So it has been about a week since I posted but it has been a crazy week and when I did try to post my keyboard had died! But anyways these past few days have been awesome. With class ending I have had so much freedom, while we might not have the intense history lessons, exploring on our own has been a lot more relaxed.
Budapest was an awesome city, definitely one of my favorites. The people were so kind, unlike places like France where everyone automatically hated you because you were American. The cars stopped for pedestrian, which was way different from Istanbul where we were playing frogger with cars. Monday in Budapest we all did our laundry which was definitely needed, I had not done laundry since Rome and I was running out of clothes to wear! We found a place where we could drop off our clothes and just pick it all up in the afternoon and it was not crazy expensive. While our laundry was getting done, we went out to explore the city. We went to the Chain Bridge and crossed over to Buda, our hotel was in Pest. Then we went to the biggest thermal baths in Europe, the Szechenyi Baths. There were 15 indoor pools, 3 outdoor pools and 5 saunas. It was a nice and relaxing afternoon in the pool. Since it was chilly outside, the hot baths were amazing. Of course we all forgot our swimsuits so we had to rent really attractive ones. I rocked a one piece while the boys got short shorts to swim in. On our way home from the baths we stopped at Heroes Square. We had a paper to work on for our class which we did that afternoon. That was paper 4/5, we still have one more left but I am not thinking about that until I am home next week. That night in Budapest we went out to the ruin pubs again and drank the Szimpla beer which was brewed in Budapest and danced to the DJ.
Our next day in Budapest, Tuesday, we slept in and went out to lunch at a super famous cafe called the New York Cafe. It was recommended to us by a friend who studied abroad in Budapest. We went to the market and explored that afternoon. We were told also to try langos, it is like deep fried dough with toppings. We found that and it was delicious. Definitely a local treat! That night we caught the night train to Munich. It left at 9pm from Budapest and got into Munich at 6am. The train had 6 beds, but with all of our luggage if we had any more than 4 in our room it would have been way too tight. We all actually fell asleep and it was a decent night’s sleep. They woke us up at 5:30 with coffee and we were right in downtown Munich. I would recommend it and would do it again, but make sure you get a 2-4 person room so you can have space for all of your stuff.
Wednesday was our first full day in Munich. We got to our hostel around 7am and dropped all of our stuff off in the luggage room. While being tired, we found some breakfast and decided to explore the day. We caught a train to Bavaria and visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is about 2 hours outside of Munich but definitely worth the trip. It is the castle that Disney was based off of. I did not wear the right hiking shoes and was slipping everywhere on the snow and ice. But it was all worth it for the pictures we got!
We definitely lucked out and our hostel is LITERALLY across the street from one of the best beer gardens in Munich, the Augustiner. They are the only beer house to actually brew their own beer, and the brewers are still local and native to Munich. We went there Wednesday and Thursday nights and will be going again tonight!
Thursday we got up and visited the BMW factory and museum. We got a factory tour of the place they actually manufacture most of the BMW cars. Munich is the HQ for BMW. We got to see all the models of BMW and see cars going through the whole manufacturing process. Definitely cool to see! Thursday night we decided to be tourists and visit the Hofbrauhaus, the most tourist beer hall in Munich. They joke it is 90% tourists and 10% workers. I am glad we went, but I liked the local one better. the Hofbrauhaus was more expensive and too touristy for our liking.
Today, Friday, was a fun day as well. (Munich has definitely been awesome!) We did a morning walking tour of the city, which was over three hours long. It stopped at all the major attractions and gave us a lot of insight about culture and places to go in Munich. We got to see the Glockenspiel. They told us it is the second biggest let down of a tourist attraction in Europe. At the hour the bells ring and characters move around but the bells are out of tune and saying the characters move around is a long stretch. The tour was definitely a good way to see the city without wandering around aimlessly though. The tour ended at the beer gardens so of course we had to get lunch and beers at a local beer garden. But hey we have done some other things than drink, I promise!!
Munich has been amazing and we still have quite a bit of time left here! We have reservations at 8:30 for the Beer Hall across the street and a few of our other St. Thomas friends arrive this afternoon so it will be fun to go out with them as well. Tomorrow we will be doing the tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp, which will be super interesting.
Sorry for the long post! But we have just been so busy and doing so much that I have hardly had time to update my blog.
One more week until I get home! Miss everyone!