The 1 ½ hour flight to Munich was wonderful….seeing the Alps on our right and Lake Geneva on our left was wondrous….we giggled like school kids.
As we neared our destination, the shapes below became ever more clear….trees, homes and fields all covered in a blanket of snow. After picking up our luggage and winding our way outdoors, a light snow began to fall. We were going to take the train into Munich but, since I’m wary of another fall, we splurged and took a taxi into town. The drive took us through field after field covered with a beautiful layer of white snow. We were amazed at how very flat the countryside was. You could see for miles and miles….nothing obstructed the view….so very different than the rolling hills and distant mountains in Languedoc.
The cab dropped us in front of Hotel Daniel….conveniently located on a busy main street just around the corner from Marienplatz…..the town’s main plaza and the location of the Christmas Market. Our room was very large by European standards. In the center of the room, there were twin beds pushed together….each with its own duvet….there’ll be no cover stealing tonight!
We were anxious to see the Christmas Market so we bundled up and headed outdoors. A skating rink with more spectators than skaters was set-up at the beginning of the pedestrian walkway leading to Marienplatz. Booths selling sausages, potato cakes, beer, glühwein (mulled wine) and lebkuchen surrounded the rink, satisfying the appetites of the hungry crowds.
Munich’s Christmas Market is huge! Rows and rows of booths lined the main walkway and every side street…..chocolates, candies, pastries, toys, ornaments, candles, hats, gloves…..so many things for sale. Then there were the food booths……more sausages, potatoes, pastries and, of course, glühwein. There were so many people….crowding and pushing….you couldn’t walk a straight line….effectively doubling the distance we had to travel.
We walked through the Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s historic beer hall and brewery. It’s huge…..with room after room of large tables with benches. Seating is communal…..and with no host or hostess to seat you, you’re on your own as you look for a table…..many of which are reserved for local clubs. We walked through this enormous restaurant twice without finding two seats together.
After the jostling and pandemonium of the crowds in the market and the restaurant, we decided we wanted….no, we needed…. a more serene locale for dinner so we moved on to a different beer hall…..another huge restaurant with multiple rooms and lots and lots of diners but this time, a waitress took pity on us and seated us at in a quiet corner at a table with a family of three. They were just finishing up so a nod of the head and a very friendly “Guten Tag” was the extent of our conversation with them.
Our order was taken (Pork with Potato Dumpling for Craig and with Potato Pancakes for me). Two large steins of beer (aka “attitude adjusters”) were quickly delivered and dinner arrived promptly….it was delicious and a lot cheaper than meals in France…..30 euros for two dinners, two beers and one apple strudel.
We headed back to the hotel….fighting against a sea of humanity all the way. We got back before 7:00 and took an unintentional nap that turned into a night’s sleep…..guess Felix’s 6 am wake-up call deprived us of more sleep than we realized.
Süße Träume…..sweet dreams