Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

The plan was to make our stay in Munich, capital city of Bavaria in Germany, as short as possible. From what I read, nothing about the city excites me. It seems like just another city to me~ Very liveable (top in the world, for 2010 at least), safe and clean. Sounds like Singapore, no?

Marienplatz is one of those places that every visitor goes to at least once while in Munich. It’s the central square in the heart of the city, and is home to the Mariensäule, the Old and the New Town Hall of Munich. And the famous domes atop the twin towers of the Catholic Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady can be seen from afar.

Coincidentally, we were there an hour before noon, just in time to hear the Glockenspiel carillon chime and watch the 32 life-sized figures reenact historical Bavarian events. Somewhat like the astronomical clock show in Prague!

We went to Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s daily outdoor farmers market, from Marienplatz. It’s not as bustling as I thought it will be, perhaps due to the early hour..

There’s lots of stalls, selling everything from from fruits, vegetables and seafood, to pastries, honey, spices, flowers etc. Garlands of sausages are a common sight, plus raw pig trotters, anyone? Of course, I didn’t get that -__- Bought a box of sauerkraut to munch on instead and it was so cheap! Weird, I know, to have that as a snack, but I love that tangy stuff~ Good ones are so hard to find in Singapore!

Before leaving, we had a meal at some random restaurant which we saw by chance. Luckily, the food was great! Everything was tasty and fresh, from the pan fried zander fish, to the orecchiette pasta and asparagus risotto~

Friedenheimer Straße 59a

That’s that, for Munich. Somehow, I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be back there again soon.. And the only thing that makes me happy about that (for now) is the wealth of beer gardens, yay!

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The world-famous Oktoberfest may be held for just a couple of weeks in Munich each year, but beer gardens are still not to missed at any time of the year! I had a great time at Augustiner-Keller, the oldest biergarten in the city, and the fact that this was totally unplanned made me enjoy it even more~

Arnulfstraße 52, Munich

The space is vast, packed with lots of people (this was a normal weekday!) gathering by the simple wooden tables and benches, all shaded by beautiful old chestnut trees.

The food may not be mind-blowingly delicious but the amazing festive and spirited atmosphere is priceless. I’d say yes to a second visit anytime!

We had a mega feast of traditional German and Bavarian cuisine: a huge platter of roasted suckling pig, grilled sausages, pork knuckles, roasted duck, salmon, sauerkraut and potato dumplings. Nothing exceptionally outstanding but all tasted good, maybe cuz we were feeling really happy to find such a gem of a place! And of course, there’s Augustiner Edelstoff beer to wash down our meal. Nice but I still prefer Belgium beer~ For a perfect sweet ending, the old-fashioned fried apple fritters with vanilla ice cream recommended by the friendly waitress was surprisingly fantastic!

I love love love this place! And it makes me wonder, do all beer gardens generally have such fabulous atmosphere?

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Bordering Austria, Bavaria in Germany seems to be a province lost in time. The scenery is spectacular: rustic wooden “gingerbread houses”, grassy meadows with wild flowers, emerald-green lakes, and of course, I was there primarily for the famous castles built high atop the hills and mountains.

Instead of the conventional way, we took about an hour to hike through an impressive waterfall gorge up to the castle entrance..

A very strenuous activity (I don’t exercise but I’m guessing it’s a piece of cake for those who do) but all worth it for the gorgeous view!

The final lap up to Marien Brücke (Mary’s Bridge) was the toughest cuz it was such a steep uphill climb. And it was also the most rewarding cuz..

.. the view of Neuschwanstein Castle is spectacular from there! Breathtakingly beautiful, this is the real castle model that Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s and Sleeping Beauty’s castles are based on.

Neuschwanstein Castle was built in this idyllic setting by King Ludwig II, often called the “Mad King“. After visiting so many castles and palaces throughout Europe and learning about so many different kings and queens, King Ludwig is my favourite king! He was an eccentric (translation: interesting) guy, and most importantly, I believe that he was a romantic dreamer. How can someone who built such a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle not be one?

While touring the colourful interior of Neuschwanstein Castle (sadly, no photos allowed), I was so excited to see Hohenschwangau Castle and the Austrian Alps right outside the windows!

Hohenschwangau Castle was King Ludwig’s childhood home and that’s where he stayed while monitoring the construction of his dream castle, Neuschwanstein, through a telescope from his music room. The sad thing is, he never lived to see it completed =(

I love the photos I took of the area cuz they turn out so nicely au naturel! Here’s a stunning view of the town of Schwangau and Lake Forgensee.. So picturesque that it looks fake, like a painting!

Another awesome view, this time of the Alpine lakes and on the right, the town of Fussen — my starting and ending point.

I’ve never seen such a perfect blend of untouched natural beauty and man-made wonders. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this unforgettable experience a solid 11! =)

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