Monthly Archives: March 2008

Travel plan idea

So, I was doing my usual thing as far as tours last December and a guy took my business card, as hundreds do a year, and I didn’t think much of it as time goes by fast as you’re going back and forth amongst Germany & Austria’s greatest sights.  Last week I was contacted to be a guest writer for his website/blog on travel.  This being right up my alley, I went for it.  Anyways, here’s the link.  I have a few articles already posted there, but you should expect to see more from me there as it will be an outlet for things that for whatever reason don’t fit here.

In other news, Petra and I went bowling last Sunday and it was a lot of fun…so we plan on going bowling maybe once a month, mas o menos.  Here’s a pic of the local bowling alley which is about 5 minutes away:

Olympia Bowling

It’s finally Spring in Munich

Today I have a half day off. Although this is Easter weekend I worked on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Unfortunately tourists don’t understand that we tour guides would like a day off too, ya know?

Oh well, tours have been going pretty normal lately. My last tour to Neuschwanstein I took my normal maximum limit which is 35 people. We’ve been having very questionable weather for the last couple of weeks, so considering the weather, everything is good. By questionable I mean just above freezing and raining, with a little snow mixed in randomly.

In the last week my numbers on this site have gone up quite a bit. They have gone up steadily over the past 6 months, but this last week was a new high. For the month, I expect to beat the numbers from January, which was the previous record. The top posts have been the top 5 lists and of course the upcoming events post. So I would expect more of that kind of thing from me here and there as I find time.

Here’s a picture of Neuschwanstein from March 22nd:

…and another from the same day:

Here’s the foosball table we always wanted in college:

Alcohol percentages and beer: German beers are not that strong.

Is American beer weaker than German beer?

Many Americans ask this question, or even more often, assume this to be true. Many American beers are stronger and many are weaker than the usual beers of Germany, but to be fair we should probably take the average American beers versus the average German beers, right? Heres a break-down:

Budweiser: 5%
Miller Genuine Draft: 4.7%
Busch: 4.6%
Michelob: 5%
Pabst: 5%
Bud Light: 4.2%
Rolling Rock: 4.6%
Red Hook ESP: 5.8%
Samuel Adams Boston Lager: 4.75%
Samuel Adams India Pale Ale: 5.9%
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 5.6%
Petes Wicked Ale: 5.3%
Pyramid India Pale Ale: 6.7%
Leinenkugel Honey Weiss: 4.9%
Natural Ice (my favorite and yours): 5.9%

Augustiner Helles: 5.2%
Augustiner Edelstoff: 5.6%
Paulaner Helles: 4.9%
Hof Bräu Helles: 5.1%
Löwenbräu Helles: 5.2%
Erdinger Weissbier: 5.3%
Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Hell: 4.9%
Oettinger Hell: 4.7%
Warsteiner: 4.8%
Bitburger: 4.8%
Becks: 5%
Diebels: 4.8%
Dom Kölsch: 4.8%
Berliner Kindl Weisse: 3%

(Really, look at Budweiser compared to Paulaner for example…two very common beers of a similar type (lager), within the margin of error %, so basically the same amount of alcohol)

Wait, wait, wait…hold on a minute, are you saying my local beer is weaker than American beer?

That could very well be the case (especially if youre from the UK or Ireland where Ales are most prevalent). Why dont we look at other beers you might be familiar with for a full comparison. Depending on the type of beer, it may or may not be true. You really have to compare specific brands and types rather than generalize.

Guinness: 4.2%
Beamish: 4.95%
Amstel: 5%
Heineken: 5.4%
Grolsch: 5%
Corona: 4.6%
Victoria Bitter: 4.8%
Boddingtons: 4.1%
Worthington White Shield: 5.6%
Harveys Old Ale: 3.6%
Stella Artois: 5.2%
Molson Canadian: 5%
Labatt Blue: 5%
Coors: 5%
Coors light: 4%
Newcastle Brown Ale: 4.7%
Bass Ale 4.4%
Fosters: 5.1%
Sapporo: 5.2%

What is the main cause of this misunderstanding?

Alcohol by weight is the standard measurement in the United States. Alcohol by volume is the standard worldwide. If a beer is 3.2% alcohol by weight, thats 4% by volume, for example. More on that theme here.

For the record:  My actual favorite beer does not appear on any of the above lists.

Happy day between the official and unofficial St. Patrick’s days day!

That’s right, it’s the day between the official St. Patrick’s day (according to the catholic church…and I believe they’re the authority on Saint’s days) which is the 15th this year (Saturday) and the unofficial St. Patrick’s day which is the 17th. So what does that mean for your favorite tour guide? Drinking guinness from Saturday through Monday, of course.

Don’t worry, we also have Bailey’s. (tried the mint chocolate one too…just tastes like bailey’s…oh well)

Anyways, Petra and I went down to Munich’s St. Paddy’s day parade which claims to be the biggest one on the continent. We took some pictures with petra’s phone, so I’ll put them below. The highlight was the brew master from Guinness speaking…he got the most applause out of anyone.

BMW museum to FINALLY open

Finally, after years of waiting, the new BMW museum has a set opening date.  Officially it opens on June 19th, with it being really open to the public on June 21st.  I was never around to see the old museum, as there has only been a temporary museum set-up for the four years that I’ve lived here.  That’s right, they took their time on this so it BETTER be 10x cooler than the BMW welt, which in my opinion is only worth about 20 min of your time and even then, I was under-whelmed. 

Entry cost €12

Tues-fri 9am-6pm

Sat-Sun-holidays 10am-8pm

I’ll report back when it’s open.

Worst tour? Probably not, but it certainly will be remembered

Last Saturday (March 1st) started as a fairly normal day. I woke up, went to work (the main train station), and gathered my tour together in front of the Radius Tours office. At the office, tourists were being told by Jasmin (one of our wonderful office people) that there could be problems with the train and they should be aware that we can’t be held responsible if they don’t get back to Munich at a specific time, etc.

So, I lead my group of 22 people from the USA, Croatia, Hong Kong, and Brazil to the opposite side of the station to catch the train. The first bad sign was blinking on the screen at the start of the platform. It said there would be a 15min delay. Fifteen minutes is not a big deal and in fact, the train left Munich only five minutes late, so I easily shrugged that off and figured that would probably be the end of it.

I was wrong, very wrong.

After about 45 minutes on the train we stopped in a town called Aßling.

The conducter came on the intercom and said there would be a short delay. Five minutes later he came back on and said it would be a longer delay, but was unsure how long it would be, they were working on it. Twenty minutes later I called Petra to check out the website to see if it said anything. After a few more calls I talked to Gaby, my boss. She didn’t have any more information, but tried to come up with a way out of the situation. Finally, after it hailed, snowed, and melted…the conducter came through and said there would be buses to drive everyone on the train back to Munich, no trains were going either way on that length of track that day.

They sent two buses for an entire train. It was packed, standing room only, miserable, and the ride was around one hour. We got back to the Munich train station about 3pm…where we had started at 9:15 that morning. In that time I met some very nice people, but the fact that we never even got remotely CLOSE to Salzburg makes it definitely in my top 3 worst tours ever. I doubt I’ll ever forget this one.

So, here’s a pic from Salzburg on a day where we actually got there: