Friday, December 20, 2013

Frohes Fest

This should have been a post about my favorite Christmas markets in town, or the best places to go last minute Christmas shopping or some such Munich insider tip for the holidays.

But I confess, I've been to not one single Christmas market! Although as this picture attests, I tried to get a Spankferkel on Holzofenbrot at the Mittelalter Weihnachtsmarkt (okay, there's an insider tip!) but they hadn't opened yet.

Instead I've been working and spending time with friends and preparing for family, as I hope you are too. As far as I'm concerned, that's the reason for the season.

It will probably be quiet on this blog until after the New Year (Iron Blogger be damned!) So I wish you peace, reflection, laughter and contentment through the holiday and a Guten Rutsch!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blue Spa at The Bayerischer Hof

My birthday is coming up soon and I'm debating what to do, if anything (not a big birthday person.) One idea I'm toying with is to spend the day at the Blue Spa at the Bayerischer Hof.

 It's a wellness center at the very top of the hotel, complete with steam baths, saunas, pool, chilling out rooms and, of course, a bar.

It's a little schnösel-y but it's not too bad and if you go during the week it can be a really nice way to pamper yourself while avoiding the crowds. Plus, I find that for a large, wealthy city Munich has surprisingly few day spas (how managed with such an oppressive situation over the years is a marvel!)

The innenarchitektur is pretty great and the views of Munich from the top are pretty stunning.

I can think of worse ways to spend a birthday.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Enjoying The Local Color

The Minga gods were smiling on me last week.

Within five days I ran into two of Munich's most interesting local figures. The gay, blond, mustachioed, hot-pants wearing twins and the guy who rides his bike around with a goose in the basket.

After picking up some paper at Papier-Stein, I decided to take the bus rather than the Hackerbrücke S-Bahn home. Divine Providence! Who steps out as I'm about to enter? The twins! I resisted the urge to whip out my iphone to take a picture. I've heard they'll (rightly) yell at you if you do that.

When I got on the bus everyone was smiling and tittering. Oh what amusement and joy the twins bring to the city! I tried to find images on Google, but couldn't. After a little research I found they have a Facebook Fan Page complete with sighting photos*! It turns out their names are Stefan und Christian Öhlschläger and they've been officially dubbed the 'Hotpants-Boys' by Neon.

The following Sunday, my husband and I decided to take a stroll down the Isar and soak up as much of the glorious sun as possible before we slip into the three month gray zone.

We ended our Spaziergang at the Thalkirchen U-bahn at a little kiosk (with the best roasted Maroni's I've ever had.) Who was sitting on a bench enjoying a Glühwein, yukking it up with some locals? The guy with the goose.

As luck would have it, he took a shine to my husband and called him over to chat. He quickly introduced himself as 'Gans Heinrich'.  He wears a feathered cap and an army jacket, and sleeps in the forest. My husband asked if it doesn't get pretty cold this time of year to sleep outside. "I was in the military, I can take it, plus I have the goose" was his stoic response.

After insisting we pet the goose 'Streicheln ihn!' (pet him! he won't hurt you!) He told us that the Abendzeitung is going to run a story about him and how he is abusing the goose, and implored us to write in and say that it's nonsense. I did kind of feel sorry for the goose, but then again, he was untethered and could fly away if he wanted. Plus, I think I would feel worse about ol' Gans Heinrich if he was suddenly left to face the world without his goose.

*Picture of Hotpants Boys from their Facebook Fan Page