Munich and St Goar
10.05.2011 20 °C
Guten Tag! Beer or wine? That pretty much sums up
Germany during our visit. Our first stop was Munich, the
third largest city in Germany. It rained during our stay,
but that didn't dampen our spirits!
We started with a walking tour of the city centre,
starting in the Marienplatz which is Munich's city square.
It's here you will find the Town Hall and more importantly,
the Glockenspiel clock. It dates back to 1908 and at 11am
daily the clock comes to life with 32 life sized figures & 43 bells.
The top half of the Glockenspiel celebrates the marriage of
Duke Wilhelm V, In honour of the couple there is a joust with
knights on horseback. The bottom half tells the story of the
Schäfflerstanz dance, which was performed after the city
recovered from a plague during the 16th century.
We also took a closer look at the Frauenkirche Cathedral.
It is easy to spot due to it's two large towers that stand
98.57 meters above the city. The church was built during the
12th century and was restored after bombings in World War 2.
But our best memory took place in Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s oldest
beer hall. Once inside we had to walk a few laps of the room
before we were able to find room on one of the large communal
tables but most of the locals were friendly & happy to make room.
There is a great atmosphere inside & the beer is flowing freely,
traditionally severed in a 1 litre glass Stein.
The beer is world famous and was even used to save the city
from annihilation. When King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden invaded
in 1632, he threatened to burn down the entire city of Munich.
He agreed to leave the city in peace if the citizens surrendered
hostages and provided 600,000 barrels of Hofbräuhaus beer
and the rest is history!
You can wash down all that beer with a large pretzel and check
out the live orchestra who play German folk music including
"oans, zwoa, g'suffa" ("one, two, drink") which is the country's
famous drinking song. It was a fun night out and a must do!
We took a drive up the Autobahn freeway and stopped off
at St Goar, a small river side village in the Rhine Valley.
This is Germany's world famous wine region and is also home
to the largest free standing outdoor cuckoo clock in the world!
During our visit we went to see how authentic German beer
steins are made and took a scenic cruise along the river.
The scenery was great and the valley was dotted with countless
castles and vineyards.
We passed by Loreley Rock, which is a statue of a young lady who
legend has it, she died after jumping into the river because of an
unfaithful lover. Her ghost was said haunt sailors and crash their
boats into the banks of the Rhine.
That afternoon we went wine tasting in a cellar that dates back
to the 16th century. We tried many of the region's most popular
wines including a special dessert Ice wine (Eiswein) It was so nice!
It's made from frozen grapes that are harvested at -8 °C and are
frozen until pressed. It takes six times as many grapes to produce
one bottle. We also bought some for a relative back home.