München (Munich), capital city of Bavaria

The weather is finally warming up and the snow is melting. Last week, though, was snowy, rainy and generally unpleasant. I wasn’t able to take Rosebud out on very many walks because of the weather. One day, in fact, I kept looking out the window to see if we could go out and alas, there was some sort of precipitation pretty much the entire day.

Saturday the 14th was forecast to be warm and sunny, so we took advantage of the change in weather and headed to München (Munich). If you’re planning to visit us, here’s the Munich city website in English:

Munich

We still don’t have a car and probably won’t have one for a little while yet, so we first caught the bus to Bad Tölz, and then took the train from Bad Tölz to München. I think I prefer taking the train to München anyway because parking is difficult to find and exorbitantly expensive, and also driving in München is an adventure to say the least (according to David who has, in his words, “survived driving in München”).

On the train to München, we enjoyed playing with Rosebud and she entertained many of our fellow travelers with her smiles. She was quite curious about the other travelers and liked peeking out at them.

Once we arrived at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in München, we then headed to the Fußgängerzone (pedestrian zone), which you can read about in German here. What I loved most was simply walking around the Marienplatz area, people-watching and window-shopping. Click here to view an online map of the area. (Note: the map associated with this link is a bit clunky!)

We stopped for an early lunch at the Augustiner am Dom restaurant – if you are in München and would like to eat a typical Bavarian meal for a good price, this is a good restaurant to try. Although plenty of tourists eat here, it has a nice local feel.

David, content after a meal at the Augustiner am Dom

David, content after a meal at the Augustiner am Dom

We stopped by the Neues Rathaus, which is a beautiful example of New Gothic architecture – it looks like it was built during the Gothic period, but was actually started in 1867. There happened to be a children’s bookfair going on inside. Most of the books on display were for older children than our daughter, so I didn’t find much for her, but I still liked leafing through the picture books in German. And, being a teacher, I always tend to look at books with an eye for learning! We plan to buy lots of German picture books for Rosebud and David, so they can learn German together.

After visiting the Neues Rathaus, we then came across the Viktualienmarkt – an open-air food market. It’s very well known although to be honest, this was the first time I had heard of it. (Not surprisingly – prior to moving to Bavaria, I didn’t know much about the region. I lived in the Köln – Cologne – area as an exchange student, and also have spent time in Hamburg, which are very different from southern Germany).

I am eager to go back to the Viktualienmarkt, because it has such a good selection of fresh foods available, including farm-raised poultry, local cheeses, honey products, charcuterie (Aufschnitt – cold cuts!) and the like. I suspect it’s probably on the expensive side and I can likely find the same products here in the country where we live, but it will be fun to look at the offerings nonetheless. Part of the fun will be in talking with the vendors.

At the end of the afternoon, we stopped for Italian ice cream to refresh ourselves before walking back to the train station. Italian ice cream is easy to find here in Germany, and it’s very creamy and intensely flavored. I do enjoy eating the ice cream here. I have a feeling that come summer, we’ll take walks to various towns with the excuse of finding a local ice cream shop.

We really enjoyed our little jaunt to München, and it’s quite easy for us to get there without a car (you can imagine that getting out of our house feels great, since we can’t just hop in the car). I would characterize München as having a festive and friendly spirit, which you immediately notice when you arrive there. I am certain that there will be many more trips to the Bavarian capital in the coming weeks.

(note: I will add pictures later, when I have a chance to upload them).

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