Bavarian Rhapsody

After more than two years of the COVID era, it was a relief to finally make a return journey to Europe, our first since visiting Madrid and southern Spain in September 2019. We arrived in Munich early on a Wednesday. Arrival days on any overseas trip are challenging and this one was no different. We paid up for business class on this trip, and we were able to get some sleep, but the reality is that you really don’t sleep that much on a plane. The departure was at 5:30 PM out of Newark and as expected, we got in too early for our room to be ready, so we catnapped in the lounge of our hotel.

On the plus side, we were treated to a welcome bottle of champagne and some fruit when we finally got into our room. We are staying at a Sofitel, which is a French-owned chain and definitely classy. This particular room is bi-level, with the bed in a second floor loft and a sitting area below. There is a also a half bath on the lower floor and a full bath and shower on the sleeping floor. The location is very convenient. It’s an easy walk into the old part of the city and it’s near the main train station, which should make our later departure to Berlin fairly easy. Based on initial impressions we would recommend the property, but Pat will have more to say when she rounds out the hotels at the end of the trip. We note that we’ve actually received daily maid service and nightly turn-down. It’s nice management isn’t using COVID as as an excuse for minimal service like most U.S. hoteliers.

After a nap in our room we headed out for our first day of touring. We kept it pretty simple by just walking into the old part of the city, stopping first at the Marienplatz for a look at the famous clock tower that is part of the old city hall. The Glockenspiel only rounds a couple of times a day, and we weren’t there at the correct hour, but it is probably similar to a clock in Prague that’s a featured tourist attraction.

We also found our way to the VIktualienmarkt, which if you decode the name (think “victuals” in English), is primarily a food market. There are several meat markets selling fresh sausages and the like, along with fruit and vegetable stands. And this being Munich, there also was a beer garden. It was our first stop for one of those humongous glasses of beer and a big pretzel that is the hallmark of the region

Yes, we drank it all.

Later that night we we went for dinner at a traditional Bavarian style restaurant that was a short walk from the hotel. Turns out the Augustiner-Keller is the oldest brewer in Munich having been founded in 1328! There were a number of tourists like us, but also plenty of Germans as it is one of the more popular spots in the city. Turns out that Thursday is Father’s Day in Germany and it looked like more than a few guys were out to celebrate the night before. We’ll have more to say about that in a coming post. For now we’ll end with a food picture. Yeah, it’s kind of trite, but that was one mountain o’ meat I ordered. Very tasty but exhausting to eat. Next day it’s off to the Dachau concentration camp followed by a night at the opera, but more on that later.

Yeah, that plate had a bit of everything.

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