We started our day with a hearty breakfast at our hotel (included in the room rate!). It was a nice spread, with plenty of variety and good cappuccinos!
Our plan for today was to explore the Old Town area of Munich, so we walked the short two blocks to the Hauptbahnhof (Central Train Station) and bought a 3 day transport pass. Munich public transportation is great, with a combination of underground, trams and busses criss-crossing the city. We rode the underground to Marienplatz, and this was the sight that greeted us when we came up the steps and out in to the square:
The tall tower has a bell and clock tower that rings every hour, complete with animated mechanical figures that "go round". It's quite the attraction, and we joined several hundred other tourists to watch. Here's a close-up of just a bit of the action:
We walked thru the big main entrance into the pretty courtyard and spent several minutes admiring the amazing details on the building.
As we were leaving the courtyard we spotted a sign pointing us an elevator to take us all the way to the top of the main spire--so we gladly paid 5 Euros and zipped right to the top! What a view, and as an added bonus we spotted several tall church spires and beautiful old buildings that we wanted to explore.
After that fun little "trip" we wandered around the square and down a side street. We found ourselves at the "ViktualeinMarkt", a pretty square lined with many vendors selling souvenirs, fresh produce and deli items, several sausage shops, cheese shops and, of course beer vendors! In the very middle of the huge square is a lovely "garten" area with large picnic tables, all shaded by big oak trees. We drooled our way thru the market, tasting a few samples and quickly decided it was time for lunch! We made our way back to a few of our favorite shops and bought a nice "picnic" lunch of thin sliced salami, marinated wild mushrooms, yummy whole grain bread, artichoke pate and a big fat juicy dill pickle! Of course, we also stopped by a beer vendor for a BIG beer to share.
The pretty "garten" area:
David and our delicious picnic lunch:
Feeling refreshed (and maybe a little stuffed!), we continued walking, heading roughly in the direction of some of the church spires we'd seen from our tower view.
Here are a few shots from some of the pretty churches we visited:
We came across remnants of the old city wall tower;
After all that walking we were pretty tired, hot & thirsty, so we sat down at a sidewalk cafe and enjoyed a cold drink--lemonade (lime/lemon/grapefruit and ginger--mmmmmm good!) for me and beer for David. It was a much needed rest, and the people watching was great!
Feeling much better, we continued on several blocks and came to a large, beautiful park with a pretty "gazebo"--that's Diana the Huntress on top. The park was beautifully landscaped in a very formal, symmetrical style.
Right across the street from the park was the Theatine Church--what a gorgeous example of over-the-top baroque architecture--both inside and out.
The beautiful interior:
By now it was late afternoon, so we made our way back to our hotel to drop off our packages, rest up a bit, and discuss our dinner plans. After talking it over, we decided we'd just wander a few blocks right near our hotel until we found something that looked good.
We found a lively and pretty "pedestrian-only" street lined with interesting shops and restaurants and didn't have to go far before we found a nice sidewalk cafe serving "Bavarian Specialties". We ordered two different plates to share, and every item was just delicious.
After our leisurely dinner we slowly made our way back to our hotel. What a wonderful day in Munich!
Tomorrow: A train ride out of town to The Andechs Monastery. Supposedly, the monks of Andechs brew some great beer--and you can bet we'll be having one!