Unfortunately, though, you’re going to need an umbrella because the sunshine we had yesterday afternoon has gone and it’s a rather cold and wet Monday morning here. Never mind, we have warm coats and comfortable shoes. We’ll turn right out of the hotel and walk down here past the Hofbräuhaus, towards the market, where we might find some breakfast.
The streets that were buzzing with people yesterday afternoon are pretty empty today, but that might be a good thing!
The good people of the city are going about their business, which means this is Transit van central…be careful as we dodge one or two to cross the road. The elderly gentleman isn’t too happy with us for doing that, though, and makes a loud comment to that effect! Ooops! (but we are in a pedestrian zone….)
Here we are at the entrance to the Viktualienmarkt where we plan to have a mooch around and find something for breakfast. It’s all very well staying in a posh hotel, but 40 euros (each) for breakfast is extortionate, don’t you think? Come on, let’s see what’s going on.
Hmmm…those sausages smell heavenly, but perhaps not for breakfast? I know my hero enjoyed his traditional weisswurst the other day, but I think I’d prefer something a little sweeter.
That bakers looks more like… A stehtisch will do us just fine, won’t it? We’re not ready to sit down just yet!
One ham and cheese breadstick and a hazelnut pastry later, we’re ready to go! Sorry, I know all those lovely pastries look yummy, but we’ve had an elegant sufficiency, haven’t we?
The cheese stall looks great, but right now, we’re not quite in a cheesy mood. How about you?
I think this looks more interesting, doesn’t it? It might only be October, but those cute hearts and stars could be just the thing for the coming months. Aren’t they sweet?
Actually, there are more. There are red/green hangings, with little horses and bells….
and there are some with lavender stars and blue ribbons….
and more, with green, brown and ecru. Oh my, the German aesthetic really appeals to me. Do you get it as well?
Having made our selection we venture a little further, past more stalls selling similar things. The scents of star anise, of cinnamon and cloves attract us a little closer, but none of these stalls are as friendly and inviting as the first. Shall we move right along?
The next place to catch our eye is a bookshop, specifically, a travel bookshop, because my hero has left his maps at home and if there’s one thing a hero needs, it’s a good map. Expecially since we’re moving on tomorrow, into the countryside. We choose a good map of Southern Germany, Switzerland and Western Austria and complete the transaction with a friendly shopkeeper.
That’s when I spot the knitting and beadwork shop opposite! Wolle Rödel has a good selection of yarns and suchlike, but did you remember the details of that Purl Bee pattern I was going to knit for my hero? No, I thought not. They don’t seem to have wifi here either. Never mind, we’ll look later and come back here.
Following the street round, we suddenly recognise Rindermarkt…where we stood and watched the tail end charlies of the marathon yesterday. Those stone cows are a clue as to the origin of the name – it’s always fun when suddenly, all the pieces of a new city begin to join up, isn’t it?
Kustermann is here and the shop windows are so appealing, I think we need to go inside, don’t you? Now, before we do, let’s talk a little about European household stores. Table setting is very important here and the quality of kitchen implement second to none. Here, in Kustermann, one can buy every gadget and utensil ever imagined, and then some.
For example, the Weisswurst Lifter, because, of course, one needs a special tool to separate the sausage from the pan. Really.
But, you know, I think it’s a little München joke, don’t you? We share a smile and move right along, past the beautiful pans, the lovely glassware and crockery, fine table linen and candles until we are back at the doorway. Kustmann, if ever you decide to open a shop in Cirencester, we will be your best customers!
Back on the wet street, we spot a shop window full of slippers. Do I need slippers? Not really…but these are slippers of first class quality, of non slip soles and felted wool uppers. Let’s go in and take a closer look.
Except, this is a German shop. It’s not a shop to look around but one where we have to sit and wait for an assistant to bring the slippers to us. The shop walls are covered in boxes of slippers organised according to size and manufacturer. Do you feel intimidated by all of these boxes and the rather fierce looking shop assistant? I do….shall we move on?
We reach Marienplatz once again and find everyone standing, looking up. What’s happening? Of course, it’s 11 o’clock and the glockenspiel is playing. The figures are moving around on the town hall clock and suddenly we are in Camberwick Green (or was it Trumpton?!)
It’s still raining, so shall we stand under our umbrellas along with everyone else and watch the show? The world and his wife are here, along with all of their children. How many languages can you hear?
Oh, really? You’re bored already? Oh, go on then, let’s go into the wonderfully named Hugendubel bookshop (like a Barnes and Noble or Waterstones) and take a look around. There’s bound to be a few interesting things in there…I love German craft books.
Well, who’d have thought it….Christmas has arrived here. That lovely soft green and silver, together with the gentle brown-grey tones look so pretty. Are you going to persuade me to bring one or two bits home, then?
Half an hour must be enough, isn’t it? Though finding a way out is a challenge, I agree. Let’s walk a little further along the Kaufingerstrasse, because I think I can hear music. Hang on…are those Salvation Army chaps there?
Well, no, not exactly! They appear to be Russian, members of the Red Army choir and the sound they are making is amazing. That wonderful Russian bass voice is so deep and low…I could listen forever.
Go on then, put some money in their box and see if they know “Lake Baikal”. They do? Oh, let’s stand and listen!
Filled with nostalgia and a little “heimweh” I think it’s time to move on, don’t you?
What do you reckon to some of these shop windows? Though the goods on sale are of high quality and contemporary in style, don’t you think they look just a wee bit quaint?
But wait, let’s step aside as these two walk past. They are trying to catch the eye of people passing by and are wearing very strange, clown like clothes. Are they your friends? (They remind me of Mr and Mrs Fang from a book I read recently) Oh, they’ve caught a small family walking closely behind us – I hope that small child isn’t scared of a man with a large red nose and peculiar hat!
Let’s scuttle down this side street and wait till they’ve passed. Take a break and relax a little. There’s plenty more to see and do but for now, I’m ready to put my feet up for a while.
Join us again in the next post, eh?