Richelbräu: Munich’s basement microbrewery

Richelbräu Munich

One of the first things you learn living in Munich is that the city has six big important breweries (Hofbräu, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, and Spaten). These breweries own most of the beer gardens and beer halls, their beer is served in most local restaurants, and they are the only breweries allowed to sell beer at Oktoberfest. All this local beer pride seems a little silly once you realize Continue reading

Oktoberfest tips for introverts and agoraphobes

Oktoberfest tips

Heading into our fifth (and final) Oktoberfest as locals, I’m starting to feel like quite the reluctant expert. Although I’ve had tons of fun at the festival each year, I’ve also had a couple of panic attacks (and more than a couple near-panic-attacks) at the wiesn. I absolutely hate crowds. With more than 7 million people attending Oktoberfest each year, it can be kind of tricky to avoid them. Over time I’ve learned how avoid the parts I hate, and enjoy the parts I like.  Continue reading

Urban surfers and other notes from a Munich summer

Biergarten staples

Before I go back to chronicling our Italian road trip, I thought I’d remind our readers that we do, indeed, still live in Munich, despite the fact that we haven’t blogged about it in months. We’re half-way into our fifth year in the Bavarian capital. Spargelzeit had just come to an end, and biergarten season is in full swing. Every single public place has at least one TV in it, lest a moment of Euro Cup soccer go unwatched.  Continue reading

The most wunderbar time of the year

Christmas in Munich

It’s time for my annual I-love-Christmas-in-Germany post. The Christmas markets opened last week, looking much as they do every year. I’ve noticed a couple new stands here and there, but for the most part everything is in its place. Now if we could just have some snow to make them even cuter, I’d be in heaven.

Gluehwein at Der Pschorr

I’ve written several posts about the markets over the years, such as this one about the best Munich Christmas markets for pretty much everything (or you could just view all my posts about Christmas markets). One stop I haven’t talked about yet (but is worth a mention) is the Alpen Wahn, a cozy little stand outside Der Pschorr serving red and white glühwein until 11pm each night (which is later than most of the other markets are open). Look for it at the north end of the Schrannenhalle, just off the Viktualienmarkt.  Continue reading

Guest post: back to school with the German Schultüte

A short time ago, children all over Bavaria headed back to school for the fall term. Some of them (specifically, the first graders) were carrying unwieldy cardboard cones that were almost as big as the children themselves. I asked my friend eNVie, who recently made a Schultüte (literally: “school cone”) herself, to explain what these things are all about. Parents in Germany, take note. Here’s what she has to say: Continue reading

Dom, dom dom dom… Köln!

Cologne's big Dom

We just returned from a weekend of cavorting with other expat bloggers in Cologne. More about WEBMU is coming up in a future post; right now I want to show you a ridiculous number of photos from our rooftop tour of the cathedral, one of the highlights of the weekend.

inside and high up in the Dom in Cologne

Cologne’s cathedral (Dom in German) is the city’s big recognizable landmark. It is Gothic and old, and definitely worth exploring from as many angles as possible.

hello down there

The tour started with a walk along a narrow balcony that snaked its way around the interior of the church from about half-way up.  Continue reading

Auf Wiedersehen, Oktoberfest!

Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest ended on Monday, and we made it all the way to the end (quite literally, as we were in the Armbrustschützenzelt finishing our last maß of beer as the staff started washing down the tables for the last time). Continue reading

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