One pork sausage too many….
Guten abend loyal fans! Day 4 in Germany and we’ve already hit our pork limit. We’ve had it for lunch or dinner for 4 days now – it’s just too much! What really pushed us over the edge today was dinner at Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus (translation = Royal Brewery House).
Now owned by the Bavarian government, this famous brewery/restaurant/pub was founded in 1589 and produces one of Munich’s most famous brews. Hofbräuhaus beer became so famous, in fact, that it once saved the city from destruction. When King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden invaded Bavaria in 1632 (during the Thirty Years’ War), he threatened to sack and burn the entire city of Munich. However, after much negotiation, he agreed to leave the city in peace if the citizens surrendered some hostages, and 600,000 barrels of Hofbräuhaus beer.
The hall itself is immense – the main restaurant can seat up to 1,300 guests, with a further 400 seats available out in the bier garten and 900 more upstairs in the second and third floor “festival halls” (which are like giant function rooms). It was insanely busy when we where there for lunch – the sheer volume of pork schnitzel, pork sausages, pork knuckles and roast pork platters being served was unbelievable. Not to mention the beer! Beers only come in 0.5L or 1.0L steins and the waiters and waitresses were doing an admirable job carrying 8-10 of those massive mugs out at a time. The best bit was, in the centre of the restaurant, there was a genuine oompah band playing lively German songs at us. It was hilarious, busy, noisy and absolutely mad!
We had a “normal” pork schnitzel (i.e. not the 70EURO 1.5kg “challenge” schnitzel they serve!) and a plate of mixed schweinwurst (translation = pork sausages) between us, and Shane sampled a conservative 1.0L mug of the house brew. In his words the beer was: “brewtal” (ahem, nice pun Shane – I believe he’s referring to the beer’s high alcohol percentage there). The beer certainly seemed to make Shane very happy, then put him into some kind of stupor. Mind you, the beer may have had nothing to do with it; Shane’s coma may have been induced by the 6 sausages, half a schnitzel and kilo of sauerkraut he ate! (Not a good combination. Not at all. German food is only for those who wish to die young and flatulent I think.)
Apparently revelry at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich inspired the saying “oans, zwoa, g’suffa” (translation = one, two, down the hatch), and reportedly Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart claimed to have written the opera Idomeneo after several visits to the Hofbräuhaus fortified him for the task. Today Hofbräuhaus franchises have been opened around the world (including Aus), but today we got to experience the original! What a way to the end our day!
Luckily we started our day a bit more high-brow than we ended it! We spent today revisiting some of the sights we saw yesterday we a view to seeing them up close and in a bit more detail. The best of all our museum vistis was definitely the Residenz. The Munich Residenz served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes and kings from 1508 to 1918. What began in 1385 as a small castle was transformed over the centuries into a magnificent palace containing stables, kitchens, gardens, courtyards, a music hall and hundreds of richly appointed rooms. Today 130 of the rooms are open to the public and filled with antique furniture, art, porcelain, and tapestries that span the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical eras. It was definitely the most impressive museum/palace we’ve seen since The Hermitage in St Petersburg or The Uffizi in Florence. Below are just some of the photos of the highlights…