Munich 2015 – Day 1 – City Centre

After a painful 5am wakeup to get to London Heathrow, we touched down to a snowy Munich Airport around midday. Peckish and straight off the plane, spied a currywurst van in the midst of their airports very own christmas market and couldn’t resist, had a currywurst and crusty roll, which – admittedly I assumed the sausage would be IN the roll, but no, it was just chopped up and served with curry sauce, and a roll on the side, whatever, it was pretty good.

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We needed to get to the hotel to at least drop off our baggage before going exploring, so after putting all our eggs in one search engine, we ended up taking the S-bahn to some station in the middle of goddamn nowhere – literally no station even, just a platform with some underground staircases to nearby roads. The walk to our hotel was reasonable, but made to feel way longer than reality thanks to the 0 degree weather and some horrific windchill.

Arrived at the hotel eventually, to be told we can’t check in yet – so we left our bags and headed off to the city centre to do some exploring, I forgot to take my passport out of my bag (the hotels idea of luggage storage is hiding it behind a translucent curtain in the hallway) so rushed back to get it out… only to find that my combination padlock wasn’t working and wouldn’t unlock…. fantastic. Okay then, Left the bags at the hotel against my better judgement and hoped for the best.

1 hour of figuring out travel later, and we were in Sedlinger Tor, close by to Asam’s Church, Christmas markets had settled down around here and were around the station, even though I assumed it would only really be around the central plaza, we kind of had a quick browse through (and I bought some gloves) before moving on, wandering down a nearby road in hope of finding the church.

Eventually we came across a rather grand building on our left, terraced between other buildings, we had arrived at our first tourist destination of the holiday, Asam’s Church (asamkirche). Reasonably modest on the exterior but really rather extravagant inside, and hard to capture in picture, with all walls and corners adorned with gold paint and statues, It was reasonably empty which gave us a good opportunity to take some pictures from the best angle, though i wish I had a wide angle lens.
Some pictures I’ve seen show the front gate closed, letting people only view from the outside, but the gate was open today, so that was nice, as there is a fair bit of detail on the back side.

From here we’d go north, scraping a bit of marienplatz before deciding to see the ‘main event’ later when it gets dark. To the east slightly is Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt), which was a very large outdoor market selling fresh produce, meats, and some cooked food stalls as well, interesting, but not really much for us to browse.

We’d just kind of wander around for a while after this, passing time waiting for the sun to go down, shivering as we walk (as it’s still freezing, even with my new gloves). Browsed a few shops while taking shelter from the cold (literal polar opposite to our ‘take refuge in air-con’ during japan/singapore).

The sun did go down eventually, and we ventured back to Marienplatz and the glockenspiel (main city plaza), a huge christmas tree was set up, and the famed German christmas market was in full swing. it was absolutely rammed, assumed because it only opened yesterday and this is the first saturday since. Practically 2 city blocks just covered in christmas lights and bavarian style wooden christmas market stalls, lit up and probably viewable by plane.

We’d spend the remainder of the night just wandering the markets, taking in the lights and sounds. The smell of mulled wine every 50 meters, and the sound of church bells almost constantly ringing throughout the evening. I of course sampled another sausage of unrecallable name (Schweisswurst?), a white sausage this time in small crusty roll, and topped with a very generous slathering of german mustard, I was pessimistic at first as my first bite was just mustard and roll, but it went from 1 to 10 real fuckin fast, holy shit it was like the best thing i’ve eaten in ages – crisp bread, a firm but easy to bite sausage, and jesus christ that mustard goes well (It’s not English mustard, but a milder and sweeter version).

We accidentally stumbled into St Michael’s Church at some point as well, was a big one, though not as fancy as Asam’s, perhaps why it wasn’t even on our to-do list.

Back to the hotel after having some pizza for dinner, bag wasn’t stolen (yay!), and I managed to get the lock off my bag (it had somehow changed the combination). Absolutely exhausted, and glad to be out of the cold, now we just have to work out what we’re doing tomorrow.