In the weeks leading up to the trip, this was the most anticipated day for me. I had spent several months investigating and procuring a pair of Bayern Munich tickets for their Bavarian rivalry match against Augsberg. The tickets had a rather difficult time coming to the states but had arrived in time for me to carry them around like my first born child. Come hell or high water or maybe just an everyday rainstorm, I was going to that game.
The game would have to wait for a couple of chores. Kim and I were running out of clean clothes and needed to get some laundry done. After doing some research we found a place online that offered a “vollservice” option, meaning they would wash, dry, and fold entire load for only €12,50. Considering the hotel would charge €8 for just a single pair of jeans, this seemed like a steal. We walked over and dropped them off and headed out for lunch, since we never get up early on vacation.
Kim was excited to try a place called Dean&David which offered some healthier or at least smaller portions than most of the other Bavarian restaurants. I took the advice of the cashier and got some Thai curry while Kim grabbed an unexpectedly tiny wrap sandwich, which left her feeling like some lemon cake. Luckily the coffee shop across the street sold some along with a nice large coffee. By this point, I was ripe with anticipation and practically dragged Kim out of the coffee shop and towards the nearest U-Bahn.
We didn’t really need any maps to let us know the proper direction, the sea of blue and red Bayern jerseys pointed us in the right direction. Having been to a Chelsea game in London, I figured the fans would be a little louder on the train but at this point I chalked it up to German stoicism. After exiting the stadium train station, there was still a 15 minute walk up the hill to Allianz Arena. The stadium itself, appears to be a metal structure wrapped in a down feather comforter, since this was a daytime we unfortunately were not able to see it lit up in Bayern blue and red.
At German games, fans are allowed to buy beer and drink it in their seats, an activity not allowed in London to curb hooliganism. However, the beer and food stands don’t accept cash, only a pre loaded ArenaCard. Preloading this card would be the most difficult purchase I would make on the trip to date. The lady behind the window wanted to see an ID as well as valid signature, neither of which I had on my person. Luckily Kim had hers which proved to be enough to satisfy the cashier and allow me access to a beer.
After walking up 8 flights of stairs, a fact which Kim was none too pleased about, we arrived to our section. The players were already lining up to shake hands, so I had a choice: get to our seats on time without a beer or get to our seats late with a beer. Who am I kidding, this was Germany! The German whom I displaced getting to our seats was very displeased with this decision though. Our seats were fantastic and offered an excellent view of the field from just off the halfway line. We also had an excellent view of the dark rain clouds forming in the distance (a foreshadowing of how the game would end possibly?).
I am by no means a Munich fan. I admire their brand of football and they field an excellent squad but I was a complete non-supporter for the contest. All football clubs have sections of extremely staunch supporters who sit behind one of the goals and lead most of the cheers. The Bavarian Giants were no different and even sported a leader using a megaphone who rallied the supporters standing for the whole match. Ten minutes into the match and those dark clouds had started to rain on the players and five minutes later Bayern had been reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of their keeper. Bayern would fight and even have some close chances but eventually fall one nil.
This result brought out a ton of Augsberg fans in disguise, who now could roam the city of Munich chanting of their victory. We, however, walked as sullenly as possible on our way to the old summer Olympic grounds which have been turned into a park filled with running and bike trails around a couple of ponds. We walked up to the top of a hill, crepe in hand, on our first mini hike of the trip, which offered excellent panoramic views of Munich and park below.
We had worked up an appetite for some German sausage and went out to find a joint which Kim said would offer the best sausage in the city, according to Google. Immediately upon walking into the beer house, any inhibition I had of the place went out the window. We were surrounded by Germans not tourists, a horn quartet playing German folk songs, large beers and an intoxicating smell of sausage. This was the best meal of the trip by a wide wide margin, as Kim and I shared a sausage sampler which I could, and would, eat over and over again.
After washing it down with a beer, we walked next door to grab an Augustiner beer which a German we met in Amsterdam said was his favorite in all of Munich. Here we found another lively establishment, albeit with a much larger percentage of tourists. The pair next to us was an American couple in a feud over some unknown topic. After requesting the bill, they tried to pay with an American Express which as Kim pointed later out was quite ironic. Unable to pay with their preferred card, the lady stormed out to find cash. The man, realizing that they could take a visa, paid and left. Which is when the lady returned and we told that he had gone outside, but when he returned moments later we realized we had probably caused them more trouble. The best intentions.
Tired and a little drunk, we headed back to the hotel and its glorious small quick shop. We grabbed way too many munchies and went upstairs to pass out.