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December 27, 2006

Christmas Eve "Eve" in Munich

Our first full day in Munich was the Saturday before Christmas, or Christmas Eve "Eve" as we called it. After a big breakfast in our hotel, we pootled away for a bit, and then eventually made our way out to see the sights at around 12-ish. We were heading for Isartor, to then make our way through the main city centre. We ended up taking a bit of a roundabout route, and because it was so cold instead of doing our planned walk from a U-Bahn station, we got the bus. We did get to go past the German Museum though, which has a quite striking barometer and weather station on the outside of the building's tower.

Munichmeteorological

We hadn't been walking long when we saw a supermarket. We knew we needed to shop for some Christmas provisions, but thought it was too early to have to carry all our shopping around, so pressed on. We soon came to the Viktualiener Market, where we had a look at all the food and the Christmas goodies, and then stopped for a mug of glühwein. We were tempted to get some when we saw that people were drinking it out of special Christmas blue boot-shaped mugs - like the Das Boot of Chania, but for glühwein instead.

Munichboots

After that we made our way to Marienplatz - and Claire's eyes nearly popped out their sockets when she saw the Christmas market here. It stretched out into all the sidestreets, and was a wonderful mixture of festive sights, sounds and smells. We were getting pretty cold by now, and stopped for a coffee, which was nice and warm, but not as relaxing as it could have been thanks to some American tweenager girls showing off noisily on the table next to us.

We decided to head back to the hotel, with the plan of going out again later for dinner. We thought the quickiest way back would be via Hauptbahnhof, so set off in that direction. We were also now looking for a supermarket. Well, we couldn't find one anywhere, although we did find an open air ice-rink where Claire got her photograph taken with a polar bear.

Munichpolarclaire

Anyway, after some frustration, in the end we decided to get the S-Bahn from Hauptbahnhof back to Isartor to the supermarket we had seen earlier. Fortunately we had bought a day-ticket for the transport, so it didn't cost us any extra, but it was a bit out of our way.

We had actually visited the mini-market round the corner from our hotel just after breakfast, but we seemed to be suffering from some kind of mid-morning delirium, as we emerged from that shop with six bottles of beer, one bottle of wine, a carton of sangria and a packet of Saltletts Sticks as our total provisions for the next four days.

So, once We got our shopping in - being British it was mostly alcohol and sweets - we then headed to get the bus. We literally just missed one, and faced waiting 20 minutes in the bitter cold. And that was when we spied the Mexican cocktail bar on the corner...

Munichmexican

So, laden with our shopping and all, we nipped into Don Luca for Christmas Cocktail O'Clock. We got the bus back 40 minutes later, and were back in the hotel by 5pm. Despite our good intentions to go out somewhere for dinner, the lure of "Resident Evil 4" on the PlayStation, and the fact that we could make our own nachos in the microwave in the room, meant we didn't bother to venture out again.

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