Germany Trip #1: München

I'm going to write up the events of my trip here.  It was a lovely vacation and I feel very fortunate to have gotten the chance.  My mom and I were joining a group tour on a bus and it started in München.  The centerpiece of the tour was to be the Passion Play at Oberammergau.

We were scheduled to hit the ground running.  Most of the people were coming on one particular flight, but our flight was scheduled to land 40 minutes after that, and the travel agency figured they'd already be gone, so they sent a driver to meet us and take us to the Altepinakothek museum.  But in fact we arrived at the museum, and there was no bus.  We called the group organizer and sure enough, they were still at the airport and just leaving!  So we went in to the museum and got nearly an hour there on our own.  We had a good amount of time to look at Dürer and other important Renaissance painters before the group got there, which was lucky since they really moved pretty fast.  We saw lots of van Dyck and Rubens, Titian, Tintoretto, and many others -- even a Leonardo and a couple of Rembrandts.  The leader, Jack Welch, would mostly point out a couple of paintings per room and comment on the symbolism as applied to late medieval/Renaissance religious imagery, whatever connected with Oberammergau -- he kept it simple.  So we were really happy that we got that extra time.

Mom and Dürer, hanging out

We got on our bus and went to Marienplatz in the city center of München; that's where the Rathaus is.  Very Gothic and with a nice clock tower that plays at 11, 12, and 5.  We lunched in the Ratskeller.  That was the main meal of the day and served in a very leisurely fashion.   After that we wandered a bit around the city center and visited Maximilianplatz and the family residence (the palace of the kings of Bavaria) -- we went into the Schatzkammer, with all these rooms of jewels and precious objects.  My tummy was objecting to the awful breakfast from the plane and I didn't feel too hot, but it was still pretty interesting.  We went back to the Rathaus in time to catch the clock tower show, which has bells, a 'tournament' of figures and knights in a little carousel arrangement with one knight defeated at the end, and then some little dancing men under that.   I got an apfelschorle to drink -- a fizzy apple juice and favorite Bavarian drink.

München Rathaus

A bejeweled St. George killing a very red-spotted dragon

Then we walked around to St. Peter's church, which is huge, with lots of ornamentation and those cages on the sides with burials.  There was a small service going on to the side, so we couldn't go right up front, but it was a lovely church.  It was badly bombed during the war and had extensive rebuilding.  Then off to the München Hofbrau beer hall.  We went in and had a look round and it was your basic beer hall, full, loud, and congenial.  The oompahpah band was just setting up.  Then on to the Frauenkirche, which is the city's cathedral.  They were having a special service with a procession of a statue of Mary, and we sat in the back and enjoyed the music.

Dirndls are fashion these days,
and lederhosen aren't far behind

At this point my feet hurt and I was having a hard time standing around.  Walking was OK but standing was not so fun.   We walked to our restaurant, a real Bavarian place called the Augustine Restaurant, and had a light dinner of salad, weisswurst, 3 small potatoes, and a very odd warm cabbage salad that tasted like it had been flavored with coriander or something you'd usually find in a cookie.  Walked to bus, fell asleep on way to hotel.


  1. I love that you're reminding me of places I went as a child... Thank you!

  2. So wish we could get some apfelschorle here. It's delicious especially on a hot day. Gosh you packed a lot into that one day, especially having done it straight on top of a flight


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