Many, many years ago, my little brother went on a Eurotour with his university (yep, the same tour that stopped at Le Refuge des Fondus). Among other places, the tour went to Florence, Italy, which is where I studied abroad in college. To say that beautiful Firenze is a place dear to my heart is an understatement. It's the location of my first novel. I've plotted ways to get back there for YEARS (and I can't believe I've been in Europe for nearly two months now without making it there yet). I wrote out lists of what my brother and his friends should see and do in Florence. I wrote out directions to Edi House. I talked it up, and up, and up.
And when my brother got home, he admitted he didn't really like Italy. He liked Paris and Edinburgh, Prague and Budapest. He loved Germany. But he didn't really like Italy. It just didn't do anything for him. But he loved Germany.
He has been raving about Germany for years. Prior to mine and B's trip with his parents to Munich, he gave us advice, suggestions, and general encouragement. And I bet you're smart enough to see where this is going.
I just didn't really like Munich.
Having dinner and drinks at the beer houses was nice, but that was about it - and I don't even like German food all that much. I have a low tolerance for sausage. Beer makes me bloated. Give me tomatoes and basil all day long, pasta and pizza, and God forbid pass the liter of red wine, but sausage and beer are good for about a meal, and then I'm out.
Also, to me, Munich didn't seem to have much character. I don't think I even took a single picture in Munich, and if you've followed this blog for any length of time you know that is highly, highly abnormal. There was nothing that really spoke to me and said, "Hey, now you're in Germany!" It didn't light that little spark in me that makes me fall in love with a place and want to move there, or at least beg B endlessly to come back and visit very soon (as Bergamo did).
And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a personal thing. Different places speak to different people, and Germany just didn't speak much to me. Maybe it's because I don't know any Germany, except for "biere."
Still, though, it was nice. We used Munich as a launching point to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. That was more enjoyable, although we didn't know to buy our tickets in time to actually go inside the castle.
Nonetheless, we had a good time taking a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle and exploring the outside. The view was stunning from the top. And I got to have gluwein (hot spiced wine) up at the top by the castle. So really, it was a lovely day in Neuschwanstein and I'm very glad we got to go there. Pictures below.
Just remember - we're all different. No matter what foreign location makes you tick, go there. Get out there and see SOME part of the world that interests you. You do YOU. And if you do Italy, give me a call. I can give you directions to Edi House.