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Posts from the ‘Germany’ Category

2015 Best,Weirdest & Coolest MEGabites

priesterscakepamphlet
This dish is going into my surprised me category. Super tasty!
Nude Oyster’s at Wintzell's in Mobile, Alabama. OK My husband still disagrees on me giving them a 5 because they are a chain. I loved a few dishes from their menu that were Alabama. (Name these instead)
Sweet Potato Casserole at Martin's in Montgomery, Alabama. This was so delicious. I don't really like sweet potato casserole but it tasted like pie. YUM!
4-Best Party/Drinks

Ummmm that beer brewed by Paulauner special for the season out of the barrel at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. How will I top this in 2016 or like EVER?
Peach Sangria in Savannah, Georgia-In season, this concoction is made with fresh Georgia peaches. It is an open container city. Nothing like walking around on a steamy Savannah summer evening, listening to tunes while sipping this darling.
Visiting Jim Beam on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There was also some good pulled pork in a beautiful setting.
Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Ihad a few interesting visits this past year. Party on Wayne!
Broadway Street in Nashville, Tennessee. Although I have visited this fine city on many occasions, this was my first night visit to this street. (Can you say kids are all grown up.) Had a blast listening to many different styles of music. I am excited to return.
3 - Weird/Interesting/Learn Stuff

Eating crawfish boil at Mulletfest in Orange Beach,Alabama. What is this you ask? I participated in this event where one stands in a circle and throws a mullet fish (so not hair-sorry) from a circle in Florida, across a state line into Alabama. People come from many places in the U.S. and the world. There are bands and a big party all weekend. I took 17th place in my age category. Interesting trip.
Pizza cone in New, Orleans, Louisiana. It's not a bad idea but Ragu in crust. Meh.
I ate white BBQ sauce at Big Bob Gibsons Bar-B-Que in Decautur, Alabama. Interesting. Yep, popped that cherry.

From playing “100 Dishes in Alabama Before You Die” to chowing down on the top of a mountain overlooking __countries, this has been a year that will be a challenge to top. Certainly, I expanded my horizon. I gained interesting insight into my own tastes. I tried dishes that I would never have tried without an introduction. I hope to inspire you t have fun trying new foods and food experiences. Eat on and stay healthy! Find Peace through food and friends.

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How To Prepare for Munich Madness? Hike Garmisch-Partenkirchen

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order”

Oktoberfest was my “bucket list menu as the main entrée.” I also was with friends who are like-minded in that people and crowds have their place; of course, present company excluded. To be honest, I loved partaking in this epic bucket list check. And yet,

Crowds abound

Oktoberfest grounds

it was important for all of us to ride the peace train, to get out in the natural world and a side bonus of walking off those extra travel calories.

I have to give the credit to my friend who looked into the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area for some peaceful and picturesque hikes. I don’t know that I would have picked this spot on an Oktoberfest trip, nor had the wisdom to foresee the need for nature.  I sincerely enjoyed the entire area. Kudos to my friend!

The site of the 1936 Olympics, it is a picturesque town for outdoor enthusiasts to jump off from. Interesting fact. Adolph Hitler worried that  the small size and lack of lodging in Garmisch would cause this site to be passed over for the 1936 Olympics.  The two towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen were ordered merged, and the rest is history.

Our hotel had a shuttle van that took us to the Olympic Park Beginning at the ski stadium and the ski jump area. We waved to the arena since we all couldn’t wait to get out and play.

From there, we walked along a trail that leads past beautiful homes and outbuildings alongside a small river with a beautiful color.

Walking through the meadows, I got the sense that I was leaving “somewhere” and entering the wonder of nature.

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The river rolls

The river rolls

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LOVE when the mountains come into view.

Cuties

Cuties

And the river began to sing

And the river began to sing

After a walk of about 30 minutes, we came upon a trailhead where you pay a modest fee to hike the trail. Adults are 3€. We wondered why there was a fee but learned that the trail is extremely well maintained with safety features for all to enjoy. This area was declared a natural monument in 1912.

You walk through a series of tunnels

You walk through a series of tunnels

There are twists and turns in the path.  There were many people of all ages hiking, some classroom students.  There are places to stop and view the majesty of the glacial river and nature’s artistic carvings.  The stunning Portnach Gorge or Partnachklamm measures 2300 ft in length and 263 feet in height.

Next we passed by trails and signs that could guide you to many magnificent hikes and destinations.  There are 300 km of trails with a walk that will take 10 hours to get to the Zugzpitze. With a series of places to stay, I would love to do that someday.

Seriously, I want to do all  of these hikes

Seriously, I want to do all of these hikes. choices,choices

There are great maps at the trail head.

Lucky to have great compasses with me.

Lucky to have a few great human compasses along. 

We chose to hike to a place called Partnachalm.  There are more ways than one to get to this destination.  We chose a hike that led us through the woods sometimes on a steep rugged path, and sometimes in the meadows.

Take the path less traveled!

Take the path less traveled!

Just when your breathing and cardiac functioning is testing you, you enter into the meadow.

Phew!

Phew!

Get outa here! Awesome panoramic views!

Get outa here! Awesome panoramic views!

We were able to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  The views at this restaurant are among the best that our world has to offer.

Check out this reflection

Check out this reflection

This was one of my favorite photos from this 2015 Bavarian trip.   Food, friends, nature and one heck of a view.  It does not get better than this.

A few other photos from this spot depicting the quaint, the majestic, and the peaceful nature of Partnachalm.

The walk down was serene and had vistas.  All of us felt refreshed and envious of those who are able to live in this type of atmosphere. We felt gratitude and peace.

Walk descending

Walk descending

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Except for the fact that we did not see a cow, with a bell, in the meadow.  But, we did see this sheep in bovine clothing.

Cow-sheep

Cow-sheep

At the end of our walk, we spotted out this house and were in awe of it.

What a picture perfect setting and home.  We had to get a closer look

What a picture perfect setting and home. We had to get a closer look

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I saw a woman walking her longhaired dachshund.  For real, that happened.

Life is good!

Life is good!

On the next day, we found this.  Bonus!

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MEGastars: 5 of 5 star walk.

MEGatips;

MEGatips; Here are some things that I learned and of course a few things AFTER my trip.

  1. If you only have one day, I recommend this walk. Love to hike stay a week, a year or forever!
  2. The gorge is a “must see.” I have read reviews about folks who complained about the gorge. Examples: I got wet, it was slippery, the tunnels were dark, there was people who stopped to take photos of the views. All of these complaints are avoided by; wear the correct clothes, and shoes, a hat or hood that you can put on will avoid the drips from the limestone-this is nature, if you have a vision impairment of if you are unsteady on your feet, , use the light on your phone or bring a small pen light. Yes there are tourists and visitors.   Be thankful that Bavaria has shared this majestic gorge with the world. Be a fellow human being and show peace and courtesy towards others.
  3. Unable to hike to the gorge? A horse drawn carriage is available to take you to the gorge.
  4. Another way to view the gorge, one may take the tram up the mountain from the Olympic Village in Garmisch, and then hike down the gorge through Grasek.
  5. There is a steel suspension bridge where one may have a spectacular 360 panoramic view of the gorge. They say that the dizzying view is spectacular.
  6. There are torchlight tours with a dinner from Hotel Das Grasek. That could be fun. These happen in the winter also, and I read that this is gorgeous.
  7. The hotel Das Grasek has some fun events, I did not stay there but the torchlight walks and Christmas events (fireworks, live music-etc) look super fun. They have three on site restaurants including a beer garden.
  8. I have to give a shout out to The Best Western in Garmisch. I really LOVED my stay there. I felt the price-point was reasonable in a trendy tourism spot. The service was above and beyond. The staff was extremely friendly, the breakfast was above par; with a huge choice of European style breakfast items and included a juicer. There is a van, that will take you to your spots of interests, and the driver couldn’t have been more enjoyable. Excellent stay.
  9. Don’t let winter stop you from visiting. Winter visits look outstanding with something for every outdoor lover to do.   One may still hike the gorge for spectacular frozen views.
  10. There are several lifts and gondolas that give you scenic views of the area. I think it would be fun to go on all of them, I believe that there are four.
  11. Get out there, leave no trace, take the road less traveled.
  12. Be safe, brush up on your mountain safety and study your trail ahead. There are ample resources available in Garmisch to assist your experience.
  13. Do have lunch or dinner at Partnachalm. They have a wonderful menu of Bavarian cuisine. Desserts begin at 2 p.m.
  14. Visiting the Zugspitze, see my prior blog on this stop.

Oktoberfestin In Munich And My Bad

It is not what you think, my bad did happen, but it is my bad.  Here is the part of the story that I will share.

Hands down, Germany has become one of my favorite places to visit, and my travel Germany bucket list is quite loose. However, visiting Oktoberfest was one list item that I had written in ink. I was simply thankful to my friend who gave me a push that made this MEGastop possible.

Considering that I a zoom around to other galaxies, I wouldn’t say that I am culturally ignorant. I am not suggesting that I am worldly; it’s just that I have a decent grasp on the modern world.   Having said that, I had a few of what I call mega duh or “my bad preconceptions” when it came to “THE Oktoberfest in Munich. This MEGastop was one fun travel learning experience that will not be forgotten soon.

So, why did I Oktoberfest in Munich?

  • It is the world’s biggest party, duh. I have been to Oktoberfest in several U.S. cities and always dreamt about going to the real deal.
  • I like history, this is a historical event that has had it goin on since 1812. 5-7 million people attend. I learned that statistics say that roughly 70% vistors to the Oktoberfest Munich come from Bavaria, 15 % from the rest of Germany and 15% from European countries, the US, Australia and Canada.  It is representative of a Bavarian tradition.
  • Culture-It is a peaceful event where I can immerse in another culture, dress up, sing songs, eat fantastic food, drink some of the world’s best beer in it’s home. Make new friends and burn off a little steam.
  • Any excuse to travel in Bavaria will do.
And it's on

And it’s on

Although I offer a few tips, it is not a “how to Oktoberfest.” There are a plenty of websites for that subject. Of course, I wish that I had read a few tips before my visit, flying by the seat of my pants just seems to be my middle name. Opening my eyes to a new world is part of the “trip,” it is a big part of why I do travel.  My friend got it, after the fest she said it was everything she expected and more. Not so for me, I had a few visions of what it would be like. My Bad.

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I was surprised to find a large fair atmosphere.

My Bad #1- Have dirndl will party- Planning is required. Before this experience, I thought that you show up ready to party; drink, dance on the benches, drink.   I learned that is actually difficult to secure a table in a tent and even more difficult if you go with more than two people. Lucky for me, my friend found a tour group that was simply perfect for me to enjoy this first time experience. Also lucky for me was that we were able to secure the last four spots in this group of really nice fun people. The planning was all taken care of. Phew! And yes, people do dress up. In fact, most people. I would have felt out of place had I not played dress up.

Dress up time.

Dress up time.

My Bad#2- The “tents” are not tents as in Ringling Brothers. My vision of a tent was like one that I might see at a big top circus. However, Oktoberfest is more than just a few tents thrown up. The tents are actually made of steel and wood and each tent has it’s own personality. Not surprisingly, it takes months to set these elaborate and well appointed halls. I was lucky to attend in theFisher-Vroni Augustiner-Festhalle It is said that Augustinerbräu is the best Oktoberfest beer. This is a family-friendly tent and said to be a favorite of local attendees. This tent seats 600 people.   The tents were decorated to the smallest detail. The temperature was very comfortable and one could move about freely. I loved it! Here are the exterior night photos of a few other tents.

"Before"

“Before” The nice atmosphere in the Fisher-Vroni Augistiner tent

My Bad # 3- the music is not your Grandpa’s oom pah pah-I thought I was going to hear traditional German oom pah music; type that I heard on a.m. radio on Sundays growing up in Wisconsin.   I did what any modern girl would do, I went to You tube and thought I familiarized myself with a few songs, but I was ill prepared. Lucky for me, they sang a lot of oldies (Sweet Caroline, Country Roads), AC/DC, Being a current Alabama resident, Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama made me feel at home. I heard many pop drinking songs. One example is Neil Sedaka’s Living Right Next Door To Alice. I will never hear that song the same again. Something about screaming out “Alice, Alice, who the fuck is Alice?” Simply, impossible not to sing along.

Fun music

Fun music up above the crowd

And the fun beginsup on the benches

And the fun begins….up on the benches

Fun with friends

Fun with friends

My Bad #4Beer- Can I get a Mich Ultra, dark beer,light beer? Just kidding, However, I did not really get that each tent has it’s own specific brew made special for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest beer is a lager brewed for the fest. It is about 6-7% alcohol in content. Non-alcoholic beer is available. Served in a one-liter mug, you get two vouchers with your tent entry.An extra mug of beer will cost you €10.10 including the service fee tacked on. Served from 200 liter barrels called Stags, it is said that you can taste the difference.

My Bad#5- “…It’s A Free For All…” Show up, mingle and party.   The evening was more organized in practice.   After arrival, you get seated at your table.   Soon after that, you meet your host. Our host was named Mike. Mike brought us beer and the menu.   Food is served and the band starts playing. As one can imagine, with a 7% alcohol content, people are up on the benches fairly quickly and into the “prost” mode. Things wrap up by 10:30 and Living Next Door To Alice remains with me forever.

 MEGatips:

  1. Try not to be like me and do a bit more reading before you go.  Your knowledge may color your experience.
  2. Visit Munich. It is a wonderful city.
  3. Bring ‘old” friends and make “new” friends. I do think it is more fun with a group. That was also unexpected for me.
  4. Eat good food. Although the food is mass-produced, it was of high quality. There are many choices including vegetarian. You will be paying for 2 beers and a chicken with your ticket. This comes in the form of a voucher. You are able to choose your foods and simply pay beyond the voucher fixed price for more food.
  5. Get dressed up – You will feel left out it adds more excitement to the experience.
  6. t’s not a cheap bucket list check off. You are able to check out the grounds for free and there are websites dedicated to “how to go on the cheap.”
  7. If this event is on your bucket list. Be aware that it takes planning. This was my biggest take away.
  8. I have read it is recommended that one visit the grounds at least a few times over the course of the week.   Visit the grounds during the day, walk around and see the tents, vendors and variety of people who attend.
  9. If you want to dress in Tracht, know that the used tracht that I saw in the second hand stores were pretty high priced. Try to get them before you attend. I bought mine  new from e-bay and feel that I was able to get a fantastic buy.
  10. I have also read do NOT drink the Schnapp’s shots. They will take you home after having your liters.  You would expect a certain level of debauchery at the world’s largest party.  Don’t be that person in the ambulance.
  11. Don’t like crowds? 6 million people attend. It is crowded and the streets are rowdy. It is a fair like atmosphere and at night, difficult to move in crowds. Inside the Fisher-VroniAugustiner tent it was significantly less chaotic and more like being at an intimate concert with a seat. Another reason to get a spot in a tent.
  12. Generally, I don’t like tours. However, this ended up being the perfect way for me to go to my first Oktoberfest.  I learned that most spots are secured by locals and then open up to other visitors. Not only was all of the preplanning done, I had a quiet comfortable hotel, expertise at my fingertips and an automatic group of new friends. I highly recommend Harriman Travel. Brett did a fantastic job making everyone comfortable. http://www.harrimantravelbooks.com/Tours_Oktoberfest.html
  13. The Oktoberfest represents traditions of Bavaria. Not the entire country.
  14. There are smaller Oktoberfests in a few other cities. I visited a small one in Austria on this stop and there are a few in Germany that really do sound fun.

Ten Reasons That German Food Is Not Just Weiner Art

Tasty Tuesday MEGabite is about fun food and places from my 2015 Germany trip.   If you have read my blogs, you know that I am in love with Germany. I like everything about visiting this fantastic country. Food is no exception. I had a blast trying some new foods, fun places and twists on some of my favorite all time foods.   Although I did include a few traditional German foods, this is not a post about traditional German foods.   My list is in no particular order and I offer a few tips and opinions.

  1. Wiener Art -What is it?  I saw this written everywhere. When I closed my eyes and thought about what wiener art could be, substitutes for veal did not come into my mind. Nor does Anthony Weiner.  This is one of those phrases that can get lost in translation, especially, if you share my juvenile sense of humor.  Basically, if schnitz is not made with veal, it must be labeled as ‘wiener art” See #40 below.

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2. Pikeperch is neither Pike nor Perch. It is named Zander fish. I learned about this fish on this very trip. It is also not a hybrid fish. Shaped like a pike, it is more related to a perch. I learned that this fish is common in Western Eurasia.   In Europe, a second species is found in Southern Russia and the basin of the Danube.   It is listed as one of “The Dirty Dozen” in the U.K., threatening to wipe out native species.   I was lucky enough to taste this tender white,flakey, low boned delicious fish. Thank you Germany!

*Weird Zander Fact. In 2009, a Swiss Zander attacked tourists, sending them to the Emergency Room. The fish was later caught and cooked up by a local chef.

Found this beauty at Farmer's Market in Munich.

Found this beauty at Farmer’s Market in Munich. Eating at Germany’s largest market was a HUGE stroke of luck for me.  I was able to sample Bavaria’s finest foods. 

3. A Salmon Trout is more like a Labradoodle.  This was a learning food for me.  I learned that t is a hybrid fish. It looks more like a trout with a mild salmon taste. Really delicious. I loved it! It’s caviar is also sold. I did not try this, but in the future, I sure will. Eating salmon trout in an Oktoberfest tent, is one heck of a bucket list treat.

trout salmon

Meg and her trout salmon   

4. Cheese– I am a bit of a cheese lover. There is not one German cheese that I tasted that did not exceed my expectations. I ate cheese every single day and passed up meal dishes in lieu of tasting different cheeses. I am a Wisconsin girl, home to the dairy state and many award winning cheeses, some having been ‘invented’ in that state. One example, being Colby cheese. Oddly, I have no photos of any of my cheese plates. Trust me, YUM!

5. Kaiserschmarrn is technically an Austrian main meal or dessert. “Kaiser” means Emperor and “Schmarrn” means mess/mishmash. Mine was served with homemade applesauce. RUKM? Eating this baby while sipping German Riesling at the Zugspitze on tip top of Germany, with a view and in good company is unbeatable. I included other foods tried at my table.  Great spot.  With over four restaurants to choose from, we did very well.  A lunch that will remain in my memory.

6. Traditional German Food at a restaurant.    By far, my favorite German meal was on my past trip to Germany where I stumbled upon some type of neighborhood park where they had a beer garden, food trucks and beer.

blast from the past throwback Tasty Tuesday

blast from the past throwback Tasty Tuesday

On this trip, and since eating game is new again, I ate a venison dish with noodle and red cabbage at Wolpertingers in Garmisch. The setting was idyllic with live music and a well decorated atmosphere. Mischa and Anetta were the consummate hosts. The portions of their made to order dishes were huge. I didn’t have to eat for days after finishing a portion of my dinner.

7. Traditional German food at Oktoberfest– Of course, the Oktoberfest tent is the real deal and this checking off this bucket list was the reason for the whole trip.  I chose a cheeseboard and the piketrout.

8. Traditional German Food at Augistiner– Grab a friend or two or three and eat at one of Munich’s beer halls.   Because I was with a group, we were lucky to get a table during this busy Oktoberfest Saturday night.  The Augustiner Braustuben is listed in the top 7 beer halls of Munich, this location is an indoor hall vs Augustiner Keller.   I think I now have visited all 7 beer halls. You are able to see the busy guy at the big keg.


9. “Street food.” On the street, in the gas station/large rest stops, grocery stores and market foods.   I have no idea why but these are my favorite places to eat in Europe. Munich excels in this arena. I can find amazing gourmet foods, pick and choose my dishes and amounts for a great price. Here are a few of my favorites.

10. Food with a view.  Check out the reflection in this restaurant window. This stop was Partnachalm.   It is a little restaurant reached after hiking through some of the most beautiful meadows, mountains, gorges, streams and hills.  it is a place to sit and enjoy the view while having a bite to eat.

Check out this view

Check out this view

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MEGatips;

  1. If in Munich, go to the Victuals Market.  This market is open on weekdays.  You will be able to find many types of foods.  From the organic juicer to traditional sausage.  You can sit down with a beer or wine and watch the world go by.
  2. Try to take in the Zugspitze and go for a meal.  I wrote a separate blog on this visit.
  3. The German hotels have fantastic traditional European style breakfasts. Shout out to The Best Western in Garmisch for a wonderful breakfast experience in an idyllic setting.  I have stayed with Marriott’s in Munich and they are also this style.
  4. The Kofhaus department store in central Munich has a foodie paradise in the basement.  Complete with a deli and the largest candy selection that I ever remember seeing in a department store. It is a fun stop for gifts.  The department store also has some mighty fine shopping.
  5. If you stop in Munich, do not pooh pooh the Hofbrauhaus for a fun meal.  Check it out at least once. It is centralized and there is now a Hard Rock Cafe across the street. So yes, it is “touristy” but if you are a *tourist* where else can you party with not only locals, but visitors from all over the world, drink some of Germany’s finest beer and eat some pretty darn good traditional German food all while listening to some ooom pah pah for free?  Especially if you are unable to secure a ticket in an Oktoberfest tent, figure out when a band is playing, grab some friends and make your own fest. It is clean, well organized and in a historical beer hall. In my opinion, all of the beer halls are touristy, some are just smaller and removed from the main drag.  If you are there during a warm day, sit outside for a lunch, it is a fantastic setting.  Like Gretchen Wilson says ‘I’m here for the party.” You will find many reviews with this advice.
  6. If you are in Munich during the summer.  Check out some of the neighborhood beer gardens. I went to one on a past visit in the Haidhausen district. I had the BEST German food there and one heck of a fun night.
  7. Try something new and different while in Germany and bring your appetite.

Getting Lucky at 9,718 ft

I am head over heels in love with visiting Germany. Due to geographical distance, and infrequent visits, I have a loose hand written German bucket/wish list. Visiting the tip-top of Germany did not disappoint. I thought maybe it was going to be a €52.50 ride up, an ooh and an ahh and go home. Zugspitze was so much more.

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Shared by Germany and Austria, one can visit from either country. I drove from Germany to a parking lot that is near the idyllic Ebsee Lake at the base of the majestic mountain.

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Seeing this mountain, a valley, a gorgeous lake and alpine flora is like foreplay, you are excited to get on that ride.

The Eibsee cable car ride is literally a trip. I packed in tight with about 35 people for the approximately 10 minute ride up. Except for feeling a bit too close to my neighbor, it is a pretty comfortable ride up, even for someone who has a moderate height phobia. Each time you pass a pole, there is a little sway in the lift, but it was not at all uncomfortable. The day that I went, it was cloudy. It was fun to break through the clouds and see the clear blue sky.

When you arrive to the top, there are many places to jump off to. There is a climb to the historical golden cross. It is a climb that requires moderate skill and is fun to watch.   I saw an older man and a kid climb. Most of the people who made the final steps to the cross were clamped on. I did not climb but two of my fellow travel companions did so. I almost had to wonder why they couldn’t charge for this final climb, using an expert to assist. Anyway, I have a bit of a height phobia and it took me a few minutes to acclimate and take photos.

Go Pack Go! View of the cross summit

Go Pack Go! View of the cross summit. It is amazing to me that the first cross was carried up in 1851 and not by a helicopter.

Because it was cloudy, I was unable to see the panoramic view that this part of the world offers. This spot is unique in that there are not other mountain ranges at this same height. On a clear day, you are able to see peaks of four countries; Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

There is an area where one is able to cross from Germany into Austria.  In the old days, crossing was a big deal with a border and passport stamp. Now there is no border, you simply walk across the stairway.  However you can make a snow angels there and take some fantastic photos. of the mountains in the distance.

There is a really beautiful viewing area on this side.

Tirol

Tirol Unfortunately it was a cloudy day for viewing

With four restaurants and other freestanding food spots, there is something for all budgets.

Food-because let’s face it, I was too chicken to do the climb.

  • Sonnalpin is a restaurant at the Zugspitze glacier. It is a cafeteria style with traditional dishes to vegetarian. The outdoor seating area is gorgeous.

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  • The Glacier Garden is a glass building that can open up on a fine day. Described as modern-minimalist that serves German food with International flair. You will find locally sourced fish and meats.
  • Gipfelalm-is Germany’s highest restaurant. They serve Bavarian cuisine. This is a great spot to sit outside and enjoy a meal. This is the place where I got lucky.    What are the odds that a bird will poop on your menu at 2,962 m (9718 ft)? And yes, this is good luck.  Google it!  Not what you were thinking?  I bet.
  • Panorama 2962-The name says it all: the glass fronted Panorama 2962 welcomes you with jaw-dropping views of alpine peaks in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, Lake Eibsee and far beyond to the Alpine foothills. On the day that I visited,it was a bit crowded with an Oktoberfest going on
Party is on up high

Party is on up high

There are many choices of activities, museums, guided tours and fun tho be had.  I took a cable care which carries you down onto one of the three glaciers.  Even though it was cloudy, it was beautiful.

Sledding area

Sledding area

A church

A church

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educational stops with material regarding glacier history. Ye, those specks are my friend and I

educational stops with material regarding glacier history. Yes those specks are my friend and I.

Eating lunch at the top of Germany with wonderful food and great company.  Watching the climbers and athletes come and go, I could not have gotten much luckier, wink.

What a great day.  I give this visit 5 MEGastars ***** My life was enriched. Stops like this are not about collecting sights.  I learned, had fun, ate great food and I was inspired to get out there and do it.  I gained a sense of awe and one of peace.  The kind that comes from standing in the clouds at the top of a country with warm sun upon your face.  May the road rise to meet you…

MEGatips:  I am not going into the details of how and where and what.  There are fantstic websites that can give you this type of information.   A few pointers that I gained.

  1. Duh on visiting on a cloudless day.  If you are like me, you can’t control that gig.  Go anyway.
  2. It is pretty crowded going up and then down on the cable car.  Plan for waiting.
  3. I got a bit queasy up there. It came and went but know that the altitude can give you a buzz. So drink at your own risk.
  4. Plan on trying some food.  There are truly fantastic places to chow down.
  5. About the climbing.  Bring appropriate attire.  The climbers have that going on.
  6. On that note, remember there is no bad weather only bad clothes.  So don’t wear flip flops.
  7. Do not forget your camera
  8. You can bring children and dogs.
  9. Do some research into the museums if that sort of thing interests you.  There is history and science abound.
  10. Take part in the outdoor scene of this area.  Obviously winter brings another world of mountain fun.
  11. Can’t get there? check out their webcam.

Meg’s Munich Moment

I had a serendipitous moment while meandering around central Munich. Near the Odeonsplatz, I visited a farmer’s market that will remain as one of my all-time favorite Munich moments. The photo below was from a prior visit and the church appears to be under repair at this time.

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Quite near The English Garden and Residence Place is a public square called Odeonsplatz.   On this particular day I found a live band on the stage and a big crowd in a beer garden like setting, with a backdrop of beautiful and historic buildings.

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Surrounded by tents with food vendors and beer, I thought this might be a fantastic place for breakfast.

Music at Odenplatz

Music at Odenplatz

Great people watching

People of Munich

People of Munich

Thanks to modern day research, I later learned that this is Germany’s largest Farmer’s Market and is called Farmer’s Market Mile. I LOVE a good Farmer’s Market where I find the season’s best bounty of vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses, and specialty products. I learned that this market showcased approximately 125 Bavarian vendors.

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I LOVE HOPS

I LOVE HOPS

As an aside, I saw this while out driving in the countryside.

HOPS FIELDS

HOPS FIELDS POST HARVEST

A highlight for me was learning about regional foods and specialty products. There was opportunity for learning about farming in this beautiful region. Due to my language barrier, I was able to enjoy the beautiful booths and displays.

Fish YUM!

Fish YUM!

Gorgeous Goat Cheeses

Gorgeous Goat Cheeses

HONEY PRODUCTS

HONEY PRODUCTS

BEEF

BEEF

EGGS

EGGS

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SAY CHEESE

I am originally from Wisconsin and very proud of my home dairy state.  Not easily impressed by cheese, I had some of the tastiest cheeses that I have ever tasted while visiting Bavaria.  Check out this gigantic wheel of cheese. YUM!

CHEESE ME

CHEESE ME

DESSERT

DESSERT

The grapes were awesome!

The grapes were awesome!

I tasted a new variety of grape called a strawberry grape.  It actually tasted like a strawberry.

Just your average YAK meat

 YAK meat display

I was most intrigued by the meat vendors. The trucks and stalls were interesting with so many varieties, the likes of which I have never seen at a Farmer’s Market. i remember visiting the small local meat market in my hometown as a child with all of the unusual meats and deli slices.   Wisconsin boasts the largest German American population in the United States.   With contributions of brewers, dairy industry and well more breweries, it is the small European meats and bakeries that have a strong-hold in my heart. I did not appreciate the meats as that child but now see the pride in craftsmanship and heritage worth preserving.   With that nostalgia in mind, I was amazed to see so many meat vendors with their unique specialties. It was a deli lover’s heaven!

this one had a catchy truck

Interesting display

Animal heads

A market with pride, presentation, heritage and some very tasty foods was a treasure for me to find.  Thank you serendipity and thank you to the farmer’s of Bavaria for their dedication to the art of fine quality goods.  Real food by real people. The recipients of this bounty are very lucky indeed. I will not soon forget this MEGastop!

MEGastars I give this market 5 MEGastars *****

Magnificent Munich

I am in love. I love Germany, I love Bavaria, I love Munich.  “Far Away Friday” in this great city.

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Bavaria stole my heart.  I wrote in four other parts;Dachau, Rothernburg ob der Tabuer, Wieskirche and Neuschwanstein.  This was one of those MEGASTOPS that will remain with me forever.

While the countryside of Bavaria was fairy tale and peaceful, I found Munich to be energetic, historical and a whole lot of fun.

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Here are a few sights that i took in.

OLD

OLD

Mix of old and new

Mix of old and new

Great mixture of old and new. Beautiful churches with amazing craftsmanship.

Munich is a fun place to walk around and see ‘stuff.”  Great parks, A mix of old and new. Castles, gardens, parks and squares.

Interesting things that I see while zooming around this planet. Yes, it is touristy sight, but I am a tourist, Duh!  And w ho doesn’t have this on their bucket list?

One of the places that represent this city has to be the Glockenspiel in the tower/balcony of the Neues Rathaus. It is in the Marienplatz Square. Since 1908 people have been gathering for the 12 minute scene. 32 figurines that represent stories from Munich’s history, revolve on two levels. Cooper’s dancers, an angel of peace and the city coat of arms. Right on!

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You can go to top of tower and see city sights. On the day that I visited there was construction and I missed out.  I really want to do this and hope I get another chance.

Unusual things Imust see while zooming around this planet

Unusual things I must see while zooming around this planet!

Not pictured is some pretty cool shopping nearby. I didn’t do because I got a bit thirsty. Which brings me to the beer. Born in Milwaukee and raised in Wisconsin.  The largest German population in the U.S.A., there is a little bit of beer, and a whole lot of party. Munich had that familiar spark.

Nearby there is a market not to be missed. Oddly, I must have deleted my photos from the market area.  Viktualienmarkt (a farmers’ market.)  Picture fresh fruits, vegetables, sausage, cheeses and yep beer under beautiful oak trees.  Speaking of beer.

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This is the real deal.  Not a beer drinker?  This location offers a fantastic lunch stop in a beautiful courtyard.   You can wander around inside and buy some goods. Music plays on a stage indoors.  Great menu in a fantastic setting. 5 MEGastars for this place!

My favorite meal in Munich was a completely unexpected find. I peeked into the door of a recommended German restaurant, I just wasn’t feeling it, and decided to walk up the street to a flea market that I had noticed on the drive in.

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I found this neighborhood park. Apparently, it was beer o’clock here.

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I wonder if this man saw my “secret” snap. I was trying to be polite.

I found a full on neighborhood shindig in this lil park. There was a band, food carts, people joining in the music and more beer. I ate the BEST food here. There were about 5 carts with different foods and a bakery cart.  Wish I had more snaps to share.

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The food was not a mutant hybrid.

I may have had some fun here.  Seems I stayed past dark.I took some blurry photos

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Great sites, great walks, great markets, great beer, great friends. What more could a girl ask for?  I have put Oktoberfest onto my bucket list and hope that I can spend a bit more time in  Magnificent Munich!

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I love Germany and it loved me!

And I always try to find a cool toilet.  Outside of that beer garden cause when ya gotta-ya gotta go.  Bring your € !

COOL TOILETS W/C

COOL TOILETS W/C

Some quirky photos are on https://instagram.com/kickingthebucketlistwithmeg/

MEGastars-5***** Love

MEGatips

  1. Spend more than a few days in this fine city.
  2. I stayed in a few Munich locations. I loved Marriott Residence Inn Munich East. In the Haidhausen District. Just steps away from The Munich Ostbenhauf (train station) and just 7 minutes to downtown.  I had a car and there was underground parking.  An amazing breakfast buffet. Super clean-modern rooms and outdoor seating.  A 25 minute drive to the airport and near that fun park. This was one of my favorite stays europe ven alp mun 265
  3. There are many great restaurants nearby. I loved that park.  I also ate at L’ANGOLO DELLA PIZZA – Ristorante, Bar & Holzofen-Pizzeria.  You need reservations but they let me have someone else’s spot as they were late. Oops, sorry, their loss. europe ven alp mun 257

Enlightenment In Bavaria

Soulful Sunday- Wieskirche-Pilgrimage of The Scourged Saviour, Checking off my U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites one visit at a time. Pt. 3 of 4 Bavaria, Germany

I collect World Heritage Sites instead of knick-knacks, but this time, I had to convince my husband to MEGATRIP off the path on a very rainy day.

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The countryside reminded me of my home dairy state of Wisconsin. (With the largest German population in the U.S,)  A gorgeous setting,  located in a secluded spot in the alpine area of Bavaria.  The hamlet of Wies, near Steingaden in Bavaria.

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Driving down twisty country toads, I remember thinking how lucky to see signs and a car with GPS.

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I remember thinking, is this the right place?

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There was MY  U.N.E.S.C.O. sign.

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I did not know much about this lil church. I was blown away and my husband was left speechless. This church is on the U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage Site as a cultural treasure. It is an example of a Rococo masterpiece, which was nearly demolished. (18th century artistic style that includes many forms of arts; painting, interior design, sculpture, architecture, literature, music and theater ….) Keep in mind, this church is in the countryside.

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Imagine stepping out of the rain and into this bright place. Jaw dropping!

 

In the middle of the countryside, long long ago people built this…the detail is mind blowing to me.

 

 

The wood carving

 

 

 

This is a poor photo with my point and shoot. This church is also famous throughout Europe as a pilgrimage site. In the center of this altar is an icon of The Scourged Saviour. In June of 1738, tears were seen on his face. At this time, the statue was housed in a small chapel. Large pilgrimages ensued, and a church was built.

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I am happy that this church was made a U.N.E.S.C.O. Heritage Site.  I contributed with a donation and lit a candle for my paternal Aunt who was ailing.

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This visit reminds me that today, our human treasures are being bombed rather than preserved.

All of MY senses were awakened, There was this moment of peace, joy and light. IMAGINE…If everyone practiced unity, If spirituality was unbounded, and we were all grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world’s religions. Think for ourselves. LOVE AND PEACE!

I give this visit 5 *****MEGASTARS I was able to check off another U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage Site. I was made more culturally aware and reminded of how much we as human beings are alike.  I was in awe of the beauty and timeless art.

MEGATIPS;

1. Take better photos.

2. Check the church website for visit schedule.  There are many times when you may not tour the church.  It is an operating church. Might be fun to see music being played there.

3. If you have time, take a tour. Note, tours at this church are in German.  One can arrange other languages, consult the website.

Is This Place Even Real? Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

“Far Away Friday” and  Post Pt. 2 of 4 on a few of my stops in Bavaria, Germany. Rothenburg was so beautiful, I felt as if I was walking in a picture book or a Disney setting.    While driving along The Romantic Road, I had only planned to buzz through this city.

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Hit the brakes!

This road is actually romantic!

This road is actually romantic!

I would have liked to stay there for at least one overnight. I had not intended to write a separate post on this town. But OH the photos with my point and shoot. If only I were a real photographer.

 

Interesting architecture everywhere.

What is fabulous about this town is that it is a 12th century Medieval with the castle still standing. For me, it stands out from other cities that I have visited.

 

 

You can actually walk on the walls

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Outstanding views!

It was well preserved and literally picture perfect for many reasons. One thing that I did not see in my tourist pamphlet was that this city was significant in Nazi History. It was touted as “The Most German of German Towns.” Rothenburg exemplified the ideology of a picture perfect family German life. In October of 1938, Jewish citizens were expelled.   In 1945 during WWII Rothenburg was bombed but thanks to the foresight of an American U.S. Secretary of War, bombing and further damage to this city was halted.

Of course, there is the food in storybook settings!

 

Famous for a “Rothenburger Schneeballen” (also knows as Fränkische Schneeballen) “Snowball Cake in English. This German treat is rolled up pastry with icing on top. Meh, but I had to try.   Lots of fantastic things to see and taste.

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There is fun specialty shopping in this area. Lots of Christmas places.  I didn’t shop on this trip but it was fun to people watch and window shop.

but there is always window shopping for funny random things. Found this little number in an antique shop. Love the toenails!

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Interesting cultural facts. Did you know that this town was in the following movies; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows and more?

MEGASTARS ***** I seem to be on a roll with the 5 stars. I know that this place is “touristy” But c’mon, I am not a rock star. I liked this visit a whole lot.

MEGATIPS-

  1. There is more than one Rothenburg in Germany. Go to the right one. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  2. Anti social ish? Stay the night here (like I did not) I bet the evening and mornings would find the streets less full.
  3. In St. Jakob’s Church there is a 500 year old wood carved art piece, check it out.
  4. Maybe do a day hike along the Tauber, River, the valley  looks gorgeous.
  5. Want those boots? Buy them when you see them. Check out the hours that the businesses are open. The shop that I was interested closed for noon hour and did not seem to open after that. Not open at all on Sunday.
  6. Check out the Medieval Double Bridge that was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (I ran out of time)
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