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
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
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
On a recent sunny weekend, we headed south for some mountainy winter fun (it’s the best kind of winter fun, after all).
Our adventure started in Garmisch, where we bundled up in our warmest hiking gear and walked to the Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm). Continue reading
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.
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
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
Alaaf! This year’s WEBMU (Whiny Expat Blogger Meet-Up) took place in Cologne. Our hosts Resident
Evil on Earth, Cheap as Chips, and Futile Diatribes did an excellent job of putting together a fun-filled agenda for all of us. Continue reading
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.
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.
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
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
You may have heard that you need to be sitting inside (or on the terrace of) a tent to be served beer at Oktoberfest. This is mostly true. Indeed, it is the only way you’ll be able to get your hands on a big old maß (liter) of special Oktoberfest brew. But if you don’t mind drinking weißbier (wheat beer) in small vessels (only half liter), head for one of the many outdoor stands that serve it up. You’ll need to drink your weißbier in the general vicinity of where you bought it, but these little areas are often quite pleasant places to hang out. I tend to prefer them to the hot, loud, sweaty insides of a tent, especially on a beautiful sunny day. Continue reading