Category Archives: Germany

Travelling to Orlando

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:15 am on September 27, 2012.  Ivan packed his backpacks up.  We had a boiled egg at the apartment.

We got the bus to the train station and then took the metro to the airport.

Ivan and I shared a mushroom pizza and a pretzel.  Lil Dave had a banana pizza. 

Today, we were traveling to Orlando, but we had one stopover.  Our plane left Munich at 12:15 pm headed to Philadelphia. 

The plane arrived at 3:30 pm.  We proceeded to Immigration and then had to collect our luggage and then drop them off.

Ivan and I each got a vegetable burrito.  I was feeling like a zombie since our flight was almost 9 hours long.

The plane left Philadelphia at 6:30 pm and we arrived at 8:35 pm in Orlando, Florida.

There was a free shuttle to Marriott, but Ivan was too tired to wait for it.  We got a taxi to the Marriott Orlando Airport hotel.  The area we’re staying at has lots of hotels and restaurants.

We walked to Denny’s for dinner.  Ivan and I each got the vegetable skillet which has veggies, eggs, spinach and potatoes. 

We watched some tv for awhile and then went to sleep early at 10:30 pm.

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Pasta Flip

Ivan and I had the free breakfast at the apartment on September 26, 2012. 

Later, we had lunch which was fish sandwiches we bought the night before at a Oktoberfest stall.

Ivan did some laundry.

We headed to Oktoberfest at 4:10 pm.  I went to the post office which is right at Oktoberfest by the Hippodrom.  I mailed a bunch of postcards.

Ivan and I each had an espresso. 

Ivan, Lil Dave and I checked out the tents.  For some reason it seemed even more crowded today than previous days.

Ivan rode a few rides.  There was one ride where you get on a boat that’s a swing – they put a belt on you. 

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Ivan wasn’t going that high. 

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Two guys got on it and started swinging and going all the way around. 

Ivan rode the Flip Fly ride which made him nauseous. 

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He thought it was a lot of fun though. 

The pub Lenz was nearby and we wanted to eat there.  But, it was really noisy inside.  Ivan had a headache and wanted something quieter.  We stopped by the pub we had lunch at the other day.. but there wasn’t much on the menu for us to eat.

We walked further.  I noticed Vapiano which has a branch near the bus station by the apartment.  We decided to try their pasta.  Ivan and I created our own pasta.  We each had whole wheat pasta, but Ivan got arrabiata and I got algio e olio.  The pasta was delicious.  We also shared a very tasty tomato soup.

We were both really tired so we were back at the apartment at 9 pm.

Ivan used the internet while I packed my backpacks up.

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Fish Maze

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had lunch at Champor on September 25, 2012.  Ivan and I each had the good shrimp fried rice.  Lil Dave got a banana and chicken pad thai.

We headed to Oktoberfest at 2 pm.  Today, it was Family Day which was offering almost 50% off on the carnival rides.

Ivan and I rode a couple rides including the world’s largest portable rollercoaster called Olympia Looping.  It was fun, but my ears kept banging against the cushions and it hurt since I had earrings on. 

Here’s a picture of Olympia Looping at night:

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Ivan loves rollercoasters and rides so he went on a couple and I didn’t.  I get scared if I think about the rides too much.

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We went on the swing that goes up and high with great views of Oktoberfest.

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There’s one funny ride that goes around and dips down as you sit down.  An oompah band plays music while you ride.

I was time to head to a tent.  We went to the Fischer-Vroni tent again and got a table that emptied out again.  Some friendly Germans joined us.  We danced, drank beer and sang and ate the delicious mackerel and salmon-trout fish. 

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The salmon-trout was my favorite.  We had lots of fun again. 

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I think my favorite thing about the tents is dancing and singing to the music while standing on the benches.

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Ivan and I walked around to find some good rides.  We went on two mazes with one being really dumb and short.  The Maze Lach Freu Haus was really funny since you had to go down a spinning wheel.  It was really fast and Ivan and I fell.  I was on top of him and kept moving to try to get off.  Since we were drunk it was funny.  But, a worker kept stopping the wheel since there was a kid behind us.  We liked it fast though.

We took the metro and then walked back to the apartment.

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Beer and Bratwurst

On September 24 2012, I woke up at 11 am.  Ivan and I worked on the blog and used the internet. 

We walked to the nearby Asian restaurant called Champor.  Ivan and I each had a plain vegetable and tofu stir fry which came with a free hot and sour soup.

At 4 pm, we headed to Oktoberfest.  We walked around the tents to find a spot.  Lil Dave went to meet up with his Uncle Daves to ride some monkey rides.

We joined a table of young Germans at the big Schottenhamel tent.  This table was a big one that had benches around the table. 

The Germans were really friendly. One of the guys Dino asked if we liked Romney or Obama for president. Ivan said I really don’t care. Ivan and I both don’t care about politics. But, I guess Germans like American politics, but I’m not really sure why.

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Ivan and I shared the strong beer and got a big pretzel and dipped it in the obazda (cheese and cream cheese dip). 

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It was fun again.  The music was great in this tent.  I really like the songs Fliegerlied and Marmor, Stein und Eisen Bricht.

Ivan and I had fun putting our arms around the next persons (all linking together) and singing the Bavarian songs (well, we were making up German words really). 

Here’s a video of the fun in the Schottenhamel tent:

There’s a drink called a Radler which is half beer and half lemonade.  It’s even more dangerous than the beer since it tastes very similar to lemonade and goes down VERY easily.  Ivan and I tried a radler and ate a lovely apple strudel.

I couldn’t believe that the small, gay Turkish guy at the table broke two big mugs.  The mugs are really heavy and made out of thick glass.

We were at the tent for 5 hours.  Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Ivan and I went to one of the rides that you walk through with a maze that was a bit confusing.  It took awhile to find the exit. 

I really wanted to try one of the long bratwurst. 

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I haven’t had a hot dog in years and it tasted great.

Ivan had a fish sandwich.  There’s lots of stalls selling fish sandwiches.  We weren’t sure if they would have any fish here since Germans love their meat.

After walking around for awhile, we went back to the apartment.

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Oktoberfest Bike Parade

At 10 am on September 23, 2012, we left to go check out the parade.

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Ivan found us a good spot so I could see and take pictures. 

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The parade was really long with bands playing.  There was lots of people in traditional Bavarian clothes.  Even the horses had fancy stuff on! 

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There was also flag twirlers and lots of barrels of beer being pulled by horses. 

We headed to Marienplatz.  Ivan and I found a place selling food and we got a vegetarian sandwich for each of us and a pretzel with cream cheese & chives to share. 

We met up with for the Mike’s Bike Tour at 12:30 pm.  Ivan and I have done this before the last time we were in Munich, but it was raining hard so the beer gardens just weren’t the same.  Our tour guide was an Englishmen named Charlie.  The bike riding was easy since Munich is a very flat city.  My bike was pink and had wide handlebars which took me a short time to get used to.

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The group stopped by many places like Parliament, Hof Garden, Odeonplatz, Residenz and the English Garden where we saw the surfing.  Ivan wishes he could jump on a rubber dinghy and jump on the water instead of surfing. 

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We stopped at the 2nd largest beer garden in Munich which is next to the Chinese Tower. 

Here, we stopped for an hour.  Ivan and I shared a beer and chatted with some Americans about Oktoberfest.

At Theatinerstrasse, we got to go inside the pretty St. Cajetan’s Church.

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We had a fun time on the bike tour.  Ivan and I really enjoy bike tours because you get to see more versus a walking tour… plus you get some exercise.

It was time to head to Oktoberfest. 

If you don’t have a reservation at any of the tables inside the tent like we didn’t.. you have to walk around asking at tables if you can sit in their free spaces.  We walked around a few tents and Ivan was asking about spare seats. 

Probably about 80% of the people wear the traditional Bavarian outfits.  Ivan thinks the dirndl makes the girls look better since it’s tight at the waist and really shows off their boobs.

We got to join a table that was clearing all out at the big Fischer-Vroni tent.  The rest of the table got filled up quickly with young Germans.  Ivan and I shared the Edelstoff beer.  We got the mackerel and char fish to share.  Ivan thought we should buy some silly hats for souvenirs. 

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The oompah bands play traditional Bavarian music along with some pop songs like We are the Champions and Country Road. People will stand on the benches, dance and sing along to the music and drink their beer.  People at your table with hit your glass and say Prost! (Cheers). 

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It’s such a fun atmosphere – you can feel the energy. 

We had a fun time in the tent for a few hours.  Then, we checked out the rides.  Some of the rides are really funny when you’re drunk.  We checked out the Psychedelic ride where you have to wear trippy 3D glasses.  The glasses have bright colors that make everything groovy.  You walk through and see lots of lights and 60’s music.  

Next, we checked out the Hofbrau tent which is filled with tons of tourists.  We stood near the band and danced.  Ivan and I shared a beer.

The last ride we checked out was really funny.  There’s a big spinning wheel and the announcer says who can go on like girls, boys or boys in liederhosen.  The wheel starts to spin and eventually people spin off.  The last person, the winner, is left.  A ball from above drops trying to hit the winner.  Two guys throw ropes to try to grab them and pull the person off. 

I tried the crazy ride Teufelsrad with a bunch of girls.  The flat wheel goes really fast.  Some people link arms to last longer.  I was linked with one girl and she started going and I was dragged with her off.  I think the best way to win is to be in the middle and really hang on to the wheel.

Watch a video of me on the Teufelsrad ride:

Ivan and I watched for awhile and then decided to head back to the apartment.

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Taking it Easy

On September 22, 2012, I woke up at noon to find Ivan already up. 

We had the free breakfast and took it easy for most of the day.  I worked on the blog and Ivan used the internet.

Lil Dave left around 2 pm to head out with Uncle Daves.  He was going to a monkey tent at the Oktoberfest.

That night, we went into the city to find dinner.  Ivan wanted to check out a restaurant, but unfortunately it was closed early on a Saturday night.  Maybe since it was the first day of Oktoberfest. 

We had dinner at Restaurant Marmaris.  Ivan and I shared the lentil soup, tzatziki, eggplant salad and mushrooms in a red sauce  The food was real good.

We walked around Oktoberfest to see what was going on – and there certainly was lots going on! The entire place was SOOO packed!

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We couldn’t get into a tent since they were blocked off for being so busy.  We knew it would be like this, so didn’t mind too much.

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Ivan and I just checked out the carnival rides and the tents and then went back for an early night.

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Beer Challenge

Ivan and I slept 10 hours and woke up at noon on September 21, 2012.  We had the free breakfast with spicy cheese, bread, homemade hummus and tea.

We didn’t have a chance to do laundry until now.  So, we did a big load of laundry.

At 2 pm, we went into Munich.  Ivan, Lil Dave and I checked out Oktoberfest site, as the festival itself hadn’t started yet, so we knew it would be good to see the site before it gets swamped with people once the event starts.

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I took a bunch of pictures of the tents and the carnival rides.  The site was massive. 

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I always thought Oktoberfest was just a bunch of big tents in a big, green field.  The tents are actually huge and made of wood.  The big tents can hold 5,000 people. 

We walked around and found a pub for lunch.  Ivan and I shared mushroom soup, mushrooms in a cream sauce with bread dumpling and a salad.  Lil Dave got banana in a cream sauce and a pretzel. 

Lil Dave left since he was going to meet his Uncle Daves. 

Ivan and I walked to find the traditional Bavarian dress.  The dirndls were expensive and the lederhosen even more expensive.  The cheapest dirndls were at the Hauftbahnhof train station for 50 Euros.  I couldn’t fit into it.. the waists were really small so I couldn’t get it on.

Ivan and I each got a pretzel with cream cheese and chives in it. 

We met up for the Munich Beer Challenge.   The group was mostly Americans.  The first stop was right outside of the station for a free beer.

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Then, the group walked to Lowenbrau where we sat in the beer garden. 

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Our guide was a young German guy named Severin.  A few of the Americans kept calling him Severus (like Severus Snape from Harry Potter). 

Ivan and I kept crossing the road when nobody was around even though it wasn’t time to go.  Nobody else went.  People kept telling Ivan that I was crazy going.  I wouldn’t go if there was cars coming.  Severin was so by the rules.  He would always put the empty beer mugs back.

The next stop was Augustiner Keller.  Their beer is considered the best in the world.  The Pope likes this beer.  Augustiner only exports to one place outside of Germany and that is to the Vatican.  Edelstoff is one of the Pope’s favorite beers.  The beer was very smooth here.  Ivan and I knew not to drink too much since the beer is between 6 to 8%.  It can be very dangerous especially since the beer tastes so good here.

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It was off to our next stop Hacker-Pschorr.  Here, we had a light beer called Hausgebrautes.  The Americans were all very friendly. 

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Everybody was getting drunk.

Our last stop was the Euro Youth Hostel bar.  We got a free beer and a free shot of Jagermeister.  Ivan and I definitely had a great time during the beer challenge.  I’m sure I didn’t win the beer challenge since I didn’t drink that much.

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Modern Munich Art

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 10:30 am on September 20, 2012.  We packed everything up. 

We got the bus to the Serralves Museum.  There, we had the lunch buffet with cod, vegetable crepes and carrot soup.

Next, we went to the Serralves Museum which was funny with modern art.  It was even better than the Guggenheim Museum.

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One room kept being painted black one day and then white the next day.  How very odd! 

One room had objects and then words below. 

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The words below the crocodile and pig read:

The bad news: he was extremely hungry
The good news: A nice, juicy pig appeared
Another bad news: he moved recently to
Buddism to Islam – so the pork was Forbidden
FINAL good news: Actually the pig was a dressed up lamb

There was writing on the wall that was really funny. 

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More random stuff we saw was a figure of a lady with flowers and leaves on it that kept moving around a room and a video of a bear.

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Our last stop inside were little rooms created by students.  The small rooms were really creative.

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This art gallery was great and SOO hilarious! There were so many times when were were literally laughing out loud at how funny some of the stuff was. Why cant all art galleries be like this! There was also a cool park around the art gallery which was massive.  We walked around the park and then left to find the bus stop.

We weren’t sure when the bus was coming, so we’d thought if a taxi came back we’d grab that.  A few minutes later, a taxi stopped.  The taxi drove to the apartment where we grabbed our luggage.  Then, he drove us to the airport.  He was a chatty taxi driver, and seemed to like talking about Porto.

I mailed off a package and a bunch of postcards at the post office in the airport. 

Our plane left at 5:20 pm headed from Porto, Portugal to Munich, Germany.  It was a Ryanair flight, so we weren’t sitting by each other.  The flight was 2 1/2 hours and we arrived at 8:50 pm. 

At 9:40 pm, we got the bus to Munich’s train station Hauftbahnhof. Ivan grabbed bread and pretzels filled with cream cheese and chives.  The pretzel was so tasty.  Ivan called the lady from Airbnb we’d be staying with and she said she’d meet us at the train station. 

We got the metro to Richard Strauss which was only 10 minutes away.  We met Ingrid and she drove us to her apartment nearby.

Ivan and I talked to Ingrid.  She gave us a welcome beer and a pretzel with a cheese dip.  Ingrid is a very nice German lady and we enjoyed the beer and pretzels while chatting to her about Munich and our travels.

We were tired from all the traveling and went to bed after using the internet for a short time.

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Frankfurt Tour

Hi ho, Jennifer here!  Ivan and Lil Dave were already up at 9:30 am on June 26,  2012.  I woke up at 10 am and went to shower.  We got a taxi to the airport.

Today, we are flying from Anchorage, Alaska to Frankfurt, Germany.  We used the free internet at the airport.  I think all airports should offer you free internet…it seems this is mostly an American thing. Same with hotels really – loads of hotels in America offer free internet, whereas its quite rare in Europe.

Our plane left at 12:55 pm.  I fell asleep almost immediately on the plane for some reason even though I got enough sleep last night.

We watched Worst Week on the plane.  We recently watched hilarious British comedy tv show The Worst Week of my Life and finished it and found out there was an American version.  It’s funny, but not as funny as the British show.  Ivan and I both fell asleep for 2 hours.  Then, we watched an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Our plane landed about 9 am in Frankfurt on June 27, 2012.  We got the train to the main train station where we stored most of our luggage.  The train is run on honor system – there are no gates or even places to validate your ticket.  If you’re caught though, you’ll be fined 40 Euros. I guess those German really are a trustworthy bunch! If they implemented this scheme in London, I think revenue would decrease by about 90% overnight and the system would totally be abused (and I would be at the front of the line!! ha ha)

We met at square for the Frankfurt on Foot Walking Tours. We had decided to do a walking tour, rather than just hang out at the airport all day, which is what most people would do.  Our group consisted of 6 people (3 Canadians, us and an Argentinian woman) and 1 monkey.  The tour guide was an older American guy named Dave.  When we met him, he looked like a homeless person holding up a sign for money. Turns out everyone else thought that also. His excuse was that he said he knows how much it costs to get a hair cut and shave yourself daily…hence he doesn’t!

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One of the Joerg Ratgeb Frescos

Our group stopped at many sights in the city including City Hall, Alt Nikolai Church, St. Bartholomew, Jörge Ratgeb Wall Paintings in the Karmeliter Cloister, Book Burning Memorial, Jewish Holocaust Memorial Wall, Jewish Ghetto Wall, Bull and Bear and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Goethe House.

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It was interesting seeing the old buildings right next to the modern buildings.

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It was a great 4 hour tour which flew by. 

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Dave really knows his Frankfurt history!! He’s very knowledgeable and funny.  It’s great when a tour guide talks about a city’s history and makes it interesting and Dave did just that!  If you’re ever in Frankfurt, you MUST check out this wonderful tour!

We walked back to the Opernplatzfest which was a festival right by the old Opera house filled with stalls with many different cuisines like Thai, sushi and German.  Ivan and I shared a tasy apple wine with fresh strawberries and a flammkuchen (which is similar to a pizza) with cheese on rucola. 

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It was delicious!

Ivan, Lil Dave and I took the train back the main station to retrieve our luggage.  Then, it was off on the shuttle to the small airport where Ryan Air flies out of.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  Ivan and I both fell asleep on the bus.

We had liquid in our bags and the stupid lady at the X-ray machine wouldn’t let us through without the liquids being in a plastic bag.  How dense can you be?  Does it really matter if it’s in the bag? It’s only there to make it easier to see that it’s liquids.  She was so by the rules that she wouldn’t let us through even though I said I’d put it in a plastic bag – but it had to be a ziploc bag.  I told Ivan that I bet they’re in on it with the store so that they get a kick back for sending everybody there to buy a ziploc. 

I felt like a zombie – so jetlagged.  I couldn’t wait to take a shower and get some decent sleep.

Our plane left at 9:40 pm from Frankfurt headed to London, England.  Ivan and I both got an hour’s sleep on the plane.

We arrived at 9:45 pm (the time went an hour back).  Thank goodness, Ivan pre-arranged a taxi.  We would have been so knackered (tired) if we had to take a bus and then a train.

The driver took us to the airbnb place we were staying at.  The place is right between a Gordon Ramsey restaurant and a pub owned by Gandalf.

We arrived at the place at 11:17 pm. 

Later, Ivan and I ate some baked beans before showering and then going to bed.

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