Off early to the alternative Munich airport (We and Ryanair know Memmingen "Munich West International" is the real thing) to collect daughter Kate, hubby and the two grandchildren from their alternative Aer Lingus flight. They enjoyed the extra centimetres and being treated as customers.
Once past the passport control delays, having children they can’t use the electronic gates, out in to the sunshine and +7°C Munich air. A brief detour past the BMW HQ site (Barry is a motorbike owner & fan) and past the Olympic (1972) Park site which Kate last used to show off her skating prowess in 1993, I threw them out at Odeonsplatz to make their own way to the Christmas Market in the inner court of the “Residenz”, while I searched and found an on-street parking spot (free of charge for me) just 100m from the centre and outside Nogbads favourite pub.
We did the Residenz Bratwurst bit and then walked via Munich’s Maximillian Street (the place for your 60,000€ watch present) and via the Hofbräuhaus including a quick walk inside, to the well-known Munich Christmas Market at Marienplatz outside the new town hall where the Glühwein/Hot Chocolate and souvenir mug bit was done.
Via the small Rindermarket (Cattle Market) Christmas market for Kate to have a salmon roll, on to the Viktualien (victuals) outdoor market and past all the stands offering their seasonal wares. Got a bottle of apple vinegar which the whole family imbibe on once a day, bypassed the horse meat butchers, in to the Holy Ghost church alongside the market and back to the car.
Would have been nice to have waited a bit until it got dark and the Christmas tree at the town hall shone in full glory but the team had been on the road since 3:00am. Drove the short distance to the Oktoberfest site and spent an hour or two at the “Tollwood” Alternative Winter Market (In summer held at the Olympic park).
Tollwood is a socially, environmental, alternative, cultural, gastronomic, human circus, music concerts, handcrafts, third world …… affair. It runs for about 6 weeks and in to January. If you ate there every evening throughout the festival you would not manage to try all that is on offer. Fantastic atmosphere for young and old but eventually the eyes of the youngest couldn’t stay open. Stomachs filled with handmade pizzas, we hit the road and the hour journey home and bed.
Notched up four Christmas Markets of about 20 on offer in Munich. Will have to try better next year (I hope!)
Extra Photo of some of the Traditional Markets