Christmas in Munich

Well, we wanted winter–check! We wanted snow–check! We wanted excellent Indian food–check and check! Wait a minute… Indian food (twice, at the same restaurant)? You’re probably thinking, ‘what about the saurkraut, the sausages, the pork chops, the Christmas Market treats?’ I’ll go ahead and fess up right now: of the six nights that we spent in Munich, we only ate German food once, and we were just fine with that. We were craving the options available in big cities, and we took full advantage!

Our Christmas dinner. Can't get much better--in my opinion!

In between servings of vindaloo (which cured the cold I had for the first half of the trip, by the way), we also managed to learn a bit about the lovely city of Munich. Here are just a few of our observations.

1. Most taxi cabs are Mercedes. And BMW’s are everywhere you turn. I think J left Germany with a new crush. Personally, I was ogling the just-as-common mini-Coopers. So adorable!

2. Dogs can go anywhere. I’m not just talking about those miniaturized pooches toted around in purses by starlets and socialites. We saw a golden retriever in a major downtown department store, an Alaskan malamute in a shoe store, a German shepherd in the hotel, and a terrier in a pub, to name a few. Businesses had water dishes in entryways and in bathrooms. Dogs rode up escalators and followed their owners through racks of clothes. A cold, wet nose even came up and bumped my hand in the street car. Sadie would have had quite the VIP experience had she been able to come along.

3. Public transportation is remarkably accessible and extremely timely. The tram stops have a little countdown timer, letting you know, down to the minute, exactly when your train will arrive. Sometimes they’re even early. But, don’t worry if you miss it because another one will be there in *exactly* ten minutes.

4. 302 stairs is a lot. Especially when your toes and fingers are frozen and you’re coming down with a cold. But, the panoramic view of a sprawling historic city with the Bavarian alps in the distance is totally worth it. Just make sure to warm yourself with a hot mug of gluhwein once you get back down to the street.

A view of the marianplatz from the steeple of St. Peter's church. Those green structures on the ground below are the tops of the Christmas market stands.

5. I love gluhwein. (Hot mulled red wine. Perfect for warming up when you spend the entire day walking around in the snow.)

Don't I look appreciative?

6. “Our” Indian restaurant was hopping on Christmas Eve and on Christmas night. As per my upbringing, I’m accustomed to sharing a mostly-empty dining room (at whichever Chinese/Thai/Indian restaurant might happen to be open) with the few other Jewish families also attempting tap into some dregs of festivity by eating out. This was an entirely different experience. Both nights, we barely got a table. It was fabulous. Plus, we learned that spicy Indian makes J’s head sweat in addition to curing colds. Important life lessons, I tell ya.

7. The Jewish museum is only so-so. But I’m glad we went, even if just to satisfy curiosity.

8. Architecture, architecture, architecture. Who needs museums when you have beautiful old building every which way you turn? Most days we just walked and walked and walked some more.

9.  Seasons make me happy. (i.e. Christmas lights look far more appropriate when there’s snow involved.)

It snowed all of Christmas Eve day and into Christmas day.

10. We were sad to leave. It was such an easy, accessible,  and all-around pleasant city to visit. Hopefully, we’ll make it back there someday.


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