Do you remember that day long ago when I had a scheduled post go up about Riaan’s 30th birthday surprise…yes, that Tuesday, in March. Well, on that Tuesday morning we were up before the birds making our way to Gatwick airport.
While we were on the train to Gatwick I told Riaan that we were going to Munich, he was so surprised. I had told him the day before that we were going on holiday for a week so he could tie up any last minute stuff at work, but he didn’t know where we were going. Munich was the last place he was expecting! Then I gave him a wad of papers detailing the main attractions and a few day trip options, I told him we only had 3 days in Munich so he had to decide what we were going to do…
This left him wandering where we would be spending our other 3 days! Muahahahaha I love surprises!! And being organised… and in control…can you tell??
We got to Gatwick and for once it wasn’t an episode of us running frantically through an airport trying to get to the boarding gates just before they close. We were so good that we even had time to stop off at boots for some last minute flu meds AND grab a cappuccino and croissant at Costa before strolling to the boarding gates and waiting to board our plane. Super chilled!
After a quick two hour
flight nap we landed in a rather cold and grey Munich, we figured out how to get to our hotel, dropped off our bags and started exploring.
Munich is a strange but lovely place – the first thing we noticed about the people was how many of them smoke! It’s crazy!
We wandered down Neuhauser Street – it’s basically the high street of Munich in my opinion – past St. Michael’s Church peering in from one shop window to the next, desperately looking for a German enough place to enjoy our first meal. We ended up wandering through a narrow shopping passageway and came across exactly what we thought we were looking for – a very German café called Guglhupf – little did we know that it would turn out to be the least impressive meal of the trip.
The one thing we noticed in Munich was if it’s listed on the menu, it will be on your plate – if it’s not on the menu, don’t expect it to be on your plate! If you order a german sausage with mustard on a roll that is exactly what you will get…a sausage on a roll, no butter, no garnish, just your poor sausage on a dry roll with 2 sachets of mustard chilling on the plate. Hmmpf. They did sell rooibos from Cape Town though which was pretty cool!
Our light brunch was washed down German wheat beer and a bit of a planning sesh – we decided to spend the day exploring the city and the other 2 days would be spent taking day trips out to see more of Bavaria. Because we only had 24 hours in Munich we decided to get right to it.
After brunch we ventured onwards towards the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) – you know how much I like a bit of Gothic Architecture.
We wandered around the Hall admiring the impressive and intricate detailing on the facade.
Afterwards we walked across the Marienplatz and climbed the 306 stairs (I counted!) to the top of St. Peter’s church – it’s the oldest church in Munich with 360 degree views of the city, and an awesome view of the New Town Hall.
The story goes that on a clear day you can see as far as the Alps from up there.
We didn’t see the Alps, but while taking in the views we did see the Viktualienmarkt and decided that that would be our next stop (after checking out the inside of the church – obvs).
The market is 200 years old and there are over 100 stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, cheese, flowers, gifts, meat, the whole shebang!
After browsing the market and buying some meats we popped into the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Ghost). I really like going into old churches, they are so beautifully decorated and the artwork on this church’s roof was really pretty!
As it was getting later our lack of sleep started catching up to us so we decided to head back to the hotel for a little siesta, but not before stopping off in Marienplatz for a delicious strawberry pastry AKA “Erdbeer-Royal” from Rischart, a local chain bakery.
Just look how excited Riaan is to dig in!! The whole thing lasted less than 2 minutes! Om nom nom!
After our nap we headed out for a little night time explore. Back to Marienplatz to see it all lit up at night, and then on to find a German restaurant – we were adamant on having an eisbein for dinner but none of the restaurants we passed had it on their menu.
Then we saw it roasting in the window of Haxnbauer so we went straight inside and made ourselves comfortable.
As it turned out, it’s not called eisbein in Germany, it’s a pork knuckle or a veal knuckle if you fancy…and it’s freaking delicious!! The cosy atmosphere and friendly wait staff didn’t hurt either!
I opted for slices of pork knuckle with gravy, creamy mashed potatoes topped with crunchy fried onions and fresh sauerkraut – the first time I’ve ever enjoyed sauerkraut TBH.
Riaan went for the slices of pork and veal knuckle with all the gravy, a side salad and the most unusual potato dumplings…they were soft and sticky on the inside but a tiny bit crispy on the outside. Strange, but tasty!
Lets not forget the beer – Riaan had one of the local draft beers and I had a Radler, it’s a delicious beer shandy made with white beer and citrus lemonade, it was so light and refreshing and I could just imagine sitting poolside in the summer sipping away glass after glass of this stuff…YUM!
All in all the dinner was excellent and we spent the rest of the evening wandering the streets and following the pretty lights, that is, after all, our favourite way to discover a new city.
Until next time,