Munich – Where old meets new
Follow us on our journey as we explore several countries in Europe by land and cruise along the Danube River. This is our first blog post of a 19 day trip. We customized and built our own land tour for this vacation so we can experience more of the local customs and cuisine. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.
We had the opportunity to spend two glorious days in Munich. We lucked out with nice early Spring weather and only a few drops of rain.
Our journey began as we arrived into Munich International Airport at 8am. We navigated our way through to baggage claim with a very welcoming experience with Security. I enjoyed a Salami sandwich from one of the food vendors as we prepared for a 45 minute commute downtown to our hotel.
Navigating the train system was quite easy with some pre-planning. Everything is well labeled; even some in English. If you are comfortable navigating on your own and adventurous I highly recommend taking the train versus paying for a taxi from the airport as you will save some money.
For all our Toronto friends, as we went through the station I couldn’t help but think how it was St. Lawrence Market meets Union Station. There were numerous food vendors and the train platforms were all within view.
We booked our two nights in Munich at Relaxa Hotel, a brief 10 minute walk from the station. Relaxa is a very nice boutique hotel with accommodating and friendly staff. We arrived at 10am and they had our room ready for early check-in at 11 at no additional cost.
After a two hour nap we headed out to explore the city. Everything we wanted to see was within 20 to 30 minutes walking distance.
We made our way to Marienplatz Square and enjoyed a number of sites along the way. Some of the first things we noticed were the bike paths and how many people were using them. Bikes are EVERYWHERE. We also noticed a lot of construction that was blending in the new with the old. I really appreciate the effort put into the preservation of the old and the history that it captures.
It was a Sunday at the square so a lot of the shops were closed and it was pretty quiet. We were able to capture a number of pictures and my favourite view was of the clock tower, the Glockenspiel, which has motorized figurines, dating back to 1908.
As the day came to an end, we chose to have dinner at an authentic German restaurant and enjoyed Schnitzel and Sausages. Yum!
On our second day we woke up late as we were still adjusting to the time difference (and maybe enjoying some extra sleep time without our two boys!). Our original plan was to go to The Glyptothek Musem but it is closed on Monday’s so we headed out to see two churches near the main square, Asam’s Church and St. Peters. I enjoyed both churches and loved the architectural detail. Gia took the opportunity to climb the 299 steps to the top of St. Peters Church and had an amazing view of the city. The cost to climb up the narrow stairwell was 2 Euro; a minimal cost for a fantastic view. While Gia was climbing I browsed the nearby shops eyeing cuckoo clocks and other German souvenirs. We decided not to buy anything as this was the beginning of our journey and we would prefer to not carry additional items around. We were still tempted though as there was the option to have a clock shipped, and some shops even offered to give you back the taxes to help cover the cost of shipping. But in the end we decided not to buy this trip.
After exploring the church’s we were off to Victuals Market. An abundance of vendors catering to both locals and tourists. We enjoyed authentic German Soup and purchased fresh fruits, meat, cheese and bread for our dinner and lunch the next day.
We have been finding the time change a bit of an adjustment and spent most of our last night in Munich watching English based shows in German and preparing for our train trip to Vilshofen.
Watch for our next post as we hop on the train to Vilshofen and get ready to set sail with AmaWaterways.