So, if you were hypothetically going to be traveling from Salzburg to another area of Germany and happened to be passing by Munich, you may be tempted, as we were, to “pop” in to to see Munich for an hour or two. It is a great idea unless your gut tells you to pass on a certain creepy parking garage that looks abandoned… in which case, maybe you should listen to your instinct.
You will probably ease into Munich without any trouble, just as we did, and find a parking garage not far from the famous Marienplatz. If you do this, you can simply skip to the text below the next photo and have plenty of time for photos and a nice little stroll…
Sadly, though, if you decide to continue with our guided tour, you will soon find yourself locked in that very parking garage on a Sunday in Germany. Locked in a parking garage? Silly, right? Common sense demands that we would simply use the elevator to leave… except the elevator didn’t work.
Next step? Panic. Ok, that was just me. I was imagining the next CSI International (not a real thing, but not such a bad idea!) happening when a family of five… ok, you see where my mind runs to. No, the next practical step offered by a much less overly dramatic husband was to use the stairwell.
Which is exactly what we did and were all smiles again until we realized that we were now stuck in an emergency stairwell, with even the door back to our car now securely locked. Not a problem, right? We could just use our cell phones to call for help… if they had any signal, which they did not. And now back to the Traveling Tribe’s CSI episode!…
My husband and I plastered very fake smiles on our faces and carried on for the sake of the kids by walking up and down every flight of stairs, testing the doors in hopes that one would open. Nothing. I checked my purse and all I had were two packs of sixlets. We were all going to die!
Finally I walked through a construction area, feeling nearly sick over our fate, until at last a door opened. Of course what I found on the other side was bizarre to say the least. I was greeted by a very confused looking lady, dressed in what I quickly assessed was a nurse’s uniform. I nearly kissed her feet when she told me we could leave through what I, again, quickly gathered through my excellent skills of observation, was an emergency ward. (And then I was shielding my children’s eyes from all sorts of things that would definitely have given them nightmares.)
We finally found our way to the street, only to realize that we were now in Munich but our car may be staying indefinitely. While our littlest nearly went ballistic, screaming and crying in fear of losing his father, my husband went back to try to figure out how to get the car out.
And you know what guys? He went around the corner, found a perfectly normal entry with a perfectly functioning elevator and found our car, sitting happily alone on the complete opposite side of the garage, just waiting for it’s happy tribe to return.
So, if you have an hour to spend in Munich and just want to pop in to say you have been there, skip the creepy parking garage part of the story and head straight to Neuhauserstrasse, the pedestrian area where you can buy an incredible pretzel bigger than your face and take photos of the amazing Neues Rathaus, which means New Town Hall. The figurines in the Glockenspiel come to life between 11am and 12 pm and absolutely make up for any delays you might have had even if you opted to stay on our little tour. You can also check back at 5pm if you were not as lucky to find the exit through the Emergency Room.
Sadly, since it is Sunday in Germany, all the shops and the famous Viktualienmarkt (food market) will be closed but if you love beer and/or wienerschnitzel there are plenty of restaurants in the area to grab a seat.
In the end, your one to two hour tour of Munich can be quickly cut down to about 20 minutes, but there will still be time to squeeze in the odd tourist photo of your family, with at least one willing to show his true emotions.
I hope you don’t mind that I shared so much today, but I constantly receive e-mails asking us how we always make traveling with kids look so glamorous and amazing. Truthfully, most of the times things go pretty smoothly, but our little Munich outing was just one of those times when we just had to laugh at ourselves and chalk it up to the fact that we are still just a bunch of amateur travellers, but we love it all the same!
Photography: Tina Fussell for Flying House Studios