Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Munich in a Day

After met met LPP at the airport, we took the train straight to Marienplatz which is a combination of old and new Munich.
 The glockenspiel on the New Town Hall is like an enormous cuckoo clock....without the cuckoos. There are figurines that come out and dance and tell the story of a wedding that took place in the square in 1568. 
 The golden statue at the top of the column is the Virgin Mary. 
Marienplatz in named for her...Mary's Square.
There is also a statue on the top of this hall of a child dressed in monk's clothing, holding a book in his outstretched arms.
 Munich is named for the monks who first settled here.
Another interesting fact is that this building is actually the NEW Town Hall. 
It was built in the late 1800's.
Marienplatz was heavily bombed in WWII and the Old Town Hall was rebuilt, but the names remained. 
 If you choose to stick with me, I am full of historical tid bits....
The New Town Hall served at the American military headquarters in 1945.

I was a bit off during this day and never truly gained my bearings as far as what each building was as we wandered.
They are all just so pretty and interesting.

We did make a decision to locate the Schrannenhalle which houses a chocolate lover's paradise.
Complete with a column of melted chocolate as it's centerpiece.
 And wine.
And chocolate.
After lunch, kisses and some story telling, we were ready to hit the streets again.

 Back through Viktualienmarkt with its wonderful open air shops and eateries.

 This would be a fantastic place to wander through when coming home from work on a sunny day and grab items for dinner. 
Or a picnic.
Sunny, it was not however. 
Our next mission was to find the bakery in which Guy Fieri took his son on their European trip.
We found it and crunched our way through crouton-like pretzels.
I think Hunter and Guy were treated to fresh and soft.

The National Theater is a big beautiful building set on one side of Max Joseph Platz.
  Another side of the square sits the Royal Residence.

Walking down the street we came upon another platz...Odeonsplazt which is home to the 
Hall of Heroes and the Theatinerkirche.

The church (Theatinerkirche) was receiving some renovation on the exterior, but the inside was stunning.

As we meandered along through the former royal gardens, the city streets gave way to a peaceful solitude.
Greek Gods stood at attention atop this building and our girl named them all.  
She is a bit of a Greek, Roman and now Norse God expert thanks to her favorite author...Rick Riordon. 
It is fun and a bit impressive that she knows so much.

I think this is the English Garden, but don't quote me on that.
Whatever it was, it was lovely and the leave's colors were beautiful. 
The sound of water...the clean, crisp entire family.
Pretty sweet, I tell you.

There are memorials throughout the city. 
This one had to do with the Berlin Wall and LPP deciphered most of it.

At this point, we had not even been back to the hotel after meeting LPP at the airport that morning.
We decided to call it a day and head back.
We then shared with her our favorite little Italian restaurant.
Felt like we knew what we were doing.
And it was yummy!
Up next...Salzburg.
(Day 3)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Did You Know?

Did you know that today is Saint Nicholas Day? 
The man who gave up his wealth and spent his life giving to others...especially the celebrated on this day in many places around the world...especially Europe.
Shoes ...or stockings...are left out by children with the hope that St. Nicholas will fill them with toys or goodies.
When Europeans came to America way back when, they brought their traditions and over the years, these traditions have melded into the way many of us celebrate Christmas. 
An orange in the toe of the stocking (which we always received)...represents the gold that St. Nicholas gave away for dowries.
Candy canes represent the shepherd's crook styled staff that Nicholas, as a Bishop, carried.
On this day, we give to others, and expect nothing in return.
Today's Advent Calendar task includes St. Nicholas and a cup of hot chocolate.
In this craze filled season that has become so commercialized and often void of anything other than gift giving and receiving, it is nice to understand how it all came to be.

Bishop Saint Nicholas
Bless you we pray,
for giving to everyone
on this great day,
This great day of sharing
and caring and love,
who just like the Magi
residing above,
Gave little Lord Jesus
gifts fragrant and gold,
you give to all people,
the young ones and old.
Bishop Saint Nicholas,
Bless you we pray.
for being so generous
on this great day
For teaching us all about
Jesus our Lord,
For letting us know
that we're loved by our God.
Bishop Saint Nicholas,
Blessed Saint Nicholas,
all bless Saint Nick
On Saint Nicholas day.
Bishop Saint Nicholas,
Blessed Saint Nicholas,
all bless Saint Nick
On Saint Nicholas day.

From Peter Campbell, Australia.