Having travelled 7500+ kms from Tamil Nadu to Germany, I believe it would be unfair and unwise to confine myself within the walls of a room and continue a run-of-the-mill routine of watching movies & series and reading gossips & conspiracy theories. Which is why I made it a point to explore Germany (in tiny bits), starting 2017.

Planning the trip

While spontaneous trips to explore a city or visit a friend can sound quite thrilling, for students in a foreign country with limited travel budget, planning in advance can ensure that it’s worth their money. Not to forget, however, are the perils of over-planning and allowing pleasant travel experiences go down the drain. Balancing the level of details is an art in itself and can only be mastered with time and experience.

Usually transportation expenses are the major chunk. However, one should also consider the factors of comfort and travel time, before making a balanced decision. Be sure that there is no such thing as a wrong choice, as every experience helps in making more intuitive choices the next time.

While travel options such as FlixBus, BlaBla Car are quite common in Germany for the occasional traveller, I preferred to stick to the German trains (Deutsche Bahn) just because I was more familiar with it. So on the 31st Dec 2016, after a couple of hours of scouring through the internet (happens usually if one wants the ideal option that suits their every demand), I made my bookings for a 3-day vacation trip in February.

My friend Anoop lived in a rental accommodation in the outskirts of Ingolstadt and I was lucky that the room was sufficiently large to accommodate one more person for the weekend, thus also saving me the stay costs. His German owner was a helpful and friendly person too, making the stay more pleasant.

When friends get together, it is fun-time

It was a short reunion as I got to meet Anoop, Aashish and Nithin (all students of The Languedge), all of whom currently live and pursue their Masters at Ingolstadt. On Saturday, we travelled to Munich to visit the Rail and Road Transport Centre of Deutsches Museum and the BMW Welt.

To make things interesting, it was decided that we all converse only in German and make it a Stadtreise (City tour) of Munich in Germany. All thanks to our German teacher at The Languedge for initiating this back in Chennai. While our previous Stadtreise involved at Egmore Museum, Chennai in November 2016 this one has taken it to the Deutsches Museum in Munich. ‘From Madras to Munich!’ Catchy, isn’t it?

Stadtreise (City tour) of Munich

While the entire day was an interesting experience, the following surely are the cream of it

  • Munich’s long-distance train station bore a stark resemblance to Chennai Central’s, in how the platforms are oriented to the building. Thinking about this made me realize that the even city names can be combined as ‘Münchennai’ (Munich is written München in German)

    Friends from The Languedge all the way to Germany!
  • Our lunch was at a Turkish place, which sells Döners and Pizzas. When Aashish told after lunch that the outlet at Ingolstadt makes it tastier, it was suggested that maybe we should embark on a ‘Döner’ trip around Germany to find the best Döners. A tasty trip that would be! (if one ever manages to eat that many Döners in a row)


  • With a Bayern Ticket (for which the four of us spent 11 Euros each), we were entitled to travel all day long in all modes of transport within the Bavarian region. We sure did make the most of it and travelled in the city’s S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Trams and also Regional Trains. Buses unfortunately did not make it into our list


  • With a 3 Euro entry, the Museum gave a recap of ‘Mankind and Mobility’. One sure is likely to feel humbled at how much has been done in the last decades to be where we are. With all four of us pursuing Automotive-based courses, it was like taking inspiration from the past to work for the future
    One can never get enough selfies!

  • Anoop earned the nickname “Mr. Google” when, out of the blue, he answered a question about the distance between Esslingen and Ingolstadt with ‘253 kms’
  • Barring occasional interventions, German remained our Spoken Language of the day

While Day 1 was spent at Munich, Anoop and I spent the next couple of days in Ingolstadt cooking delicious meals, visiting his University, having a casual chat about Autonomous driving and other interesting topics.

The whole experience helped me make some memories, explore a different part of Germany and observe & learn through compare and contrast. Now, I can surely say that it will give me a fresh and wider perspective on a few things.