This past weekend we went to Munich to knock a couple of things off our our European Bucket List. One of them being the Deutsches Museum. This is a HUGE 6 story museum, built in 1925, that focuses on anything and everything technology related. From mining to planes, trains, glass, paper, space travel, robots, and LOTS more. There is SO MUCH stuff here that it is impossible to see it all. And in fact, we didn't.
We left after work on Friday and drove the three and a half hours to get there. Since we were on the autobahn, where the speed is unlimited for a majority of it, we made the trip pretty quickly. We have had many people ask us if we have ''driven on the autobahn'' yet, like its this one special road in Germany that has no speed limits whatsoever. In actuality, the autobahn is really just the German highway system and while there are large stretches of it that do not have speed limits, in construction zones, near towns and just random bits, do have speed limits that range anywhere from 60 km/hr (in construction zones), to 120 km/hr.
We arrived at the hotel I had booked (the NH Unterhaching, about 20 minutes outside of Munich Altstadt), and we pleasantly surprised that we had been upgraded to a suite. I had booked, and paid a ridiculously low price for, a standard room, so when we opened the door and saw it was a suite, we were excited.
The next morning, we woke up early, hopped on the S-bahn (suburban train) and headed into the city center. The train station was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel, and we didn't have to make any transfers to get to where we wanted to go, which made it easy. We opted to not get breakfast at the hotel since it was a little pricey (10 Euro, not bad, but I was fine with a tea and something from the bakery). Since there is a bakery on every corner in Germany, we figured this wouldn't be a problem. Well, in Munich, they don't like bread apparently. There was a not a bakery in sight. It was weird. And inconvenient.
We had visited the Deutsches Museum five years ago on our Beer and Cathedral tour of Germany, but we had only given ourselves a few hours one afternoon. Since there is so much to see, we gave ourselves an entire day there this time. We wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything we wanted to see.
We started off in the mine exhibit, which is pretty awesome. We have done tours of real mines before in the Upper Peninsula and this felt like the real deal. Complete with the cold, damp air. There is an entire materials wing there with everything from metals to welding and materials testing to. Sadly, we skipped this exhibit, although in all honesty, there wasn't much I could learn from a museum about this topic. It was then on to the marine navigation (Schiffahren) section. They have big boats, little boats, models of really big boats, and pretty much everything related to marine travel, including the history of ship building/designs. Being avid scuba divers, this made me antsy to get on a wreck and dive somewhere. Alas, no diving this weekend.
Once you pass through the marine navigation exhibit, you walk straight into the flight exhibit. On display are planes ranging from the wood framed Wright brothers plane, to gliders, different sized jet engines, a slice of a Lufthansa plane, some helicopters (some from the US Air Force even! #Merica), and odds and ends related to aeronautical navigation. Some of the planes are even hanging from the ceiling and you are able to walk underneath them. It's pretty impressive.
From there, it was on to the space section. On display were models of all the different satellites, rockets and ships that had traveled into space. There was an interesting display that talked about the space race between the US and the former Soviet Union. From the language and the way it was explained, it could have been anything. Growing up in the US though, we knew that the Space Race was kind of a big deal. It was interesting to see a different perspective on something that was so influential on the US, its politics, and the whole generation of people that experienced it.
From astronautics, it was on to glass technology. Here were a few interesting displays of glass though the years, what it was used for, and how it was produced. Next to this exhibit was the technical toys room. There were a number of knex/erector sets built and would operate at the push of a button. By this point in the day, our feet were starting to get a little sore and I was having a caffeine withdrawl headache. So we headed to one of the many little cafes in the museum for a coffee and to plan the rest of our day. Check back in a couple days to see what else we did in Munich!
We are also in the midst of planning a trip to Ireland. So far, we have set our itinerary as Belfast - Cliffs of Moher/Limerick - Cork/Blarney Castle - Dublin. If you have any suggestions for any of those places, let us know! We would also welcome recommended places to stay while we are there!
- Meghan -