on April 8, 2012
There is no place more synonymous with Christmas that Bavaria (except maybe the North Pole), which is why we chose to spend our holiday in Munich. The highlight of Christmas in Munich is the Christkindlmarkt, or I should really say the Christkindlmarkts, as they are all over the city.The main market is in the old town but each neighborhood has its own. Near our hotel in the Haidhausen neighborhood there was a quaint market in the center of a roundabout. Since this was a residential neighborhood the crowd was mainly local. Over in the gay neighborhood around Stephansplatz was the festive pink market. It was only open in the evening and we visited during the day, but the giant pink plastic Christmas trees promised a good time.Back to Marienplatz, ground zero for the Christmasmarkt world. The square in front of city hall had the highest density of stalls selling food, ornaments, crafts, toys and so on. From there the market spread north, south and west along Munich's main pedestrian shopping street.The food was the highlight for us. Nearly every lunch and snack was enjoyed while standing at a tall table. They had all the German staples - currywurst, potato pancakes, bratwurst, giant pretzels, Nuremburg sausages, and so on.I also had something called a rahm schmaukerl (see photo) - an oval shaped pizza-esque snack covered in a spreadable Emmental, bacon and green onions. No words can express how good it truly tasted - piping hot, soft bread, crispy-salty bacon and creamy cheese.I was disappointed to see that a lot of the items were made in China, as opposed to Germany or even neighboring countries. Some of the ornament and craft stalls had items made in China and Germany. For instance, I wanted a Glockenspiel and at one stall the prices ranged from €10 to over €75, so I inquired as to the difference and the gentleman explained the cheaper ones were made in China. If you're looking for an authentic German made product don't be afraid to ask.We spend more time at the market than I imagined we would, mainly due to the energy that seemed to buzz through the entire old town. A trip to Munich when the markets are up is a must.
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