It was somewhere in the second part of 2012 that one of my friends asked me if I would like to join her in December to a Christmas Market in Munich. That was before I started working for a company that has its headquarters there and in the first place, I thought “hmm..Munich…it doesn’t say anything to me” because for me Germany was not a holiday destination at the time. But in the end, I accepted the offer (as long as it involved traveling, new places, new people, why not?) and bought the tickets.
We were a group of 4 people and got a room in the hostel – Jaeger’s Hotel/Hostel – (very nice, clean, warm) right across the street from the main train station, on a street with different ethnic restaurants. The hostel had free wifi, a really nice breakfast and a bar where we could spend some time over a glass of oh well..wine.
Getting there was interesting, since we did not choose to go the direct way – from Bucharest, we have 3 options: Lufthansa, Tarom and Wizzair out of which we chose the latter. The plane was not landing in Munich but in Nuremberg, a city approximately 1 and a half hours by train (and somewhere around 30EUR depending on the group size and on the ticket bought – if you are up to 4 persons in the group the best choice would be the Bayern ticket: EUR 23.00 for 1 passenger* + EUR 5.00 for each additional person (maximum of 4) from Munich. At the time, we did not do any research about Nuremberg, therefore we headed directly to the train station and from there to the final destination: Munchen.
Let me start by saying that I now love Munich. I think it is a lovely city and I love walking around. But it took some experiences to get me to this point.
My first experience was awful. Looking at the pictures now, it all looks great, all fun and games, we have some beautiful pictures to remind us of that experience. But I surely did not feel it like that back then. It was cold. Very very cold. Most certainly not the time for a city break of walking around for up to 10 hours every day. It was so cold that in the third day we could not take it anymore and we bought a bottle of schnapps to drink every now and then in order to get warm.
But the Christmas Market was stupendous! All the sweets, gingerbread full of almonds and chocolate, Christmas ornaments, mulled wine, pretzels, sausages made it very hard to behave. And the whole city center is full of these little wood houses out of which all sorts of indulging smells come from.
We had 4 days to get to know the Bavarian city, to taste the world-renowned German cuisine (aka würst, bratwürst, Käse würst, schnitzel, and kartoffelsalat – cold potato salad) all accompanied by the local beer. To be fair, it was only a few year later that I got the chance to taste the ultimate blend of cuisine and culture: the curry würst!
Getting back to the actual city, sightseeing, we ticked a lot of travel destinations off out list (even if it was so very cold outside)
The English Garden (Englischer Garten)
A huge park in the middle of the city. The main points of interest would be the Chinesischer Turm(Chinese tower) right next to a small beer garden where you can sit back, relax and sometimes listen to good Bavarian music; the guys surfing on the Isar river, no matter the season (we spent some time marveling at the view) or the Japanese Tea house.
Marienplatz and the Rathaus (Town Hall)
A palatial building housing the state parliament since 1949. The view is very nice in all seasons from the bridge over Isar river.
All of the above were the things we have managed to fit into our trip, but of course, this is not everything you can do and see in and around Munich. Fate offered me the chance to see the city in every season and eventually fall in love with it. But I will tell you more about falling in love with Munich and share some more beautiful pictures in a future post.