December 23, 2016

Away We Go: Bavaria, Germany (Pt. 1)

Oh man. 

I had started to edit photos from our trip to Munich a few days ago and then attempted to finish editing the past couple of days (totally didn't happen). I did start again way early in the morning today and thought I'd be able to get a blog post up in the afternoon. Boy was I wrong. It's 7:30 pm on a Friday night and I will be lucky if this will go up by 10 pm tonight! 

As most of you probably already know we have a new new family member, Mr. Bartles, and he has kept me quite busy since his arrival. He's not house trained and he can't hear and doesn't see well and so I've been spending a lot of my time making sure he knows his way around and being really vigilant about taking Bartles out in the backyard so that he'll start to associate outside as his pee and potty area. I keep my eyes on him all the time when he's up and moving around to catch him before the act.

I have literally moved downstairs with him too! He does totally fine on his own but just until I get the hang of his signals and routine, I have been sleeping downstairs with him and have also moved my computer downstairs as well (once I start to have DogVacay guests it'll be much easier to edit pictures and send updates from downstairs). 

Also, before I start to reminisce our time in Germany, I wanted to mention how terribly sad I am to hear of the recent tragic news in Berlin. I could not believe it and was shocked as everything began to unfold. We weren't in Berlin during our trip, but I remember all those Christmas markets as places where people go to with their loved ones and where families and little children make traditions and it's a place where people all over the world go to find a little Christmas magic. And so it was heartbreaking to learn what had happened. Our thoughts go out to the people of Germany and to the family members whose loved ones lost their lives. 

We left for Munich on the evening of Sunday, December, 4, and arrived the following day around noon. We flew Lufthansa and so now we like to kind of brag and say we actually know someone who works there. Ha!

Shone, who frequented Piri's Place, doesn't work for Lufthansa but his human does and just hours before our flight he texted us and let us know that he had upgraded our seats to premium economy. I mean, wha?! Yangkyu and I were inside CVS picking up last minute things and we might have kinda made a small scene. I'm so simple minded that even though the actual upgraded seats are to go bonkers for, the gesture really kind of did it for me. 

But as simple minded as I am, I sometimes think awfully too hard and we realized that we didn't check in early enough and the only available seats would place us separately. We had the option of sitting separately or together and having an entire row of seats to ourselves in the economy section. After exchanging blank "I can't decide" looks with Yangkyu (we are seriously the worst in deciding these kinds of things), we opted to sit next to each other. I wish I caught the person's name who was helping us because he saw us at the gate and checked again to see if any seat openings came up (thank you!). And during our flight, even though we had the entire row to ourselves, Yangkyu and I ended up seating right next to each other, being all up in each other's personal space (because this is the best part about traveling with your partner), stealing each others drinks, dinner and snacks and using each other as a pillow and sleeping for most of the way there.

For our trip, we also brought a little Lamb Chop toy to symbolize Piri because we wanted to make sure he was somehow represented. Later on, our friends whom we met in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, made us a little Piri doll which we also carried around. We'll show you pictures in an upcoming post. 

We planned our time over in Munich and other parts of Bavaria according to Rick Steves travel books. Not everything went according to plan and we missed out on a few places, but overall our trip felt pretty extensive and it was very enjoyable. There were a little confusing moments here and there, but I think it was more cultural and background differences (?). I'll get into it (again in an upcoming post). 

This is how we spent our time: 

Day 1, 2 - Travel dates & perusing through the Munich Christmas Market in Marienplatz
Day 3 - Munich City Walk 
Day 4Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen
Day 5Dachau Concentration Camp
Day 6 - Salzburg
Day 7 - Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Day 8 - Sick/rest day/Munich Christmas Market in Marienplatz & Krampus Run
Day 9 - Lake Konigssee
Day 10 - Nuremberg
Day 11 - Last minute shopping in Munich & travel day

While we worried about things like language and using the train system, we didn't take into account jet lag, which totally kicked our butts the first night we were there. We slept late and woke up late and so our Munich City Walk ended up being more like Let's Get Lost in Munich and Feel Groggy and Tired and Hungry and Go Back to the Hotel and Sleep Some More.

You see, among all the good things I took after my mother, I also inherited her terrible volleyball skills, the ability to always lose at rock, paper and scissors and not be able to use certain public bathrooms (museums and restaurants are almost always ok but all the rest are pretty much a no go - train no, airplanes no, porta potties heck no). And I have also been gifted with a digestive system that likes to get upset every time I am traveling and so I have a hard time eating (because I'm afraid my stomach will hurt and I can't use the public bathroom so I'll definitely be screwed.). While in Germany it took 8 days for my stomach to get used to everything and it was on that sick/rest day in Munich when we literally ate our way through the Christmas Market because I was finally feeling ok.

Looking back at our pictures and everything we did while we were in Germany, I realized that we missed out on a lot of the sights I had wanted to see in Munich. The first day when we missed it during our city walk itinerary, I think we thought we would have plenty of time to catch it later (we had built in a free day to catch any sights we missed but Yangkyu ended up getting sick and so we used our free day to rest) and that later never did come.

From the Munich City Walk, we were able to take in the Residenz (Residenz Museum and Treasury), Viktualienmarkt & Schrannenhalle, Kaufingerstrasse, Asam Church, St. Michaels Church and St. Peters Church (where unfortunately the tower was closed and so we couldn't take in the view from up top).

And we missed out on the Munich City Museum, Michael Jackson Memorial, Dallmayr Delicatessen, English Garden, Museum Quarter Art Museums, Frauenkirche, and Hofbrauhaus. Also, a friend on Instagram recommended Manufactum Warenhaus and FUNF HOFE, which we missed out as well.

I realized that our Munich City Walk was an ambitious one to tackle in one day, and this is where I had an awakening. We are too old for this. Seriously!

You know, when we went to Maui for our honeymoon we literally did 12 hour days where we just walked and took in as much of the island as we could. It was crazy and tiring but we had so much fun. And energy leftover to do it all over again the next day.

And right after we got married, we took a 3 day trip to Washington D.C. to "relax" (we couldn't go on our honeymoon right away and we were living in NY at the time but went to DC for work related things but never really got to sightsee so we chose DC to getaway). Days 1 and 3 were travel dates and so we only really had day 2 to take in everything and we literally walked the entire day and lived to tell about it. 

We walked for 6 hours in Munich and went back to the hotel and crashed for 4 hours. And our bodies still felt like it was body slammed a thousand times over. 

For all our days, I had planned on getting an early start and paying the more expensive regional train tickets. We ended up starting our days after 9 am (except for two days), which saved us money and also our legs. 

I had planned on covering pictures from Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle and Füssen in this post as well, but now I'm really pushing it to 10 pm. We're doing a movie night and I have to get up early for a DogVacay guest coming in the morning and so the King's castles will have to wait until another day. 

Auf Wiedersehen!
(Ha. The only word we were able to get out aside from danke schön the first few days in Germany. Later we were able to upgrade to "Entschuldigen Sie. Sprechen Sie Englisch?" which I literally had to videotape our friend, Karina, to get the pronunciation right. But you know, before I could finish saying "excuse me", people were already greeting me back in English. Most of the young people speak English and are very helpful and friendly. Our clueless butts were saved a few times by these caring folks who probably felt bad that we would end up far far away from Munich. OK. More next time!)


  1. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pics, Jane:) Despite you mentioning you missed out on some places, I think what you guys were able to see were fantastic! And yay for Mr.Bartles! Great to hear about him and how he's keeping you busy:D Anyhoo, just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    PS Lamb Chop= adorable.

  2. I love that you brought lamb chop! I would love to travel to Europe but Brandon HATES flying, so I don't know if we'll ever make it over there! :-/ Plus all these sad and crazy things going on, make me not want to leave my house! It looks and sounds like you guys had a great time (and the architecture has me all heart-eyed!)... I can't wait to see more!

  3. Oh the photos are so beautiful! I think you made the right call in using your original seats, I like snuggling up in a flight too! Can't wait to see/read more about your trip and of course more Mr. Bartles!!!!

  4. Reading this post makes me miss Christmas again! Such pretty photos and the lights are <3



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