European Adventures in Engineering & Sustainability | Munich
Authored by Hyo-Hynag Carty, Ben Muratov, and Sam Urban.
From bratwursts to sauerkraut, Munich is a quirky city with an enchanting history that has a lot more to offer than just beer and pretzels. Here in Munich, we met our tour guide, Hildren. She speaks 5 languages, knows the ins and outs of the city, and has the best recommendations for all the snazzy eateries and beer gardens. We all decided to get immersed in the language of Germany, so Hildren taught us a word of the day. The first word we learned, although basic, was Guten Morgen (good morning). All day, the Sustainability Squad was screaming Guten Morgen! to each other. Later that day, we used this phrase with the bartender of the hotel and all of us instantly became friends! Hildren and Munich taught us the importance of creating strong cultural bonds through the power of language. This was an incredible experience!
After we got to know Hildren, she took us to a Beer Garden, where we binge ate pretzels, bratwurst, and [responsibly] had some amazing beer! The best part was that there was an awesome farmers market that had a ton of exotic fruits, cheeses, and other yummy treats! Some of the fruits they had included passion fruit, soursop, prickly pears, and figs the size of tennis balls! The farmers market was unique, and we all enjoyed this delicious cultural experience.
The next day, the Sustainability Squad didn’t let sleep deprivation stop us as we explored the city. We Guten Morgen-ed each other and hopped on a train, soaring toward neat museums and churches. Learning Munich history through Hildren’s expertise was phenomenal, to say the least! We learned about the start of the Nazi regime and were able to visit the buildings that held some of the first Nazi meetings and exchanges. Learning the evolution of Nazism through the lens of Munich was outstanding! We learned a lot about the cultural impact and influence the buildings and sights have to this day.
The highlight of this day was the BMW museum. Car fanatic or not, the museum was filled with vivacious and kinetically artistic cars that grabbed our eyes. Vehicles ranged from dynamic motorcycles to invigorating car designs! The Sustainability Squad decided to ditch the group and explore an exhibition regarding the BMW Sustainability Track. We visited the Bowl of the BMW museum that featured electric mobility, carbon manipulation, battery technology, and renewable raw materials. The exhibits featured videos and cars that highlighted various aspects of material selection and production, and pinpointed the challenges facing future emission-free mobility. The next step they are taking is the incorporation of sustainable developmental approaches into the digitalization that would allow for fully autonomous driving. Learning about the sustainable automotive industry in a country controlled by the automotive system was absolutely sensational. A lot of German car companies (Volkswagen, Audi, etc.) get away with making cars with harmful CO2 emission levels that exceed the countries law limits. To see a car company, apply sustainability to their cars, was amazing and inspiring. They were not only practicing sustainability but were proud to display their findings and how they hope to improve their environmental approaches.
Later that night, we all met an awesome bartender named Arcangelo, a super cool technical student that works all night at the hotel to pay for school. He taught us about the night culture in Munich and shared fun tips on how to radiate swag with natives. To be honest, Hyo was the only one that pulled off the “swag” vibe, but the rest of us were really close! We went to a Latin club and got to experience German pop culture. The music, popping! The drinks, buzzing! The dancing, lit! It was exhilarating to break out of our shells and comfort zones and dance the night away! We all stayed as a group and had each other’s backs, especially when some bright and awesome club fights broke out! This was a night to remember and we had an amazing cultural experience. Overall, Munich was filled with a rich history, intricately built churches, amazing food, and fun museums! Hildren taught us the importance of cultural bonding through history and language, and we all had an absolute blast!