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Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Markets in Munich

After leaving Rothenburg on Saturday morning, we drove a few hours to Munich. By the time we got there, it was late evening, so we checked into our hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton near the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. There was a big cultural showcase going on there, so we walked around, and got some gluwein. It was really crowded, so we didn’t stay long that night. We walked to the Augustiner Keller for dinner. This is generally one of my favorite beer gardens. That night, however, the service left a lot to be desired. Definitely a disappointment, though the food was really good. On the way home, we stopped in the Munich train station to buy dad a diet coke and a bottle of wine for mom and me.

The next morning, we got up and walked to Karlsplatz where we had breakfast at McDonald's, then walked down to Marienplatz, enjoying the pedestrian walkway and Christmas markets along the way. We saw several beautiful Nativity Scenes.

 We got to the Rathaus just in time to see the Glockenspiel’s show as the clock chimed and the characters started their movement. This happens only once a day in the winter, and we happened to walk up just in time.


In addition to the much beloved Gluewein, I tried a new drink in Munich’s Christmas market. Dad even liked this one. It was called Feuerzange​nbowle. Below is the Feuerzange​nbowle booth -- selling the traditional​German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. 

Mom buying souvenirs 
After buying souvenirs, we went to the Hofbräuhau​s to listen to some traditional music and to have some beers and a late lunch.

Mom and Dad at Hofbräuhaus (Not Dad's beer!)

By the time we left, it was dark, so we got to see the Christmas lights by the Rathaus and other beautiful decorations. 

After going back to the hotel, mom and I revisited the events at the fairgrounds. We went into the tents there this time, which were not as crowded as our experience the night before. It was much more enjoyable. Leaving there, we went on a long walk to Sinan’s, my favorite post-Oktoberfest bar/restaurant and got a pizza to go to bring back to the hotel room. It was a pretty long walk – I think we walked off all of the calories before the pizza was ever ingested.

The next morning (Monday), we got up early to make our return trip to the states. Luckily, it was very early, as I had spent all of our cash the evening before and thought I might need cash for both diesel fuel to refuel the car and, as it turned out, to get out of the garage. I ran several blocks to get the cash, then attempted to leave the garage. This was also problematic, as we couldn’t figure out how to exit. It turned out you had to pay at a paystation, but the paystation was not located near the exit or where we had left the hotel. The hotel desk clerk at that time of the morning may have been able to validate it and charge it to our rooms, but if he have, he was unaware and wasn’t very helpful in letting us know how it worked, either. Nothing like a little last minute drama before having to catch a flight!

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