After arriving in Munich around 9:45 PM and having to take an hour bus to the Hauptbahnhof, I was lucky and able to be only about a five minute walk to my hostel, Jaeger's Hostel. After some confusion about my booking (they thought I booked for six nights when I only booked for three), I went and got my first taste of döner kebab...delicious! The next day I decided to go on a free tour where I met a couple of girls from America, Janna and Emily. We decided to ditch out on our free tour a little early and go see Harry Potter, which was amazing- definitely the right decision. :) We walked around the center of Munich the rest of the day seeing a bunch of amazing builidings (and some awesome river surfing), ending at the Hofbräuhaus and drinking some good German beer. I got to practice my German a little bit with our waitress, but it must have been a pretty entertaining sight- an Asian with an American accent trying to speak German. She definitely cracked a smile for me. While we were waiting for our beers, we met a couple of guys from Mike's Bike Tours who took us to a more local pub, way different but definitely felt like I was getting a more German experience.
The next day, the girls and I decided to do a bike tour with the guys we had met the night, so that meant an early morning and a three hour bus ride to Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for the Disney Castle. We took a ride around Swan Lake on our bikes, which was so beautiful. There is really nothing like the mountains in Germany and Austria, there is just not much comparable to it in the United States. After we rode the bikes, we stopped for lunch and watched some people paraglide off of the mountains which I definitely would have done if it wasn't so expensive (yes, even though I am deathly scared of heights). We hiked up the mountain to see the castle, and on the way there were some cute little waterfalls that I just had to stop and take some pictures of. Once we got up there, it was possibly the most beautiful view of the Castle and the mountains...it really takes your breath away (which I know sounds so corny, but it is true). The story around the castle and Mad King Ludwig is funny and intriguing and makes the trip to see the castle even more interesting. After we got back from the castle, we went out to the Chinese Garden but unfortunately it was closed so we walked along Bayenstrasse and grabbed a Spaten beer...the perfect way to end my first visit to Munich. The next day was kind of short because I had to catch an early train to Kufstein to meet one of my favorite Austrian boys, Markus!