The 140th straight day of travel ticks over with my wife and I (still married) jetting across Germany into Munich. Strasbourg charmed us with its bilingual, Alsatian wines, Christmas markets, and history (post here). What will the land of lager bring our EU Austerity Drinking Tour?
We leave late from a fabulous AirBnB apartment in the burbs. Steely snow blankets a gray city.
We pass neoclassical buildings and monuments. The walk warms us up and soon we discover town squares and golden architecture that almost compensates for the lack of sun.
We tumble into lovely Christmas markets that feed from one square to another like a snake with bulges. The town clock churns with wooden automata. But unlike Strasbourg or Luxemburg, everything is meat. This is Germany. We finally find a café with sad cheese sandwiches.
Fueled but still cold, we visit the Royal Treasury, which packs its walls with bedazzling finery from Germany’s earliest kings.
As well as the most bling-tastic, miniature knight and horse ever seen:
After a few hours of getting overwhelmed by toiletries, crucifixes, and odd cups, we enter the Residenz: Germany’s largest palace, where Bavaria’s Kings ruled, dined, and wallowed in their own opulence in 130 rooms.
The audio guide takes us to shell-bedecked Grotto: one of ten courtyards:
Around the corned and down the stairs we expect a small hallway and find what can only be described as the largest Renaissance hall north of Italy:
This Antiquarium fills endless niches with (mostly real) busts and statues from Duke Albert V’s eclectic collection.
We traipse through further rooms of extravagance, from Baroque, to Mannerist, Neoclassical and beyond.
There are porcelain cabinets made out of porcelain…to hold porcelain. Bedrooms were built for visiting popes. A hundred dish gold place-setting. Everything is so atrociously ornate, busy, and obsessed with minutia. With winter’s sun setting we find the Cuviliés Theater, an utter gem of a space, where Mozart once held a few gigs. We have the fanciest-pantsiest hangover imaginable.
We head out to get groceries for dinner, drink, and oh yes, a cow:
This being the home to Oktoberfest, we grab three Munich beers. They are all Hell beers (literally “light-colored” nothing to do with damnation) but of different kinds (Lager, Tegernseer, and Weissbier.
They are all good, refreshing, yet don’t register much to our, as then, untrained beer palates. I also forgot to take notes. Drinking in the palace was enough.
Next Monday’s post purges our fabulous hangover with a trip to Dachau.
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