Thursday, October 4, 2012

Munich

While one of the main reasons I went to Munich was to drink out of the largest beer steins at Octoberfest, I did in fact do some sight seeing outside of the beer tents.

The heart of Munich is pretty easily walkable with Marienplatz serving as one of the easily identifiable, central points.  Local markets and some executions took place here back in the day, a pretty bad day, but now tourists line the perimeter's cafes for much happier moments.


Just southeast of this square is Viktualienmarkt, which is a great food area where I recommend eating, instead of pronouncing.


It's filled with produce stands and a whole lotta sausage.


 My first meal in Munich was a sausage salad.  I thought I'd lay a good foundation and get some greens in while eating the local cuisine.  This is what I received.


 Evidently, in Germany, sausage salad means a bed of onions for your bologna.  Don't miss out on Sue's sausage sampler plate in the background with pretzels in the "bread" basket.  Pretzels were served (and I must admit, eaten) and nearly every meal, but they were so tiny, they hardly counted.


Sue had the winning pretzel combo where it was just served with a big pot o cheese called Obatzda.  You dunk a doughy, salty piece in the blended camembert with cream cheese, onions, paprika, and sometimes they add a little butter in case you don't already have enough milk fat.  3 words - de - lish - ous.


Also good was the spatzel and my final meal of a shrimp and calamari ragout, which really could have been anything in sauce not served in some sort of sausage casing.

 

We were told to try a special Bavarian dessert featuring pancakes.  I didn't need to be told twice so we asked at the next restaurant if they had the local pancake, and the waitress hesitated and said, well, we have a cake of pancakes.  Without hesitation, Sue and I both said, we'll take it.


It was just what she said - a cake of pancakes, and then it was stuffed with cream and apple in the middle.  I considered my time in Germany part of my training for my half marathon in a little over a week.  Lots of carb loading.  



Luckily Munich has several beautiful gardens to walk off some of the carbs.  We went to the English Gardens with a friend of mine from Paris who moved to Munich.  At 910 acres, it's larger than Central Park, and it also has a beer garden in the middle because you couldn't really walk all that way without a Weizenbier and bratwurst.


At the foot of the garden is a man made river, the Eisbach, where they've created a wave for those brave enough to surf the narrow pass.


Surfers line up on both sides and take turns jumping in and trying to maintain their balance to surf in place before they fall off and the current sweeps them and their board down stream.

 

There are several old churches scattered throughout Munich, including the Church of Our Lady, which you can catch a nice view of from the Hofgarten.


The church is the largest in Munich, holding 20,000 people.  It was built in 1494 in a Gothic style and features 2 distinct towers with domes resembling the dome of the Rock of Jerusalem.

 

So yes, there is more to Munich than Oktoberfest, but it certainly was a good two-fer.

1 comment:

  1. Something seems a bit odd to have the two of you at your German sausage party, and then you interject the church. Seems like there should be separation between church and "state".

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