Just days before Christmas 2012 I went to Germany. I had been in 2009, however, I only saw a little of the countryside during the summer. This trip I went to experience the winter festivals and big city.
When I arrived in Munich International Airport I took a shuttle bus into the city centre to the main terminal (where both trains and buses arrive and depart). I spent a little time here looking through the small christmas stalls and grabbing a city map before walking to my hotel – it was just 10 minutes or so walk.
The moment I stepped out of the terminal in the fresh crisp winter air at dusk and felt the light snowflakes falling I was enchanted! Everything was so soft, gorgeous fairy lights hanging from every eave and little candles lining shop windowsills. The terminal exit overflowed with commuters heading home for the day. To the right were rows of tiny festive winter huts, serving German beer and mulled wine (Glühwein) to the endless amount of locals and a handful of tourists who were all out in the chilly night air, huddled together to keep warm. I stopped for a moment to listen to the merry banter while the heavenly smells of fresh gingerbread and Glühwein wafted around me.
I arrived to my little cosy hotel just after 6pm and though I had travelled more than 20 hours and barely slept, nothing could keep the smile off my face as the excitement of the christmas season was all around me. I promptly dropped my backpack in my small room then ventured out once again in the happy streets. With a light dusting of snow and beautiful ornate lampposts lining the street, winter was surely a sight in Munich. My hotel was on a small hill and overlooked a large park, filled for as far as I could see with white tents covered in twinkling lights and baubles.
I made my way through the throngs of people canvasing the streets, down into the sea of tents. From the streets I found the entryway easily enough thanks to a huge sign made of lights; Tollwood, the sign declared. This winter festival is held each year in the same park, Theresienwiese.
The stalls at the festival were amazing; featuring homemade christmas treats, handmade jewellery, clothing and beautiful ornaments. There was no shortage of food and drink tents to shelter from the weather and share a drink or 10 with the locals.
I arrived back to my hotel that evening around 10pm and was out in the blink of an eye. I slept until around 230am when I found myself wide awake thanks to jet lag. As this was an insane time to go out I spent a few hours online talking to family and friends back in Australia.
Day 2 in Munich I wandered through the streets, and took so many trains all over the city to see as many sights as I could! After checking out the museums, statues, parks, shopping areas and cafes drinking in the sights of the city I returned to my hotel for a quick afternoon nap. I spent the late afternoon at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the water then returned to my hotel after seeing The Hobbit at a tiny little antique cinema which played English films.
The 3rd and final day in Germany I took a day trip to another city which I will post separately.
I can not wait to return to Germany one day soon and continue adventuring through this beautiful country.
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Also, I would love to hear your feedback regarding what to do in Berlin, as I am yet to go there. If you have experienced the wonderful winter in Germany I would also love to hear about your experiences and highlights.
Until next time,