Friday, August 5, 2016

Germany: The Trip

When I think about vacation and travel destinations, I keep a 2, 5, and 10 year list. I hear people talk about where they have been and I usually assign it to one of those lists based on what I like to do in my free time, not necessarily by how great or fascinating their trip is. Germany was on the 2 year list 4 years ago. So, it was time to go.

We flew into Munich, planning to only visit southern Germany - from Bavaria to the Black Forest and back again. We did soooo much walking around and it felt great. Below was the day that we landed in Munich, a little tired from the red eye from Boston, but way too excited to go right to the hotel. We took the bus from the airport to Freising and hit Weihenstephaner Brewery. From the bus stop it was about a 20 minute walk with our packs up to the brewery (longer if you get lost..which we of course didn't ;) hah)...but more about the breweries in another post!

We spent two nights in Munich and one of those was spent wandering around the English Gardens, a HUGE and beautiful public open space with biergartens peppered throughout. Below is the very popular Marienplatz, then the English Gardens.

Our days were not spent right in the center of Munich, but instead we did some train travel to the surrounding towns to visit breweries and just see more of the region. Coming from a rural area and being on vacation, we knew that the city wasn't going to be relaxing to us and while it was exciting to be in Munich for the time that we were there, we were really glad to do the travel to the outside towns.

Above is a photo on our way up to Andechs Abbey (....another brewery) outside of Munich. We took the train out to Andechs, then had a really nice walk through town and up the walking paths.

Our whole trip was really a dream for people who like to hike and walkabout. After a few days exploring Munich, drinking lots of great beer, and practicing our best Deutsche, we headed north to Bamberg for a two night stay at Hotel am Dom. I can't say enough good things about staying there. I felt like we were pretty centrally located (very close to some of the more touristy restaurants and breweries in town). Also, anyone who has cookies, pastries, and coffee out at any time of day is a winner in my book. Breakfast was great (I'm such a fan of German breakfast these days) and the front desk help was super nice and full of wit (also such a fan of the German sense of humor). Which really leads me to mentioning the tradition (or should I say Art?) of German "kaffe und kuchen" or coffee and cake. I just feel like we are doing this all wrong in the States...why are we not eating cake at 3pm everyday? It's absurd really.

Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site (as I read in about 100 other blog posts before we visited) and pretty spectacular overall. We hit the weather just right for both days (really the whole trip), so spent the days walking around town checking out biergartens (surprise) and churches (which is actually the real surprise) and counting our blessings that we didn't light on fire as we walked inside the latter.

Potato dumplings (above) were one of those things that I would eat at dinner and then say, "OMG, I don't think I can eat another potato dumpling this whole trip" and then order one the very next night.

^^ This guy, right?!

SO - about 4 days of travel down and 7 to go which includes Black Forest Cake, wine, and a superb drive along the German Alpenstrasse  in the Alps. Cheers!

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