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Published: November 27th 2013
Despite leaving Oz a bit late we arrived in Dubai pretty much on time. Only about five minutes after the scheduled arrival time. We are in transit for about three hours waiting for our onward flight to Munich. I am using my time to start the travel diary while Bernie is resting up for the next leg of the journey.
We boarded our flight to Munich without any hassles although when we arrived at our allocated seats we found ourselves seated immediately behind a baby and beside a lady wearing strong perfume. Why do people wear strong perfumes and colognes on planes? I never put perfume on when I am flying. Anyhow, pretty soon I couldn't even smell the perfume anymore. Thank goodness it wasn't 'Red Door' that gives me a headache! Even the baby wasn't that much of a problem although she was pretty unsettled for most of the flight.
We were fed twice in 14 hours between Melbourne and Dubai. I couldn't believe that they fitted in another two meals in the six hours between Dubai and Munich!! It felt like they only just finished the first meal service when they started the second one. Bernie watched
a French detective film starring Gerard Depardieu and then slept a bit more. I was determined to finish my book - it had reached the stage where I really wanted to know how the story was going to conclude. After that I watched three episodes of 'Modern Family' back to back.
As we neared Munich we were watching the view from the A380's tail camera and could see the snow on the ground. Brr! Our flight landed in Munich about half an hour early. We were seated right near the front of the economy section of the plane so we were off the plane really quickly and through immigration in no time at all. Then we waited and waited and waited for the baggage carousel to start spitting out bags! With our bags collected we found our way down to the train station ... eventually. It really wasn't very well signposted. On the plus side, before we could get confused about how to buy tickets from the ticket machine, a staff member appeared to help us.
Ticket in hand (one 'partner' day ticket is good for up to five people, beats me why it's not called a family
ticket?) we took the travellator down to the platform and hopped straight on a train heading into the city. Too easy!! At this stage we still didn't really know how cold it was - I mean we knew the forecast temperature was -1°, but we hadn't really felt how cold that is because we were onto the train so quickly. As we neared the city it was actually snowing lightly. All of a sudden it seemed like a good idea that we had our down-filled puffer jackets to hand rather than packed in our bags!
As we approached Marienplatz Station we shrugged our coats on in preparation for -1°. Damn that's cold. Even with our coats, hats and gloves on over the clothes we travelled in it was pretty brisk!! Thank goodness the pension that we are staying in was only a five minute walk.
Being about half an hour ahead of time, Bernie gave Christoph a quick call to let him know that we had arrived. He told us we could collect a key from downstairs to let ourselves in and he would meet with us in about 10 minutes. In out of the cold we found
our room for the next two nights and shed some layers of clothing.
After checking-in with Christoph I put on my ski socks and my hiking boots - my flight socks and lighter shoes that I had travelled in weren't going to be enough to go back outside in!! Even Bernie decided he was going to need a Merino T-shirt under the shirt he had on to venture back out. Wanting to adjust to the local time zone as quickly as possible we had to go out for a while otherwise we would have fallen asleep quite easily at three in the afternoon!
We wandered down the street to the Gothic Church (Asamkirche) that Christoph had mentioned was worth seeing - amazing indeed! - and then we continued into the small Christmas market at Sendinger Tor (Sendling Gate) a city gate at the southern extremity of the historic old town area of Munich. It served as a fortification for the defence and is one of Munich's three remaining gothic town gates (Sendlinger Tor, Isartor, and Karlstor).
After the small Christmas market we headed for Marienplatz which boasts the largest Christmas market in the city and also the
largest Christmas tree we've ever seen. A massive fir tree has been erected in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall) and strung with Christmas lights. We had been told it was a must to try the glühwein (warmed red-wine combined with cinnamon, sugar, oranges and cloves) while in Europe at Christmastime so we went to of the many vendors and purchased two mugs of of glüwein. You pay a deposit on the mug and take it with you to drink as you wander around the other stalls at the market. It tastes sort of like drinking raisin bread and is very warming indeed on a cold winter's day!!
From Marienplatz we walked up around the Residenz and found yet another Christmas market. They are everywhere!! This one in a courtyard of the Residenz featured a windmill and a live band and an organ grinder at the entrance to the courtyard.
We ventured back to our room for a while and then headed out for an early dinner. We went to a traditional local eatery that had been recommended by Christoph, Burg Pappenheim. Outside of the old city centre, Christoph had assured us that it would be less touristy
and less expensive than most of the restaurants in the centre of Munich. Bernie had the traditional Bavarian roast pork with potato dumplings and salad while I opted for the lox (smoked salmon) with potato pancakes and salad. We both cleaned out plates, yum. We didn't linger because once we finished eating we were just about falling asleep onto our empty plates!
Back in our room I had a quick shower and fell into bed at 7.59pm. I reckon before the clock ticked over to 8.00pm I was fast asleep!!
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