The flight from Doha to Munich is an easy ride after we have been used to doing between 25-36 hours from the US to Asia. A few tips about flying with toddlers: bring extra clothes, snacks, coloring books, and an ipad or any type of technology. The clue is too keep toddlers and children busy, engaged… until eventually they nap. As for an infant, if you breastfeed keep them latched once you take off so the sucking avoids any ear ache from the pressure, otherwise use a pacifier or bottle.
Arriving in the third largest city of Germany was easy, simple, and fast. A Taxi brought us to the hotel which is located a few blocks from Marienplatz, main and central square of the city since 1158 . Our encounter with Bavarian people was amazing. Everyone had so much kindness in their look and a caring sense of hospitality as they tried their best to put phrases in English, followed by our “Danke”. You really get to appreciate this human spirit after you have lived in the Northern part of Vietnam and now Qatar where locals are [usually] reserved to themselves.
In about 6 degrees we walked with Gaia, Eelan strapped in the Ergo to Bert, and our camera ready to capture the history of this miraculous city. Since our bodies lack cold experiences from having lived in Texas, the tropic and now the desert, this made walking, and taking photos quite challenging. Yes the historical architecture made me forget the sensation of January in my hands and feet, but once the camera went “click” then it was all over again, wondering if Eelan was warm enough, and how in the world could we walk more in this temperature with a four-year old hungry Gaia and a two-month old baby.
We finally arrived at Augustinerbrau, one of the local, most traditional restaurants in Munich. Opening the doors was like entering a charming museum of old memorabilia, a brewing time machine from 600 years ago. From chandeliers, to door knobs, to doors, to the outfits of the waitstaff, the atmosphere took us back in time. We sat in the restaurant, although they have a bierhalle section. Interestingly our waitress was Chinese, with broken English but versatile German. She immigrated Germany 20 years ago from China. Her friendly attitude reflected one adopted by the culture of what she now calls home.
After we were able to absorb the great ambience and freed ourselves from our winter layers, we ordered the Weiss [local beer], different kinds of sausages, beef tartare, warm potato soup, and of course, pretzels! For $50 we ate like royalty would have eaten in the [late] middle ages. The food felt as it was was made by grandparents, when the softness that only love gives food is the implicit ingredient.
The restaurant has been nurturing the Bavarian people since 1328, and now continues to make us tourists feel like we’ve always lived in this antique area, where the sweetness of people and the delighting Marienplatz give you a wintery but warm taste of German history. It was only hours that we had to experience this area, it felt like in the blink of an eye we tasted the tip of Munich.
We look froward to coming back, spending more days exploring museums and parks… perhaps during the warm summer.