities and activities for children and their families.
Car competition is stiff, and some car brands made in Germany include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Opel, Porsche, BMW, and Volkswagen. While traveling, look for cars covered in camouflage. When manufacturers test prototypes, they disguise their design from the competition.
Also, when you climb in a taxicab, chances are it’s a Mercedes-Benz.
Marienplatz or Mary’s Square In Honor of the Virgin Mary
Marienplatz Town Square offers an excellent place to shop or drop by a cafe for a bite. The golden sculpture of Mary was created in 1590 and rises in front of the New Town Hall.
New Town Hall or Neues Rathaus
While in Marienplatz, note the famous glockenspiel on New Town Hall. The bells chime reminiscent of a xylophone while figurines, emblematic of Bavarian historic figures, revolve around balconies marking the time at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily, and 5 p.m. from March to October.
Maypoles date back to the 13th century when illiteracy was prevalent. Each maypole is unique and portrays the borough’s trades and crafts.
Beer, produce, vegetables, dancing, music and a carousel decorate the maypole at Victualienmarkt indicating that it is a place for food and events. Peruse the outdoor market for local meat, cheese, sausage, condiments, flowers, herbs, and home decor, then stop in the beer garden for refreshment.
Bavaria Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles
If you can take your eyes off the countryside, notice that many homes are attached to barns. Connecting the buildings enables the farmers to avoid Bavaria’s severe weather when they access the barn to work and feed the animals.
Bavaria Wies Church or Wieskirche
Visit the Bavarian Rococo style Pilgrimage Church of Wies. In 1738, a relic of Jesus the Scourged Savior was reported to have shed tears, and pilgrims streamed to visit “the miracle of tears in the Wies.”
In 1745, to accommodate the crowds, construction had begun on the Wies pilgrimage church, and that same year the bishop established a commission to investigate the miracle. The group determined that they could not deny or confirm the event and concluded that it was a matter of opinion.
Today, pilgrims travel from across the world to pray to the statue of the Scourged Savior displayed in the Wies Church sanctuary.
While in Germany, drive the autobahn. In congested areas, signs post a recommended speed limit usually between 68 and 80 mph, though there are stretches where the driver chooses his speed.
The left or fast lane is for passing. If a car approaches in the left lane, the vehicle ahead moves over.
There is plenty to do in Munich from dining, shopping, visiting historic castles and buildings, and viewing the magnificent countryside. Germany, with its many points of interest, is an excellent destination.