I got to bed at a decent hour of 11pm, only woke up twice, then got up 8am to leisurely get ready with plenty of time before breakfast closed. It's a standard W.Euro buffet breakfast which was fine. The one computer was consistenly occupied so I gave up on that until maybe later. I texted Christian if we could meet up later, and after having perused the city map pamplets provided by the hotel the night before, I decided to take the suggested walk around the Old Town.
I made it to Marienplatz just after the New Town Hall "world-famous carillon" had started at 11am, so in the gigantic throng of people I got to see most of it, along with the little puppets that make their way around in the tower accompanied by the glockenspiel. I continued along the Weinstrasse, passing Theatinerkirche, then into the Hofgarten, taking some nice photos from the Diana Temple in the center. I walked back along the Royal Residence, where the guard lions get rubbed by passers-by for luck...I really saw people doing that! I peeked into one of the courtyards and instead of actual architectural detail it was painted, and not even particularly good trompe l'oeil either...haha! I had continued along Maximilianstrasse with all it's fancy expensive shops by the time Christian called me. "Where are you?" "I'm standing in front of Ralph Lauren next to Gucci, but I'm not going inside!" haha...The next stop on my walking suggestions listed Isartor, one of the original walled city gates on the River Isar, so we decided to meet there.
Christian & his wife Franziska suggested an Italian place nearby for lunch. I agreed but said "I hope I get to eat some German food on this trip!" Franzeska said she was afraid I'd be disappointed, but I said I've been to England many times...haha! ;) We had pizzas, found me an ATM finally, then strolled through the Viktualienmarkt open air market, with their giant permanent Maypole, beautiful flowers & plants, produce, etc. Next was the first church on the route, St Peter's, and we were lucky enough to hear some awesome pipe organ music! It was too loud for Franziska, but I stayed until the organist had finished the grandiose piece he was playing (wish I knew what it was!), and began & restarted Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. There will be a free concert Friday night, so I'm sure it was him practicing, but that's an Oktoberfest night for us, so too bad I can't go. Glad I heard a snippet today at least! St Peter's or Alter Peter since it's the oldest church, also has a beautiful view from the tower, so even though Franziska is afraid of heights, she bravely trudged up the stairs with us for the sake of the view! I got my first photo proof I'm actually here since I got them to take a photo of me with the Frauenkirche & New Town Hall spires behind me. :)
Me at the top of St Peter's Tower, with Frauenkirche behind me!
We walked back north to the New Town Hall, going inside the courtyard, then spotted a vivid aqua lion so I posed...haha! There's a whole series of lion sculptures, like the cow sculptures in the other city I can't remember now, decorated differently, even a Vodafone-sponsored one, so seeing the aqua lion (I am a Leo after all!) finally required a photo! After the aqua lion, back on the road to see the inside of the Italian-style Theatinerkirche, which was all monochromatic white stone inside, but still beautiful. Alas, their pipe organ is still suffering in need of restoration. They even had photos of 1932 vs. 1945 showing the damage from the WWII bombings on display. After a stop by the Hofgarten for a drink & dessert, my first authentic apfelstrudel with Spetzi to drink (cola with orange - a bit odd!), we headed for the biggest Munich church of all - Frauenkirche. It was still decorated for the Pope's visit last week with garlands around the front door. The pipe organ was impressive albeit modern, and unfortunately not being played while we were there. There are organ concerts scheduled for this weekend so we'll see if I might be able to catch one depending on the schedule of other fun.
After strolling along more shopping streets back to where they were parked, I made it to the last of the original walled city gates, Sedlinger Tor, so I've seen all of them in my first day! Lots of walking but that made the pizza & apfelstrudel not so guilt-ridden... ;) After they left, I popped in a couple shoe stores Franzeska had pointed out, just in case they had any brown suede low-heeled boots I've been in a mood to buy this season, but no luck, which is better for my wallet anyway. The computer at the hotel was finally free so I quickly checked my email, then had a rest until dinner.
The others in town intending to join us for Oktoberfest couldn't meet up for dinner, so it was Franziska, Christian & me again. Since I requested some Bavarian food for dinner we ate at Augustiner Bräu München, "gegründet 1328" so very authentic! Franziska had been raving earlier about her favorite Bavarian dish, roast crispy pork with potato dumpling, so I had it & it was delicious, but I couldn't finish it all...that was more meat on my plate than I usually see in probably a month! No dessert since we were too full, but we did convince our waiter to take a photo of us at our table. I had asked first if it would embarrass either of my hosts but they said it was fine. :) Supposedly the ones who couldn't come to dinner would call us later, so we tried a couple of small local bars, Ksar then Myra, finally meeting up with Alexander from Frankfurt, then I got back to my hotel around 12:15am...not a late night but we're saving our strength for Oktoberfest...starting at 2pm today! :)
Christian, Franziska & me at Augustiner Bräu München
I was rushing not to waste my wifi per hour charges, so not everything is linked. To see the rest of the photos, please click here.
Off to Oktoberfest soon, but I guess it's just Alexander & me this afternoon since Christian isn't feeling well & wants to join us for the evening...Until next time!