Munich was a huge surprise for me. My expectations weren't very high because of its image associated with Oktoberfest and being pretty much a non drinker (especially beer). I figured I would just be wandering the city on my own, looking at architecture and galleries after my first and last biergarten experience with D. I know how it feels to be the non drinker at a party full of drinkers.
Imagine my surprise when I became the one looking up the locations of the top biergartens and wanting to go because of their menus! Yes, they serve some great food and we have never eaten so much pork in our lives than that week. Munich draws you out and we barely cooked at all. Who knew that bier halls and gartens do cater to us non drinkers. My favourites were johannisbeere (blackcurrent/cassis) and apfel (apple) schorles. Sure, it cost the same price as beer...
Our first sign of things to come was on the train from Munich flughafen (airport) to the hauptbahnhof (central station). When we started passing a number of posters about an upcoming football game (soccer) the first Sat of our trip between fc Chelsea and Bayern Munich (Champions League Final), we knew we were going to be walking into some fun. Football is huge in most of the world except North America and the fans did not disappoint.
Here is D's first attempt to use the video function on his camera. Enjoy but excuse the extreme amateur-ness. At no time did we feel unsafe. Team supporters were very spirited but under control. Even on a big game weekend, we never saw people wandering around or passed out drunk. Their alcohol culture is very different from NA, more relaxed, without the drink just to get pissed drunk ideology. It just took a long to time get to places in the core, that's all. (game day, May 19, 2012 location Marienplatz, on our way to lunch)