Final Tour of Munich

Sunday morning came early and bearing headaches after a night spent at the Hofbrauhaus.  Nonetheless, we needed to move, and head home eventually.  But, before we did, we went back to the Munich Altstadt for a couple of hours.

Creepy carving at Neues Rathaus

Sundays are brunch days in Germany.  Everyone and their brother goes out for brunch and if you want to go, but haven't planned ahead and made a reservation, good luck.  I had found a place online that looked promising - The Glockenspiel Cafe.  It is on the 5th floor of a building directly across the street from the Rathaus/Glockenspiel.  Luckily, we got there not long after they opened and were able to get a table, albeit not with a view of the Glockenspiel though.  Note to self: next time make a reservation in the front room during a Glockenspiel ''performance'' time.  I bet the view is awesome!

We finished brunch just in time to walk around a bit before it got too crowded and then watch the Glockenspiel.  It's funny, there are all these people waiting around for a clock to essentially chime.  Granted, it's a fairly elaborate chime.  Built in 1908, it has two levels that each tell a story.  The top, which moves first, tells the story of the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V (founder of the Haufbrauhaus) to Renata of Lorraine.  The lower level shows the Coopers Dance.  According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich and to help bring fresh virility to a town experiencing hard times, the Coopers danced through the streets..  In all honesty, the Glockenspiel isn't that impressive.  You can view it from pretty much anywhere in Marienplatz, but I wouldn't be making a special trip to Munich to see it.  If you're there, and in the area, sure, it's neat to watch, but watching the people that are watching it is way more interesting :)

I found the perfect little Christmas tree!

I found the perfect little Christmas tree!

After the Glockenspiel and walking the Weihnachtsmarkt, I needed one more thing.  The night before, I had seen these little Christmas trees, but, I (understandably) didn't feel like carrying a tree into the Hofbrauhaus.  However, I was not above carrying one on the S-bahn.  To my great dismay, the stand that was selling them the previous night was not even set up anymore.  Sad day :(  For a brief shining moment, I thought that I would be able to get a Christmas tree this year.  It doesn't make sense to buy a fake one here, and I haven't really been able to find a small one, or any size for that matter, for sale in Mannheim, so when I saw these, I thought they were perfect!  I had one more place I wanted to check.  There is a large farmers market area set up, with permanent buildings, not for from Marienplatz.  I was hoping that they would be open.  Alas, they were all closed too.  We even found a stall that was selling them!   I was looking at those little trees longingly through the heavy plastic sheeting when Aaron said he saw a couple of people in there, and a door that appeared to be open around the corner.  Haltingly, in German, I asked if they were open.  A slightly grumpy yes was the answer.  Ecstatic, I rushed over and picked out the perfect little tree!  Now, it was Christmas :)  Aaron laughed at me, and said I looked ridiculous carrying a tree around, but I didn't care.

On the way back to the S-bahn, we came across a courtyard of food vendors set up for the Weihnachtsmarkt.  We got some käse spätzle to share.  It took all of my self control to not grab the bowl, run away, and shovel it all into my mouth and not share any with Aaron, it was that good.  I must get this recipe.  Actually, no, I probably shouldn't.  I would be making (and eating) it all the time, and then I would get fat from eating cheese covered spätzle, and then I would need to buy all new clothes since none of mine would no longer fit.  Hmm, come to think of it.......maybe it would be a good idea....

Aaron touching Juliet's left breast because.....tradition.

After our snack, but berfore we got back on the S-bahn to retreive our car from the hotel and drive home, Aaron had to rub the boob of a statue near Marienplatz.  The only information I can fund on the statue was that it was given to a nearby bank by Italy for their 150th anniversary.  It is a statue of Juliet Capulet (from Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet), and only her right boob is discolored from so many people touching it.  We didn't see this last time we were in Munich, but a couple of my sorority sisters who visited a few months ago clued us into her presence.  So, when we saw her, I had to take a picture of Aaron touching.

Thankkfully, our drive was uneventful, but there was one thing that surprised us a bit.  We kept getting the odd sense that we were back in the states.  After a while, we realized this was because they looked like common sights in the US - 15ish story building visible from the autobahn, stores with large parking lots, slightly wider roads, the autobahn overpass construction.  It was definitely interesting, and different from western Germany.  I think this was because the American had such a large presence in Bavaria after World War II and had a big impact on its rebuilding.  Thinking about it further, that makes sense why so many Americans can only associate Bavaria with Germany.  Ask most of them what Germany is and they will list things like beer, weißwurst, lederhosen, dirndl, and pretzels.  While these are common, and not restricted to Bavaria, they are definitely more prominent in that region than in say, Hamburg.

So, that was our weekend.  Anyone else doing exciting things to get ready for Christmas?

- Meghan -