Our first afternoon in Munich only whetted my appetite for the day ahead. Again, we got an early start in order to squeeze in as many things as possible. Nymphenburg Palace was the first check mark on our list. Nymphenburg was the summer residence to many of the German Electors, beginning in about 1660. The ballroom was my favorite room in the palace, and we both loved the gardens.
But hands down, the coolest thing in this place was the carriage museum. This carriage collection would leave Cinderella green with envy. There were baby carriages, hand carved sleighs, and beautiful coronation carriages. I wanted to climb up inside one so badly!
We didn’t have time for breakfast in the morning and so we were starving by the time we got done at Nymphenburg. We had passed a little bakery on a corner right on our way into the parking lot and decided to give it a try. HOLY COW. Why does no one tout the expertise of German bakers from the roof tops? We ate at more than a few amazing bakeries while in Germany (better than Paris in my opinion), but this one takes the cake. We both had little ham and pickle sandwiches on pretzel buns spread with butter. And then croissants. Mine was filled with an almond marizipan and Rusty’s was filled with Apricot preserves. We almost turned around and went back for more. They were one on the most delicious things to ever cross my lips. The food was consumed too quickly for pictures.
We rushed back to Munich and had to run to the Marienplatz (Main Square) to make it in time for the Rathaus-Glockenspiel. This was so adorable. Its 43 bells and 32 life sized figures tell the story of the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V. My favorite part was watching the knights on horseback slooowly race toward each other. Obviously, the Bavarian knight wins I waited with great anticipation for the little cuckoo bird at the end. I have to say, he was a bit of a disappointment. Three quick chirps and he doesn’t cuckoo at all! But, this was still a highlight for me. I love love love love love love the Rathaus (New Town Hall) building. Isn’t it funny that my personal style leans toward modern, clean lines, yet I am completely in love with ornate, over the top gothic architecture? And the flowers that adorn every building just make me so happy.
Next up, climbing the tower at St. Peter’s church. This was quite the adventure. The stairs are very narrow. So narrow that in most places if someone was coming down the stairs while you were going up you had to plaster yourself against the wall so they could squeeze by. 306 stairs later, we were at the top. I think that many people had come up to watch the glockenspiel chime because it was CROWDED. Like claustrophobic crowded. Rusty couldn’t do it. He waited on a bench inside for me to make my way around the very narrow ledge. The ledge is built on the outside of the building which adds a little to its craziness. The 360 degree views of Munich were just stunning. Those red roofs. Love.
We were both a little relieved when we finally made it back down the stairs to the fresh air below. The weather had cooled considerably since Salzburg and our days in Munich were a perfect 75 degrees.
A stroll in the Viktualienmarkt was in order. This outdoor market is HUGE. Lots of food, flowers, and cute handmade crafts. We ate our last sausage on a roll and last fresh squeezed oj and a pretzel as big as my head. We found some apricot preserves made by local farmers and bought them to take home to our moms. We only had carry on bags and at the airport security almost didn’t let us take them home. I must have looked pathetically sad because they took pity on me and let me take them through.
(Isn’t this Maypole amazing?)
Ever since Rothenburg I had been on the lookout for the perfect German Christmas music box to get for Halle. I dragged Rusty all over town hunting for the perfect one. He was so patient as I changed my mind a million times. Halle and I both share a love for fun Christmas décor and I was so excited to get this for her. I told her she has to share it with me until she moves out of the house.
Along with some of our favorite churches, there was bound to be a dud or two. I deem the Asamkirche “The Ungliest Church in the World.”
I had been looking forward with great anticipation to the Pinotheke Museum. They purport to have one of the largest Old Masters collections in the world. I was especially excited to see the Rembrant’s and the Ruben’s. When we arrived at the museum we were surprised how empty it was. We were also surprised how cheap it was. If we could have read German we would have realized this was because 1/2 the museum was closed for renovations. And of course, that included the Rembrant’s and Ruben’s. I was one sad girl. We did get to see paintings by Raphael and other early Renaissance painters. There was an English audio tour that was extremely well done. I think all art museums should offer well done audio tours. The experience is all the more rich for it. (No pics inside museums)
By this time we were ready for a nap. So that’s exactly what we did. We woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the evening. Rusty really wanted to ride bikes through the English Garden. Our hotel had bikes but only offered an entire day rate. Since it was already 6pm we tried to haggle the price, but they wouldn’t budge. So, pay we did. This was also a highlight of the trip. English Garden is a city park bigger than Central Park. But not nearly so well kept. The roads are all dirt, the grass is long and everything is just a touch shabby. I think all that only added to its charm. And the best part? Just like at Central Park, there is a sheep’s meadow. But this one has herds of real life sheep! I thought we took a picture of that, but I can’t find it! We had dinner at Seahaus in the middle of the park. After waiting a million years to get our food, I have to say, it was just ok.
We rode our bikes back to the hotel in the dark, sucking every last ounce from our vacation.
We slept like rocks in our air conditioned hotel room with a bucket of ice nearby.
Our vacation ended with a mediocre brunch at the hotel. We headed to the airport where we were taking separate flights home. Rusty was headed straight back to Denver. I was headed to SLC to spend a few days with the families and then drive the kiddos back home. It was a magical, beautiful, fun filled trip. Germany, thanks for all the memories. It will hold a special place in our hearts forever. Auf Wiedersehen!