I suppose the best time to see Munich for the first time is during Oktoberfest which starts this year on Saturday, 20 September, to 5 October. But with more than 6 million beer-thirsty revelers who wade through the Bavarian capital at its busiest, it'll be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention that prices are steep.
My trip to Munich is linked to late last year's visit to Berlin for historical reasons. I must admit that I've not had ample time to tour Munich as we made it our base for booked tours to neighbouring places of interest. But allow me to give you a glimpse of what I glimpsed at the third largest city in Germany which I'll get to know more next time.
A highschool friend and her husband recommended that we stay at Angelo Hotel Leuchtenbergring which is about 15 minutes from Marienplatz, the centre of town, and 30 minutes from Franz Josef Strauss airport. Most hotels don't offer breakfast anymore, but this boutique hotel's breakfast buffet selection is one of the best I've ever had in my travels. I feel shortchanged and under-catered when I'm served Continental on holiday. At Angelo, the buffet is so assorted that you can have a varied breakfast fare each morning of the duration of your stay -- a must as food can make or break my holiday.
Sugar sachets are not of the generic variety, and even the flower vase below is reminiscent of a gramophone which looks to be in reference to the hotel's homage to jazz music.
Locals say you've not been to Munich if you've not been to Marienplatz, the city's main square since 1158. So after one of our tours outside Munich, Mr Tittle-Tattles and I got off its namesake S-Bahn station to see the Neues Rathaus or New City Hall (photobombed here by a crane).
|The square within the New City Hall which houses the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration. The 400-room building was built between 1867 and 1908 in a Gothic Revival architecture style.|
|I was born in the Year of the Dragon, thus the photo. If that's not a dragon, I'm sure it's not a bat either.|
The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is an extension of Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart claimed to have written the opera Idomeneo after several visits to the Hofbräuhaus. The Nazi Party used the beer hall of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich to declare policies and hold functions. The Hofbräu operates the second largest beer tent during the world-famous Oktoberfest. At the time of our visit in late August, there was no scheduled event, so we were able to take a peek at the function hall which is not open for public drinking.
Munich is home to other major breweries aside from the Hofbräu, namely Augustiner Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu. As Oktoberfest was already out of the question, the most that we did was to have our own beerfest. Some of these brands are bottled and sold elsewhere of course, but where it's brewed is always the real McCoy.
|Except for the lower right which is from Teisendorf, and the lower middle which was served to us rather than a Jagermeister, all varieties are brewed in Munich.|
|Beer is best accompanied by brätwurst and pork knuckle. Yum!|
Munich was a Nazi stronghold when the National Socialists took power in Germany in 1933. It was referred to as the Hauptstadt der Bewegung or Capital of the Movement. The NSDAP headquarters was in Munich before it was moved to Berlin, and many Führerbauten or Führer-buildings were built around the Königsplatz, Munich's present-day gallery and museum quarter, which was used by the Nazi Party for their mass rallies.
There's more to Munich of course, but I'll leave you with this for now. Next posts, we'll be visiting some historical landmarks that have made it to numerous war documentaries, and we'll be relaxing in the very picturesque Austrian countryside.