In my 15 years of international travel, I’ve only ever once been back to the same country: Germany. But it was for good cause. One of my besties, Rena, was living in Munich, and although I had already been to Berlin, I’ve never been to Munich. And I just wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to visit her while she was living there. When I first arrived, Rena had to work so I did what I love to do best in Europe to get the lay of the land: A bike tour! Rena had recommended Mike’s bike tours and it was the bee’s knees.
Before my tour, I stopped over at a church across the street from the Rathaus (the town hall in Marienplatz). You can climb up to the top of the church for a small fee and are rewarded with a great view of the city. Whereas Berlin is very modern and stoic, Munich is the total opposite of Berlin. It’s still got a lot of old school charm and architecture.
Being from Hawaii, one of the things I really wanted to do in Munich was check out the famous river surfing break at the Eisbach. Luckily for me, that was on our tour! We biked through this beautiful park, where the trees were just about ready for winter.
And then we arrived at the spot. It was everything I imagined it would be. And it was crowded! You can see here how the surfers queue up for the wave. There are actually lines on both sides of the river.
Just because it’s a river doesn’t mean these guys weren’t busting moves. It was small, but I saw a few good cutbacks and lip smacks.
Because it’s a standing wave, it really doesn’t matter if you’re goofy footed or regular. If you’d like to see what this wave looks like in action, The Inertia put up a sweet little video.
After the tour I met Rena at the world famous Hofbrauhaus!!
Many will imitate, but there’s only one Hofbrauhaus Munchen!
I drank out of the big glass, but opted for a mini one a souvenir.
If I can give you one travel tip for Munich it’s this: Haxnbauer.
Haxnbauer is just around the corner from Hofbrauhaus and it’s actually a fancy sit down restaurant that is pretty expensive. They are famous for their roast pork, which you can see in this picture, and it is served as a meal in the dining room. But if you’re in the know – like Rena is – you know to skip the sit down and head straight to the counter. It’s not on the menu, but if you ask for a “sandwich to go,” you will get a sizeable pork sandwich for under 8 euros. And it will be the highlight of your Munich trip. Trust.
After Munich, Rena and I went to Ireland and Switzerland. And on the way back from Switzerland, we met this fool on the short bus. Jusssst kidding, we love you Tommy. But yeah, Tommy had some time to kill in Munich, so being the Munich bike tour expert that I was, I decided to give him a custom Sparkz tour while Rena got caught up at home.
Two things two note about this picture: 1) Tommy ALWAYS takes pictures with his eyes closed. And 2) I may have taken some liberties with my “tour.” Here I have him rubbing the nose of the lion, which actually is supposed to bring about good luck. But I may or may not have told him some half truths about other sites in the city. Hey, it’s a lot of info to take in, you can’t blame me for not retaining every little bit of info!
I took Tommy to pretty much all the same spots that we saw on Mike’s bike tour, including this lovely river.
And Eisbach. (Where this guy couldn’t hang.)
And made him do jump shots.
Suffice it to say, he LOVED it.
And of course, Hofbrauhaus.