Monthly Archives: November 2008

Shopping in Munich, the OEZ

A lot of times people ask me where they should go shopping in Munich.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, then either the shops next to St. Peter’s church or the shops near the Hofbräuhaus are your answer.

If you’re looking for more general shopping (are you an Australian who didn’t realize what the temps can be in May or October?) then I would say the main pedestrian street between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz is the answer. It’s actually two street names (Neuhauser str. and Kaufinger str.), but it’s one street, you won’t notice the change. This street has it all as far as normal shopping is concerned and is no more expensive than if I sent you to the edge of town. This is where much of Munich does their shopping.

However, if you’re here in Munich during the winter and you’ve already done your sight seeing, but you want to shop in a heated environment, well, there are large in door shopping malls in Germany too. The biggest and easiest one to get to is called the OEZ (Olympia Einkauf Zentrum) and you can get there by taking the U-bahn (subway)…either the U1 (from the Hauptbahnhof, main station) or the U3 (from Marienplatz). It takes 15 minutes to get there, but is by anyone’s standards (remember I’m from near the Mall of America as well as the mall from the movie “Mallrats” which I used to go to as a kid) a pretty big mall. It’s open Monday through Saturday 9:30am-8pm.

Anyways, I got locked out of my apartment the other day, so I went over to the OEZ and spent what I usually spend at a mall, $0 and about an hour. I only took one picture, cause I wasn’t thinking…but anyways, it’s decorated for the christmas season as you’d expect.

happy shopping:

[Listening to: El Imperio Caera – Ska-P – Lagrimas Y Gozos (3:20)]

(lovin’ the Ska-P at the moment, they’re on tour now and will be in Munich in February, we already have our tickets)

My Little Pony in Salzburg

This one’s for my friend Tom in NRW. His gf is apparently obsessed with My Little Pony. I think it’s actually him, not his gf, but his gf is a good cover.

Anyways, this is from the mall in Salzburg (taken last week Nov 2008):

[Listening to: Red At Night – The Gaslight Anthem – Sink Or Swim (3:07)]

Viewing platform for Neuschwanstein castle

I know, Neuschwanstein is not really a castle (it’s a Schloss…palace), but for the sake of people googling it, I decided to leave “castle” in the title, although it is incorrect.

Neushwanstein palace, one of my favorite tours to give, is always throwing curve-balls at us tour guides. The most recent one is the construction of a viewing platform for the front of the palace. You see, one of the things that makes taking a tour rather than going by yourself worth while is that we show you all the best photo ops, most of which you’re unlikely to just randomly get. One of these slightly off-course great photo ops that makes tours worth it is soon to be obvious as all hell, and it is sad to see (from my standpoint). They’re building a platform so that everyone walking past knows full well they should walk over and take a picture. If I were the palace administrator I’d probably have built the platform years ago.

Anyways, here’s some pics of the construction…these were taken a couple weeks ago:

Here’s a more recent pic from last friday taken out of the window of Neuschwanstein, looking down at Schloss Hohenschwangau (palace high swan region) and the alp lake:

[Listening to: Where is Everybody – Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile (5:40)]

Neuschwanstein with a guide from Portugal

Yesterday I had a tour to Neuschwanstein again…a typical group from random countries. It was a good day all-around though the train on the way back didn’t show up so we had to take a bus the first 30 minutes on the way back, which got us back to Munich only about 5-10 minutes late.

One of the tourists was from Portugal and he was in Munich visiting a girl he had met in Portugal as he’s a fellow tour guide, to a palace about the same age as Neuschwanstein (slightly older, like 10 years). Anyways, we had a good chat.

Walking down from the bridge, we sent the rest of the tour down via bus, while we took the steep gravel path down, just the two of us…good times.

Here’s a pic that I took while we were walking down:

Train and bus problems in Salzburg

Oh, sometimes it hits the fan and sometimes it REALLY hits the fan, and it seriously hit just a couple days ago, although the tourists seemed to have not really noticed, which is the most important.

I had read about upcoming train problems on the DB site over a week ago, but had forgot about it again until we made our way over to the train in the morning and it was a new-style double decker. The only time they put the double decker on is when there are problems. I got the group seated and found a schedule for during the construction which is apparently going on until Tuesday of this week. Luckily, it was the usual thing. I have no idea why, but for some reason about 4 times a year they work on the EXACT SAME SECTION of track and so my “emergency mode” is the same every time. You can either take the train to Traunstein and switch to a bus or you can go to Traunstein and wait 20 min & hop on a 2nd train that goes through to Salzburg. The 2nd train option is faster, but you’re standing on a cold platform for 20 minutes and all bathrooms in the area are permanently closed. SO…I do my introduction to Salzburg speech on the platform and easily kill the 20 min. After that of course, you have to figure out how to get back to Munich. The easiest way in my opinion is to leave 5 minutes earlier than usual and go up to Mühldorf and switch to a second train to come back down to Munich….it’s complicated if you don’t know the area I guess, but simple enough.

ANYWAYS, the main road between the Salzburg train station and the old town of Salzburg is completely ripped up and the buses have to go in very awkward routes at the moment. The entire area looks much more like a large parking lot than a city, I’m still impressed I got everyone there and back with VERY minimal delays. For now, I’m gonna continue to rub all four of the lion’s noses in front of the Residence in Munich.

Through all of the hassle and headaches for me, the tourists were great, happy, and tipping…so…all’s well that ends well.

[Listening to: Macy’s Day Parade – Green Day – International Superhits! (3:33)]

Third Reich in Munich – a blog

Earlier today I stumbled across my friend/colleague’s site that you can see here

I actually met him randomly at a completely different job and got him into tour guiding, which is working well for him I think.

[Listening to: Loch Lomond – The Real McKenzies – Fat Club 7 Inch (3:09)]

Election night party in Munich

Obama won, Al Franken is still about 500 votes behind as of this writing according to the NY times & BBC.

This is the first president that I actually voted for that won…took long enough. The party was fun, I was glad to be there…but I’m still hoping Franken can pull through….so close.

Here’s some pictures from last night:

First, waiting for the action to start…(12:14am)

Later we got better seats for the real late-night action…(3:47am)

Here’s one of my friend Randy Caldwell checking out how things are looking at 4:59am

…and finally the moment we all were waiting for, 5am….this was taken just after…about 30 press flashes later (5:02am)

…and here’s Randy with his new t-shirt (5:09am)

[Listening to: God Bless the U.S.A. – Lee Greenwood – American Patriot (Remastered) (3:11)]

Election night in Munich

Just because I’m here in Munich doesn’t mean I couldn’t or wouldn’t vote. I firmly feel that you can’t complain unless you at least vote. If you vote, you have secured your right to complain for the coming years…

Tonight I’m going for the marathon late-night party of the year, hopefully. 250 mostly Americans getting together to party for probably 10+ hours…if anyone wants to talk to me tomorrow, please wait until after 4pm. Thanks

[Listening to: Medio-Core – NOFX – The War On Errorism (3:05)]