Munich, they know how to give you some Christmas markets

Last week started the personal quest to see some of the best Christmas markets, oh and see if I can follow the schedule I made up to.  First on the list was München (Munich).  Like so many of my friends, we love going to Munich.  It is a truly an international city, which as I found out knows how to do some Weihnachtsmarkts (Christmas Markets).

Going to check out this market was an idea by John, he mentioned it to me and our friend Anna.  He told us they have a lot scattered through the city, along with a gay one called Pink Christmas.  We were totally excited, I mean its Munich, who doesn’t love Munich, then you mention Christmas markets and a gay one, you know its going to be a good time.

The plan was to leave on Friday, maybe see a few things that night, do up the town Saturday, with a nice brunch Sunday, and finish by seeing some more, then come back in the early evening.  I was ready for this trip, we all talked it up, however I learned a very good lesson.  I need to stop being a slow ass.  I won’t go into the long story about how I missed my train to Munich with John, Mike, Anna, and Adam, but I learned that I need to always always run for a train.  In any case, I did make it to Munich, just not with group.   I had to buy a new ticket, on a slower train, that didn’t have plugs nearby.  By having to take that train, I did also run into the other people I invited on the trip.  Funny thing about running into them, that was the only time I saw them the entire trip.  I still need to find out what happened there.  I know it has to be a good story there.

With all of that done, the markets are the big story in it all.  It was a four man and a lady mission to see the sights and sounds.  Oh and probably eat, drink, and be merry.  Can you say Gluhwein?

The Marienplatz Market

The main market is in the Marienplatz.  This makes sense because this is the main street.  When you come to Munich, everyone has to go here, its almost a rule of thumb.  I’ve been to Munich three times in the last six months, been there every time.  One thing that is always interesting to me are the Christmas trees.  Every market in every city has a big tree.  I mean in our neighborhood, we have a big tree outside of our house.  Here in the Marienplatz you can buy ornaments, candles, clothing, various pottery (pictures below), along with some good food to buy as well.  They actually sell a fruit cake there that’s not your crappy American style.  You know the one, no one ever wants, but you get it for Christmas every year from someone.  We walked through it fairly quickly that day.  It was early in the day, but it was packed for sure.  Even though it wasn’t the best weather at all.  This doesn’t ever matter because Germans will be out for sure.

The Mittelaltermarkt (Medieval market)

Seeing a Medieval market is always a great time.  I love seeing the people in their period outfits.  Apparently Adam has multiple medieval outfits.  I think I’ve seen some pictures that confirm this.  What do you find here?  Well, you can get some pretty solid jewelry, real medieval clothing, do you want some weaponry to truly get medieval on that ass?  You can find it there.  Do you want some pork, then go find a nicely roasted pig on the spit?  Maybe fish is your thing, well, they are smoking various fish.  When I go to these things, I really just want to eat, like everything.  At these things, they sell Met (sounds like mead).  Its a honey wine, if you can stand some whiskey, then get a little of that, probably don’t really need it, the flavor is perfect on its own.  I am completely amazed to see the awesome food fire ovens, I am a bread lover, when I see these things, then see bread, I feel like I’m in heaven.

Pink Christmas

When John told us that Munich had a gay Christmas market, you have to go and see it for the pure intrigue of it.  It’s located in the Glockenbachviertel which is a trendy area in Munich, that is known to some as being the gay district.  It has a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars.  Pink when we first got there wasn’t impressive, but it did pickup for sure.  According to their site, yes they have a website, they do cabaret shows, and a lot of other events.  The night I got there, they just had a DJ.  Now Pink wasn’t the greatest thing in the world.  A friend of mine that went to it later the next week, said it was lame.  I thought it was a cool concept, pink Christmas trees, cool clothes, you can get some awesome items, John got some cool postcards, along with a few lanyards, rainbow colored of course.  Not to mention Anna got some pretty nice earmuffs.  I did meet two cool girls, who came out and hung out with us for the night, the one girl had a really cool boyfriend, who came out later.

I won’t go through all of the other markets.  Even though I only really had two or three more, but real quick we also went and saw the manger scene they have setup by Odeonsplatz, where they also have a Christmas market setup there.  You’ll hit the market first, then see the manger scene.  Now Germans do things really well, but they also odd things.  You’ll see in the video I’ll be putting up.  We also hit the English Gardens on Sunday after having brunch.  The English Gardens is also somewhere you have to go to.  Its nice during the summer, cold in the winter, but the crowd there on a Sunday isn’t surprising since the market was nice.  A lot of different items that I hadn’t seen at the other locations.  Nice little ornaments, interesting clothing for various things, and toys.

In doing the walk through the rest of the garden, I was introduced into just plain wildness.  As you can see below, that is a guy surfing in the rive stream thing they have there.  According to John this is normal.  They do in the winter.  I know I’m not a big swimmer, OK, I can’t swim well at all, but I would never do this.  Its the wintertime, the water is pretty much who knows how cold.

Munich was fun and it always is.  With this weekend down, if you are following my schedule from my last post, then you know what I have coming next.  Its not the warmest time of the year, but when you are living where I am, you know you can always find a good time.

Pictures from the trip

The most organized thing I’ve ever done, my Christmas market schedule

It’s December and do you know what that means? If you don’t, then you don’t live in Europe or Germany for that fact. It’s one of the most interesting times during the winter.  Christmas markets (in German its Weihnachtsmarkthave started.  What is a Christmas market you may ask? They are great reason for you to not go to the mall or any other random place.

The Christmas market allows you to do a lot different things.  First of all you can find gifts for your friends and family, get oraments for your tree, oh and try out some very food and drinks.  Now if you are looking for awesome electronics, then this isn’t your spot.  You will find simple things, like socks, shirts, kitchen stuff, and a lot of other random things.  Last year I bought my dad a pair of socks, along with finding some very cool necklaces, oh a cool ring.  The thing for me was the fact it wasn’t crazy expense.

I know some of you might be thinking, “Isn’t it cold outside?” Yes, in some cases it will be snowing, freezing like hell, and frankly there is no reason to be out.  However, you can find warm drinks and food pretty much everywhere. What’s the best drink to get? Can you say Glühwein (Mulled wine)?  What is this Glühwein I speak of?  Its warmed wine, normally red wine that has sugar, orange peel, and other spices mixed in.  Some people think its to sweet, like a few friends of mine, but when you are freezing outside, its a tasty thing.  You can also get some kinderpunch, hot chocolate, or other warm drinks to.

Now for this years markets I’ve decided to do something way different.  I have come up with the fact I want to see almost 10 markets, OK, probably going to be five to seven, but 10 is a nice round number.  I have two that are very accessible, those being the Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg markets.

This is what makes it the most organized thing I’ve ever done.  I have come up with a spreadsheet, listed the ones I want to see, put down dates and I’m pretty much not flexible, unless there is a very good reason to be.  I went to Munich last weekend, pictures and my tale are coming soon.  I seriously can’t wait to see some of the markets that I’m planning to see.  Check out my schedule below.  This is seriously going to be an awesome December!

My Christmas Market Schedule for December 2012

Esslingen Christmas Market – Friday, 7 December 2012

Ludwigsburg Christmas Market – Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Mannheim Christmas Market – Sunday, 16 December 2012

Munich Christmas Market – Friday, 30 November to Sunday 2 December 2012

Nuremberg Christmas Market – 21 or 22 December to either 22 or 23 December 2012

Strassbourg, France Christmas Market – No Date set yet

Stuttgart Christmas Market – Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tübingen Chocolate Festival – Saturday, 8 December 2012

For more information on Christmas Markets in Germany click here.