Munich, capital of Bavaria, brought my first experience at a Beer Hall or Hofbrauhaus. It was also the first time that I had ever seen a liter of beer, and so of course I had to order one. I looked ridiculous drinking it in small sips and holding it with two hands. By the time I had finished the one liter stein, the beer was both warm and flat. My stomach was so bloated I thought I would just explore right there and then. I nibbled on a Schweinshaxe (German pork knuckle dish) to help ease the inebriation, and the grease actually helped battle the bloat. Needless to say, it was a great time. The hall was very big and held our tour bus and many locals, all of whom were drunk and friendly. There was a local band and an organ grinder… which was quite a site to see.
Beer Halls were not the only cultural activity I did in Bavaria. The Marienplatz, city square of Munich, was so interesting that I almost missed the Contiki bus. Thankfully I hadn’t since that would have been a disaster! Being late did bring an opportunity to see the bells of the Glockenspiel chime. The bells only chime three times a day and mini robot dolls pop out to perform two pieces for the spectators below. The first is a traditional wedding piece, the second a dance once used to ward off the plague. As no one else on the tour got to see it, I was actually very fortunate to have had almost missed the bus. It was worth it.