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Munich - football & free beer!

Munich, Germany

didn't do very much in Munich itself. i came here actually cos i wanna see the Cinderella castle - or rather the castle that inspired the Disney's Cinderella castle. but of cos Munich is a pretty city. with lostsa nice buildings/architect n all. and of cos, d beer culture here is ENORMOUS! so here's the highlights...


this is the main square of the city. the Rathaus, old churches n other important buildings surrounds the square. d day we were there, there was a huge football event here. it was the grand finals of d national football championship or something like that. the Munich football team (FC Bayern) won the championship n will be making an appearance at the platz later in d day. oh did i mention before Germans are HUGE football fans!? i really mean like fanatics! so with d national championship winner making an appearance in their home city, of cos d WHOLE of Munich are there to show their support! walkways were being closed for the event, there's fans n media n OB vans all around. so it was really really crowded!

our host Antonio n 2 of his friends met us for dinner. as we were going to get a drink somewhere else, we chance upon Paulaner booths. they were giving out free beers to celebrate FC Bayern winning the national championship. needless to say, there were loads of people there queuing for beers! d most impressive part is, there's no pushing or shoving or any aggressive behaviors at all during the queuing! although there's a number of drunks after like 1-2 hours. but still, no fights or things like that.

o yes, we saw 4 policemen hanging out at d area where d beers were given out. they were doing some kind of formation, a square with their back so they were facing out. they were standing there for a while so i thought i'll take a photo of them. d policeman facing us saw me holding d camera and actually smiled for the photo!! it was hilarious to see these guys looking so serious in their uniform n all, then suddenly smiling for d photo!

Schloss Nymphenburg

also know as Nymphenburg Palace in english. again, another huge beautifully made up palace! very pretty decoratives both in and outside the buildings. the buildings are now used as museum/exhibition halls since they are no longer occupied. the garden is really big! or long i should say! just look at d photo!

Englischer Garten
also known as English Garden. so many people we met earlier on told us we MUST see d English Garden when we go to Munich. so we did. it's d 2nd biggest city park in Europe (after Richmond Park in London) covering 3.7km². it's really really nice to be walking in d park. it was all peaceful n quiet (least when we were there!), no sounds of traffic, just birds' chirping n sound of running waters... d busy city life just disappear into the tranquility of the huge garden. we didn't managed to have a picnic here (cos d grass was still wet fr d rain earlier) but we had coffee in d really nice cafe restaurant near d Chinesischer Turm.

it's a really posh place, very elegantly decorated with nice furnitures n beautiful statues. we didn't stay in d garden for too long as d sky was pretty cloudy but it was enough to see d beautiful garden...

and there's The Königsplatz, with The Glyptothek and The Staatliche Antikensammlungen on each side. beautiful n grand historic buildings.

well, how can i leave Munich without the infamous big mug of beer!

permalink written by  wangyng on May 20, 2008 from Munich, Germany
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Germany, Beer and Munich

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Moscow Day 1

Moscow, Russia

As we got up early, we decided to walk the 20 minutes down to the Kremlin and Red Square. We noticed the same as yesterday, Moscow is a stunningly beautiful city... Some amazing architecture, stunningly beautiful old streets and laneways, but the customer service throughout Russia is abysmal, but boys, you all need to visit Russia!!! BOYS! You NEED to visit this place...

We get to The Entrance for the Kremlin at just about 12:15pm and it is open until 5:00 for visiting, but we ended up waiting until 2:30 for entry tickets... That Russian customer service again... We had to take the audi tour things and have them back by 4:00, so the 5 hours we had have become an hour and a half, but we had also bought tickets to the armory where the Faberge eggs and the Czars collections are kept. These tickets are also good till 4:00pm... You see our problem? We ended up seeing both for about 30 minutes a piece...

Dinner was at a Georgian restaurant... You know Georgia, that place Russia recently attacked? That place... The food was phenomenal! A kind of Russian Mediterranean blend that tasted very good. Adam had chicken, I had veal, and we were all happy! Adam has had some toe issues for a few days and today it was causing him some problems, so we had an early night, and I had a few beers in the house...

I have almost achieved my mini project. That is, drinking all 10 varieties of Baltika (a great Russian brew...) I have drunk the #3,4,5,6,7,8,9. I have seen a 0 but I am looking for the #1, and 2... If you can get it, #8 is the best! It's reminiscent of some quality Belgian brews...

Tomorrow morning we are off to see the embalmed corpse of Lenin and see the rest of Moscow... Then in the evening, the train to Helsinki and some non-communist countries!

permalink written by  Big_T on September 5, 2008 from Moscow, Russia
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
tagged Beer, Moscow, Baltika and GeorgianFood

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Moscow Day 2

Moscow, Russia

We showed up at the Red Square for the second day straight only to again see it closed up with heavy metal gates that reminded us of what the ter Iron Curtain meant. So no corpse viewing, this means that we missed out on seeing both corpses that we wanted to see (Mao Tse Tung in Beijing and Lenin in Moscow)... Very very disappointing...

So we sat down and discussed our options, and we decided that to try and get a sneak peak at the square from the back would be the best option, so we walked around until we found somewehere for lunch, ate and then continued walking around the square. Walked for about 2 hours and then went to a pub for 6.

Adam went easy on it because of his injury, I was uninjured so i didn't bother to go easy and we got to watch 3 games of soccer with almost no goals, but i didn't mind beacause I celebrated each 15 minute interval with a beer...

That evening at 10:50PM we boarded the train to Helsinki for a 15 hour train trip. A walk in the park after the last one...

permalink written by  Big_T on September 6, 2008 from Moscow, Russia
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
tagged Beer, Moscow and Helsinki

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Vegetable Lasagne

Helsinki, Finland


Finland... Land of excitement, thrills, etc. Adam brought a guidebook (Europe on a shoestring) with a short guide on each country in Europe. It even has Andorra in it... The France section is about 30 pages long, Finland, a page and a half.

The 4th attraction listed for Finland is a Cable Factory (admittedly it is now used as an art space, but you get the picture). The one attraction they had which sounded pretty cool was a former fortress island, it was used to defend Sweden, Russia and then Finland after independence from Sweden and Russia. We took the ferry out there and walked all around the place and had a pretty cool time looking at old cannons, battlements and exploring a series of underground pitch black tunnels which led to more underground pitch black tunnels. I tired of these after a while, but Adam seemd to get continually excited about them.

Walked around the island for 2½ to 3 hours and then headed back up to the city to get something to eat. Went for a beer in the pub first (bottle of Stella €5 thank you very much...) The other thing that interested me about Finland was the wacky stuff they eat. I had already eaten Reindeer for lunch and when we got to the restaurant for dinner I chose the Elk and Venison casserole... Absolutely lovely... Adam had Buffalo for lunch and Reindeer for dinner...

All in all, Helsinki is a beautiful old city, with great architecture but there wasn't heaps to do if you don't love saunas... Kind of like that Seinfeld character Vegetable Lasagne (who was Finnish by the way)...

permalink written by  Big_T on September 7, 2008 from Helsinki, Finland
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
tagged Beer, Helsinki, Reindeer and Elk

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Day 1a

Tijuana, Mexico

Tah-da, the requisite beer. One frothy cold and delivered to my table with chips and salsa. Just outside the resturant was a family band, brothers and cousins on accordian, bass, drums, and tiny preteen cousin on the mike belting out the lyrics like she owned them. I wish I had gotten them in the beer pic. It's not just a treasure hunt, damnit. I missed out on the picture of the fly dying on it's back in the urinal at the Burger King outside of the border, but I think that was more a matter of good taste. Right as my alarm went off, in the middle of a conversation with an American prophet, there had started a troupe of costumed Mexicans doing an apparently traditional dance. They were in full feathered regalia, young son on the skin drum and infant shaking a rattle. The prophet was an older woman, her pale makeup was smeared around and her maskara caked lashes behind large dark glasses framed pale green eyes. She wanted me to warn my father about the dark forces, the ones he has abandoned, for they are angry. I'm sure he'll be fine.
Apparently it's not cool to buy glassware and take it over the border. Next time I'll just put it in my fucking pocket. Oh, yeah, and you need a passport to get back into the states. Well, they let me through, "But remember it next time." I'll surely remember it for Canada. The only borders I like are on imaginary planes and shift based on your calculations. I did however get away with some lovely jewlry for some select lady friends.
Amsterdam Pharmacy, Srsly, wtf? SmartShop it ain't.
This one too. Multinational Mexico, go go go!
Ok, I've seen these damn things all over the world. London, Amsterdam, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles... this however is the first one to grace my data stream. Lovely. Frida. Lovely.

permalink written by  kleer001 on November 16, 2008 from Tijuana, Mexico
from the travel blog: Tijuana to Vancouver
tagged Mexico, Beer, TJ and Tijuana

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Snowballs, Pints & Pies

Christchurch, New Zealand

Lindis Pass is a long way to come for a snowball fight, even by Kiwi standards! Leave it to forty-two crazy Canucks to ask the bus driver to pull over so they could test out NZ snow. Nobody was homesick., it was just too tempting not to have some good old Canadian fun! Snowballs flew everywhere and few found their intended target...just like on the rugby pitch. Go figure!

Snowballs excepted, we are trying our best to get into the Kiwi culture starting with food and drink. Meat pies are the answer to every meal that isn't a sit-down affair. They're everywhere and filled with everything from mince to lambs' fry, aka, liver. Taste and quality range from "Wow!" to "Bugger me, that's horrible!" You will find the former in the local bakery; the latter are massed produced in a factory and languish on garage food racks.

And what goes with a pie...beer, of course! Despite its reputation, Speights is the beer of the South Island. "What's their reputation?", you ask.
It starts with a local saying, "Drink Speights, lose your mates!"
"What's that mean?", you ask.
Speights is known for its gaseous side effects...it appears to be true, too!

So, beware the man with pie and Speights in hand!

permalink written by  Shane & Norma on April 29, 2009 from Christchurch, New Zealand
from the travel blog: "Not Just Another Rugby Tour" - New Zealand, Samoa and Australia
tagged Rugby, Beer, Snowballs and Speights

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Day 2... The Trek to Fremantle...

Perth, Australia

Woke up at 7:00 am... This jet lag is killing me... Had a shower and went down to breakfast... Standard breakfast buffet fare, rubbery poached eggs, cold sausages, toast, cereal etc. awesome... Loved it... Went back upstairs to tidy up, grab my stuff and head out...

Grabbed the sign on the door and popped it on the outside of the door and put it out so I could tidy up in peace... As I was heading out, I realised that I probably should have checked which side I had put facing outwards, and as expected, the side on the outside said “Please tidy my room”... The inside said “Privacy Please”... I might put that on the outside from now on....

Headed out and walked toward the station to get a train to Fremantle. The train was on time and clean, it wasn't overcrowded, the ticket machine worked and it was full of attractive people (myself excluded, of course), so it was the exact opposite of a Melbourne train.

Train arrived in 25 minutes and as I got out of the station I realised what kind of a place we were looking at. An attractive city with lots of old buildings (old in an Australian sense, so about 100 years), and a lot of cool restaurants and cafes. I called my brother Neil to wish him a Happy Birthday and discussed Supercoach... The sizeable Italian community in Fremantle was instantly visible too, in the names of the cafes, the sight of old Italian men sitting outside said cafes, and the abundant Italian flags in various spots around the city.

But none of this mattered to me. I was in Fremantle for mostly one reason...

And I got here... It is, in essence, my spiritual home, even though I had never been here... Let me explain... I love beer... This place makes my favourite beer on earth... Hence, it was a place I needed to visit. And visit I did. I sat down at the front in the outside, patio-type, area and ordered a beer, after drinking it, I waited for the slightly unfriendly waitress to come back and ask if I wanted another. She didn't for a little while, but she served the people on the table next to me and told them that there was a group of tables on the other side which faced the water, so I grabbed my beer glass, and my water bottle and menu and stuff and walked to those tables. “Probably got better waitresses over there too” I thought, and I couldn't have been more right...

Waitresses were pleasant, the beer was delicious and I could see the boats sailing through the harbour just as Australia II did on that day in 1983 when we won the America's Cup or some shit... I don't know, I was drinking Little Creatures Pale Ale and loving every drop... I also had one of the woodfired pizzas and it was delicious too... And then I had another couple of pints... And then I realised I had better do a bit more sightseeing...

I walked around a bit further and went to a couple more pubs and had some more beers... Saw a pair of bikies get into an argument in one and almost get into fisticuffs until they were stopped by another bikie... All-in-all, a cracking day...

I headed back to Perth and walked around endlessly looking for a restaurant in the middle of the CBD for dinner... I ended up eating at an Irish pub and had some pretty good fish and chips...

Back to the hotel for some rest and to prepare for my last day in Oz before the African adventure...

permalink written by  Big_T on June 2, 2010 from Perth, Australia
from the travel blog: World Cup
tagged Beer, Perth, LittleCreatures and Fremantle

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Day 3... More Perth...

Perth, Australia

My third day in Perth and in the glamorous establishment above, and not a great deal was achieved during daylight hours. In the evening I had plans to meet Scotty, Junko, Damo and Naoko, so a mini Japan reunion and I was excited about that. Scotty called me to discuss meeting up about 3 minutes after I woke up, so strictly speaking, I wasn't lying when I told him that he hadn't woken me up.

I had been told about King's Park and how I should go and see it. So I headed up there in the morning after the breakfast in the hotel. Rode the bus about 30 minutes and then walked for about 10 and realised that it was just a bigger version of the park near my house. Called Monty who had recommended it and he told me that it was my fault because I wasn't in touch with nature. We agreed to disagree and I headed back in to the city.

Jumped on a couple of free buses toward Northbridge where I had been told there were some places to eat lunch (as Central Perth has approximately nothing). As I was sat on the bus, I spotted Noriko (Damo's wife, the same Damo and Noriko that I had plans to meet later in the evening). I knew Perth was small, but I had no idea just how small.

After lunch, I did a little more walking around and sightseeing. Then I headed up to Leederville. This is where Scotty, Damo and their respective spouses live. Went to the pub and had a beer and something to eat and a good catch up. I also got in trouble for not telling them before I was coming to Perth, that I was coming and I could have stayed at one of their places for nothing. On the way back I have a night in Perth again, so I will be staying at Scotty and Junko's place.

After the pub, we went to a cafe and enjoyed a coffee... The cafe had a number of lanterns... How many you ask? Well, we had a little contest to guess how many there were. I said 250, Damo, 360 and the others weren't even close... As we were leaving Scotty asked the guys at the counter and was told that there were about 300... The boys have been set a task, to find out the exact number, because under 310 makes me the winner, where 311 and up would give it to Damo... I think I have it...

Back to the hotel and some kip... Tomorrow is the flight to Singapore and then on to Jo'burg, so I think I will spend most of the day getting tanked on planes and in airport bars.

permalink written by  Big_T on June 3, 2010 from Perth, Australia
from the travel blog: World Cup
tagged Park, Beer and Perth

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