Happy 2013 friends! I hope you got to enjoy some relaxation and time with favorites. J and I took off on the road to see more of Europe. We spent Christmas Eve in Munich, Germany, Christmas in Austria, drove through Lichtenstein to Switzerland on J’s birthday, and France on the way home. As busy as that sounds, it was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable vacations imaginable! No flights to crazy cities, no coordinating schedules, no hurrying at all. Just a week and a half together (that’s like 280 hours of uninterrupted A & J time!) doing and going where the breeze took us.
First up: Munich (or München in German..important when you’re driving and looking for ‘Munich’ signs that aren’t there). The city’s motto is “Munich likes you.” It seemed like the cleanest city we’d ever seen. The Marienplatz (their central square) was filled with Christmas market booths and drinkers at 11am. We took a walking tour of the city since we heard such great reviews about it – ‘best walking tour in Europe.’ It lived up to its name. And free…bonus points.
The tour had two themes: beer and Hitler. Munich was the proclaimed perch for Adolf Hitler’s regime. The first concentration camp was in Dachau…20 minutes away. There are strong traces of the war all over the city. At one point, the tour group was standing in the alley that the Nazi’s used to escape the riot police and we heard (jingle) bells. The guide said it was either Santa Claus (it was Christmas Eve) or beer. It was beer. Horses pulling the kegs through the cobblestones.
Which brings us to the other theme Munich prides itself in (right behind Brussels), drinking. We went to arguably the most famous beer hall in the world, Hofbräuhaus, and ate traditional German food – I had sausage and J had a knuckle of pork!