We arrived in Munich around 8pm, were scooped up by our beloved friends/landlords and swept off into 24 hours of pure hospitality. We were hosted by friends of friends for two nights and we could never express how grateful we are of our introduction to Germany. We were in the Meadows of Therese, amongst the towering tents by 10am the next morning and our first Oktoberfest experience was underway.
Oktoberfest has a dizzying way of filling your day. We were in constant whirl of “look at that” “taste this!” and “let’s go here!” We ate and drank beyond our limits, toured the tents and struggled to keep up with the energy surrounding us. And just like that, we were off the next morning to meet Chris and Shauna as if we didn’t just drink a barrel of bier! The Simonses are our good friends from Hawaii, they were also backpacking through Europe at the time and had a formative influence on how we traveled for the next few weeks. Tim and I had never been to Europe, never stayed in an Airbnb, or even taken a train or subway, Chris and Shauna eased us into the trip and we are very appreciative of that.We rented a car and drove south into Bavaria. In Schwangau we found Neushwanstein Castle. It may look familiar, being the inspiration of the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
A short drive brought us to Füssen, a quaint municipality with charm and shops to spare.The next day we made it to Garnisch-Partenkirchen to hike Partnachklamm, a beautiful gorge formed by the ice-blue Partnach River. Sunrise brought fresh goodies from the bakery. Every morning in Bavaria and Tyrol, Tim and Chris (thank you, gentlemen) would walk to the nearest bakery and bring us fresh pastries. In Scharnitz we hiked and enjoyed the crisp autumn weather. Tyrol, the northern part of Austria, gave us the opportunity to sleep at the base of the Alps. We stayed in airbnbs most nights and were never disappointed with the experience. Kössen is an adorable Austrian town surrounded by green rolling hills and swarming with bees!! We hiked and biked all we could for the two days that we had.The border of Germany and Austria splits Taubensee lake in half. There was a small marker with a capital T and B on each side. We were (I was) giddy with the coincidence. Tyrol and Bavaria, Tim and B. Get it?! Taubenseehutte, a small inn and restaurant at the top of the hike, allowed us a place to rest our legs, take in the view and enjoy a refreshing beverage.The next morning we rented bikes and meandered to Walchsee, stopping for ice cream, photos and more BEES!! Tim deserves an award for this day, I don’t know if it should be for acting or pure strength but he woke up with food poisoning and powered through our seemingly gleeful activities, pedaling over ten miles to keep us on schedule. The next day we drove back to Munich where we parted ways with the Simonses (but don’t worry, that’s not the last you’ll see of our little backpackers!!)Recognize the mugs?! Yep, we hit Oktoberfest for round two! This time, with our Soekers. Unfortunately, Tim was still feeling the effects of food poisoning :(. I still can’t believe he persevered with such tolerance. Dustin’s Opa is originally from Germany and now lives in the US. Opa travels to Germany every few years to visit family. Sara and Dustin joined him last year and we could not have had a happier coincidence. Sara and I ran around like five year olds, riding rides and laughing ourselves silly. Haufbrau House tent from the BalconyTim, Dustin and Opa lead us to new games and rides, humoring our excitement. We ended the night at the real Haufbrauhaus and hope to be back so Tim can enjoy the experience too. Thank you for showing us the ropes, dear Opa!
The next morning, we were off to Italy!