As our pre-dawn train glided silently into the station, I found Josh outside his dingy compartment, staring out the window at the soft sunlight breaking over the horizon and filtering through the steel framework of the Munich Hauptbahnhof. Like me, he hadn’t slept much either due to troublesome compartment-mates – Serbian newlyweds with no concept of privatizing their mutual affection.
We gathered our packs and navigated the platform, which even at the break of dawn presented a myriad crowd of commuters, locals, tourists and other backpackers. Somewhere near the local rail, Josh and I reconvened with William, our longtime friend and third member of our party, who grumbled through a cloud of self-produced smoke his list of complaints: after an uncomfortable night of intermittent sleep, he had been charged two Euros to use the public toilets. On low-budget travel, a toilet toll presents an inconvenient, albeit necessary, expense.
We would be spending only the first part of the day in Munich before moving on to Erfurt and decided that within our short time in the cultural capital of Bavaria we would need to visit a bierhaus or outdoor marketplace to enjoy a Müncher weisse. With not much else on our agenda, we hastily agreed that a half-liter beer at 8:00 a.m. would be the travel experience required of a morning in Bavaria as well as the necessary antidote for our afflicting sleep-deprivation.
Oftentimes, it seems the quality of a reached decision directly correlates with the lethargy of the decision-makers. In other words, it didn’t take much deliberation to convince ourselves that replacing the most important meal of the day with a glass (or two) of Bavarian weisse was the absolute right thing to do in the spirit of fast-paced travel.
At a marketplace around the corner from the Frauenkirche, our request for three half-liter glasses of beer was met with condescending laughter and reproach. “Too early in the morning for Müncher weisse,” the vendor scoffed, looking at his watch. “We start serving in one hour. Come back then.” An hour-long blink later, I was tipping glasses – Prost! – with Josh, Will, and a number of other Bavarian regulars managing one more half-liter before another day at the office.
- By Austin Price