Existing Member?

Irene's Adventures


GERMANY | Monday, 19 December 2011 | Views [383]

I arrived in Munich on 19 December, and despite not seeing each other for 39 years, Hermann & I recognized each other immediately. He took me to a small Christmas market, where my attempts at vegetarianism were shattered by a nice fat red sausage washed down with a mulled wine. The Christmas market was as wonderful and magical as I was lead to believe - mini log cabins and outdoor tents stuffed with every conceivable item anyone would want for Christmas – wooden toys, glass trinkets, miniature nativity scenes, scarves, hats, jewelry. Everything decorated elegantly simple with spruce boughs and mistletoe dotted with red and gold bobbles and ribbons tied into simple bows. Maybe it was just my imagination or my excitement of being there, but I was overwhelmed by the Festive spirit. No one seemed to be in a rushed mood, people wandered from hut to hut chatting with the shopkeepers, standing under the canopies sipping mulled wine, laughing, talking, toasting one another. A Christmas card come to life!

Hermann then took me back to his house in Wolfratshausen, where we spend a quiet evening catching up on the years.

The next day we went to Neuschwanstein Castle – the one Disney based his on. It snowed huge fat snowflakes that one would think would have ruined the day, but somehow it added to the ambiance of a Bavarian castle at Christmas. We chose to walk up the 1.5 kilometre hill rather than take the horse drawn carriage. Even through the snow, the castle looked impressive with the snow shrouded Alps in the background. We had a brief tour through the castle where we were told that it took 14 years to build this castle, yet it was only 1/3 complete. King Ludwig had only spent 172 days in it before his untimely (age 42) and very mysterious death.

White sausages, that is typically served for breakfast, made up the lunch in a quaint Bavarian Inn.

Ed arrived on 22 December and we immediately took him to Hofbräuhaus, the most famous pub in Munich. We enjoyed some excellent white beer, sausages and sauerkraut. Then we wandered through the Munich Town Hall Christmas Market, the oldest Christmas Market in Munich originating in 1757. It is a huge plaza with no cars – which I think adds to the festive spirit. The Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall is at least 25 – 30 meters high and lighted right to the top. At 11:00 and 12:00 the bells on the tower ring and automated life size dancers come out and dance (like a cuckoo clock). We missed both times....

Because it was Christmas and because Hermann had his own shopping and things to do, we tended to accompany him on his errands. Although he apologized for this, we loved it. It really gave us a sense of what life is like in and around Munich. We got to experience normal shopping for groceries, gifts for his children and grandchildren, even shopping for a new vehicle and changing from summer to winter tires. We helped him prepare meals, which may sound dull, but for Ed and I who love to cook and experiment with foods, this was probably the best experience of all.

On 23 December, Hermann accompanied us on the train to Munich and saw us safely on the train to Passau, where we were met at the station by my son, Len, and his brother-in-law, Markus.

We stayed in Austria until 1 January 2012. (see seperate story on Austria) Hermann collected us from the train station then we went for a brief to visit his daughter and her family. It was an early night for all of us, as we had a 7:20 plane to catch to Delhi. 

He graciously picked us up on our return leg of the journey as well.  Again insisting we stay at his house and that he transport us back to the airport the next day for our return to Canada.   Hermann, you are truly a gem amoung men and I am so very honored that I can call you "Friend".  Thank you.


Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About irenecabay

Irene Cabay

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals



Travel Answers about Germany

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.