This past weekend, I was finally able to visit one of my favorite German cities, Munich. Located in the southern most part of Germany, it is pretty culturally different than most other places in the country. There is a very strong sense of pride among the people and it showed from the second I entered the city. I saw Bavarian flags on every street corner, kids and their parents wearing full Lederhosen, the traditional outfit of Bavarian’s, and even was able to enjoy one of the many festivals that take place in Munich, Springfest!
Similar to Oktoberfest, Springfest lasts for weeks and attracts tons of visitors from all over. Me and my friends immediately went to the nearest store to buy our Lederhosen and went straight to a beer tent. We sat and ate with many people from Munich who instantly treated us like close friends. Inside the tent there were tons of live bands and performances playing traditional German music non stop. The whole atmosphere of the place felt very friendly and most time was spent dancing on top of the tables and singing along. We showed up early to get good seats and must have stayed for almost 7 hours! We decided to go to our favorite tent, home to the Augustiner Brewery. We chose this specifically as it is not only the local favorite beer in Munich, but also ours as well. The city felt very similar to Vienna in a lot of ways with a strong sense of heritage, a city that keeps to its traditions, and a lot of friendly people. We were also able to fit in some sight seeing while we there including things like the old kings summer residence, WW2 memorials such as Dachau concentration camp, and my personal favorite, BMW World.
Having just recently been to Berlin, I can say that Munich feels very different from northern Germany. There is a much stronger sense of pride for Germany in the south than there is in the north. I think the way Germans choose to express their patriotism is very complicated. Many feel it is completely inappropriate to with all that happened in the second world war, while some believe that they can still feel passionate about their way of life in their home country. While northern Germans seemed to be more reserved and serious, southern Germans seem to live a little more relaxed (or at least relaxed by German standards!).
Munich will forever stay in my heart as one of my favorite places to visit. I hope one day I can return and experience all the laughs and good times I had this past weekend.