The adventure begins

Trip Start Dec 20, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Well, after an 11 hour train ride, I finally arrived in Munich at about 7:00 this morning. The police were randomly checking passports and I got stopped and questioned for about 3 minutes while the nice cop lady looked in vain for the entry stamp in my passport. When I arrived in Italy, there was no stamp made by the customs officer. It was not difficult to explain this to the people now questioning me.   I explained my itinerary and also that I didn't get a mark in my passport upon arrival in Rome.  It was left at that after a few minutes and I went on to find my hotel on foot at 7 ish in the cold.

The snow was about ankle high as I walked blindly through the morning light to find my hotel.  I had looked in the map before I got on the train but as fate would have it, in real life the streets look very different.

My hotel is actually only minutes from the station but I took the wrong street and couldn’t make heads or tails.  After a couple of agonizing calls to the desk, I finally hailed a cab.  In fact I was only steps away from the hotel and had literally past it up by turning left instead of right about 20 minutes earlier.  The fare was ridiculously low so I gave him a nice tip.  (He really only drove me around the corner but I felt like a dope)  I checked in and rested for about a minute before heading out to explore. In fact, my trip was 12 hours behind schedule and i was very anxious to explore this new territory.

I decided to take the grey line hop on/off tour…the long one for 18 euros.  It lasted about 2 hours and gave a good overview of the highlights I will want to spend more time on. We went to most of the major districts and since I had not known much about Munich, I found it very informative and helpful.  In addition, the tour was a good source of information about the Bavarian history and also a good way to understand the layout of the city.

My hotel was located just a bit past the main train station with pretty easy access walking, so using the "Hoptbanhoff" for the starting point each day made good sense. Munich has an interesting even if a bit sad history and is now a very busy, cultural center.  I found the circular layout easy to navigate and the mix of history and modern life to be fascinating.

After the tour I did some photo taking on foot and checked out some FOOD!!!!  I basically walked into the main center...Marionplaz, and began with circulating through the markets which were alive with pre-Christmas activity. There are so many types of pretzels you’d be amazed!! I happen to love poppyseed and therefore, treated myself to a large, soft poppy seed pretzel.  It was chewy and fantastic!!

After a rest in my room and an attempt to get online, I will take myself out for an evening of Christmas lights in the center before an early bedtime.

I have a 12-hour castle tour tomorrow!! But it starts at 7:45 am.
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