Our trip actually started off in Munich, even though Ivan got Neuschwanstein blogged first. We took a night train to Munich, which was an adventure all its own. Avery was so excited it took us nearly two hours to get her to go to bed. It’s a great way to travel, even if you don’t get the best night’s sleep.
First off, I’d like to say that I really like Christmas Markets. We went to the markets in Munich, Salzburg, and of course, Budapest, and they’ve all been really fun. At Munich’s we bought some pretty ornaments, including one made of wood from the Black Forest and had some warm honey milk and ginger bread milk. My only complaint is that I don’t particularly like the smell of Glühwein, and it was everywhere.
Along with the main Christmas market at Marienplatz, we found a smaller Medieval themed Christmas market a few blocks away. I can’t even say how fun this little market was. They had drinks that they sold in medieval style tumblers and people dressed up in robes and cloaks. They sold animal horns and medieval clothes and knives. Even the stalls were medieval style, which was kind of funny when you stepped over the huge plastic speed bump that protected all electrical cords coming out of them all. Unfortunately Avery decided to wake up and complain about being hungry and cold not too long after we walked into the market, so we didn’t get to stay very long or take very many pictures, but we got to wander around once and glance at everything. It reminded me of Scarborough fair at home, but smaller and colder. I would really like to go see it again.
Avery’s favorite part of Munich was “the bells.” We got to see the Glockenspiel ring and play at 11:00. The whole show and song are about ten minutes long and it’s definitely worth waiting around a little bit for. I stood there like a dorky tourist and videoed the entire thing. Actually, not quite the whole thing. I stopped toward the end because my fingers felt like they were about to fall off from cold.
The music is really pretty, I didn’t realize I liked bells so much, but the characters moving around and dancing are possibly even more fun. Toward the end there’s a joust and one of the men even falls off his horse. And the new Rathaus (city council building I think is what that translates to) is pretty stunning in and of itself.
After the Glockenspiel played we wandered around for a little bit. Ivan found a lovely statue of a boar that required a picture (obviously…). We saw Karlsplatz where you can see the only remaining gate to the original Munich city wall. There was a memorial standing where a synagogue used to be before it was torn down just before or during WWII. We saw the old Rathaus and Peterskirche, although we didn’t go in. Next time maybe. We checked out a mall and bought a book in German for me to read.
We walked around Frauenkirche and wandered inside. They weren’t doing tours and wouldn’t let us take pictures of the inside, but it’s a neat building with a huge crucifix in the middle of the center aisle inside. They’re doing some kind of construction and one of the towers of Frauenkirche was covered. Frauenkirche kind of defines the skyline of Munich, so I was a little sad not to get to see the whole thing, but it was neat to see anyway. So very gothic.After a long morning and early afternoon of wandering the city in the cold we went home to our hotel and Ivan took a nap while the rest of us relaxed a little bit. We ate some unexceptional Thai food down the road, went to bed and woke up to Ivan’s favorite part of Europe: continental breakfast. The hotels here sure know how to do breakfast. Even the cheap ones. Ivan was in heaven with eggs, rolls, tea, bread, fruit, yogurt, jam, and even individual sized portions of Nutella. Life was good, and then we ran to catch our train to Neuschwanstein.