MUNICH – People, Places and Football
GLOBAL PASSPORT –
A lot of times most of us want to travel but we can’t decide where. I was going through the same emotion last year in May. I had a valid Schengen Visa and I had to travel before joining City1016 because I knew it would be difficult to get leaves on probation. Probation mein leaves milna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai.
Once again I booked tickets 24 hours before travelling to Munich (Germany). I suck at planning, I am more – Let’s book it, we’ll see later kinda guy.
Let’s make your desi passport Global and by that I mean – Let’s tell you about the visa formalities. This is pretty standard checklist for any Schengen Visa. Take a screenshot of this and thank me later.
- Duly Filled Application Form
- Passport (Original and Copy, 90 days validity with atleast two pages empty)
- Two recent photos with white background 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm (Do not staple or glue the pic)
- Medical Insurance
- Bank statements
- Flight and hotel bookings
- NOC and Salary Certificate from your company. (If your HR works in slow motion then ask for this in advance)
- Residence Visa Copy (90 Days Validity)
TICKETS AND WANDERLUST –
A lot of people believe that the best time to go to Munich is During October because of the Oktoberfest. Please allow me to burst that bubble for you – IT IS NOT. (Insert a bubble bursting sound)
Oktoberfest is not only a nightmare for the tourists but also for the locals.
Imagine this – Thousands of drunk people in one small city, most of them can’t find hotels either because of the high rates or no occupancy. So what do they do? They get drunk and sleep on the streets and some even after having a hotel pass out on the streets. I love such people. So what I am trying to say is – Long Lines, Expensive Hotels and drunk people throwing up everywhere.
Ladies and Gents! There is a hack to get an exact Oktoberfest experience on a smaller scale. You will read about it exclusively on this blog. I will tell you about this experience later but for now the best time to go to Munich is April according to me.
Tickets if booked in advance are cheap – around 2100 Dhs with a decent airline.
The currency in Germany is pretty obvious – Euro.
BACKPACK AND STORIES –
This is the tricky part; this trip has been one of my favorite. I simply cannot pick one story. I met so many people, made so many friends and partied so much that I missed my flight. Oh and also this was not the first time I missed a flight due to extreme partying, more on those embarrassing stories later but for now – People, Places and Football.
When I say I love travelling – I don’t mean staying in expensive hotels, doing touristy things, dressing up just for pictures or showing off on Facebook. In fact I do the exact opposite. I stay in hostels, I go to local bars and eat at local street joints, I walk around the city to see the street markets, small cafes and I have never ever checked in on Facebook.
Travelling for me is living someone else’s culture and understanding someone else’s point of view on life. If we all understood and respected someone else’s way of living this world would be a happier place to live in. On that deep note –
I love football as much as I love travelling and this is another reason why you should visit Munich during April, its champions League season. I support FC Barcelona but after this experience Bayern Munich became my second team. I realized that Champions League Quarter Final was falling on the dates when I was in Munich and guess who was playing at the Allianz Arena – BAYERN MUNICH. It was a home leg and Bayern had to win it against FC Porto. I have been to a lot of Football Stadiums but never watched an actual match. This was another thing getting ticked off my long bucket list.
I bought a jersey and commenced my journey to the stadium with a guy from the hostel who flew all the way from Canada just to watch this match.
I reached the colossal stadium which was still filling up. My seats were quite decent and expensive. This is how it looked from where I was sitting –
I have never ever experienced such madness. Also I was lucky enough to be a part of a Bayern Munich Fans Mosaic. I was getting lucky so many times that I could do that ganji commercial in which the actor says – Whatever Cozi Baniyaan – Apna Luck Pehan ke chalo
I was holding one of those small pieces of plastic sheet to make that mosaic. It means never give up. Allianz Arena was on fire, fans wanted their team to reach the semi final
More than 70 Thousand fans doing synchronized chants, cheering on every goal and some even shedding tears of joy after watching their team win 6-1 in the quarters.
One more thing you realize after attending a lot of events is – Leave a bit early so that you don’t have to wait in long queues to get your car from the vallet or getting a train in my case. I bid adieu to Allianz Arena which looked more beautiful than Aishwarya Rai on a Cannes Red Carpet.
It was the time to party and my hostel had one of the best bars around that place. I showered; changed into the best T shirt I had and sprayed some cologne. While singing ‘Abhi to party shuru huyi hai’ I walked into a small bar of my hostel. As the Music got louder and head got heavier I heard a Hey from my left side. I turned and said heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! What’s upppppp! Go Bayern Munchen in a typical hyper style of mine. Ok! One more thing about me, sometimes I think I get over friendly. I hug and high five people *Facepalm* A lot *Facepalm Again*
Before I could do that the girl said – Errmmm! Ok! I was just saying – Hey! You’re sitting on my purse. I quickly started scratching my head with the hand that was still in the air for a high five. “You are the hyper one eh?” – She said with a huge chuckle. I wanted to break the ice. I asked her name, she was a Mexican living in the states, then she asked mine – this was the moment I was looking for. I said – ‘If you take my name correctly at once I will do anything you want and if you don’t you’ll have to do what I say.’ I was pretty certain that no non desi can pronounce my name which is PARIKSHIT in one go. I guess my luck quota was finished and she said it…….. in one go.
“How did you? *Gasp* No one has ever! I mean, how did you” Before I could even finish she started pointing at a corner of that bar. My eyes got wider, my jaw dropped on the floor and my head started shaking in a big NO movement.
There was a pole and she wanted me to do a dance. I wanted to negotiate the dare again but before I could do it she started screaming – Boys and Girls! My friend Parikshit is going to dance for us, still pointing at that stupid pole.
I had no option! By now the entire place was cheering – Dance! Dance! Dance! I have never felt so wary before. I did it. Please don’t judge me.
Without giving much details of what happened post that I clicked a picture of that pole before leaving for my next destination on the next morning.
This picture was my phone’s wallpaper for the longest time. What a night it was!
BEEN THERE DONE THAT – (Places where I’ve been and things I’ve done which I strongly recommend)
OKOTBERFEST OR SPRING FEST – I would recommend Spring Fest aka Frühlingsfest (April 16th to May 2nd). The Frühlingsfest is almost exactly like the Oktoberfest, but on a smaller, less crazy scale. They have only two big beer tents, in comparison to the Oktoberfest’s 14, and a few thousand people visit it, instead of a few million. They still have an amusement park, live music, fireworks, roasted almonds and pretzels, of course.
ENGLISH GARDEN (People Surf in this garden) – The Englischer Garten, German for “English Garden”, is a large public park in the center of Munich, Bavaria, stretching from the city center to the northeastern city limits. It’s also the best possible way to see how local live. Don’t be surprised if you see anyone carrying a surfboard in this garden. At the southern edge of the park there is a manmade river which flows at 5m per second and people surf in it. No kidding! Look –
Also a perfect way to see the local lifestyle –
BEER GARDENS – Fun fact – Beer was considered as a soft drink many years ago in Germany. Germans love this beverage and when I say they love it I mean – They also have it for breakfast. You have to visit one of the local beer gardens.
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES – If you face any language issues, then simply walk into any of the tourist information offices. Trust me you will be amused.
HAUFBRAUHAUS (This place had Major Washroom Issues)- This beer hall dates back to the 16th century, with a Bavarian restaurant, shows & upbeat vibe. It was also Mozart’s, Lenin’s and Hitler’s favorite place.
One more Fun Fact – During the world war a lot of Soldiers used drink at this place. Due to high occupancy and less seats, sitting here started becoming an issue. Whenever someone used to get up to pee, his seat was taken by someone else. Brawls started happening. To resolve this issue, Germans decided to make gutters inside the hall, under the table. LOL. So, if any of the gentlemen wanted to pee they could just unbutton and conveniently do the business under the table. Now there was one issue with this system – Splash-backs! (Chhai Chhapp Chhaii! Chappak Chhai) Yuck!
This issue gave birth to another brilliant Idea – Walking Stick for every customer. Whenever you want to do some under the table business smack your buddy with the stick as a warning. Now there was another issue – Smell and Legs with Bruises.
Munich needed another dazzling idea to save the day and Haufbrauhaus. A gentleman decided to cut a cane and lead it all the way to the bottom towards the drainage system. No more hitting people with the sticks and stinky Haufbrauhaus. *Slow Clap for the Idea*
MARIENPLATZ – Marienplatz is a central square in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It has been the city’s main square since 1158. In the Middle Ages, markets and tournaments were held in this city square. If you are here at the right time you can see the Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock doing the dance.
BMW MUSEUM – Germans are not only famous for their Beer but also for their cars – BMW to be precise. If you love cars, then this is a must visit.
KHARCHA DOT COM –
Flights – 2100 AED
Hostel – 110 per night
Hotel 3* – 550 approx. per night
Ghoomna-Phirna/ Khana-Peena – BYOB (Bring Your Own Budget)
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