The many beers of Bavaria

The many beers of Bavaria

20160708_020200.jpg

When people first think of Munich, many think of the world famous Oktoberfest, lederhosen, and beer… and I’m not going to lie, before heading there I had the same preconceptions too. However, after spending a week in the area, I’ve come to realize there’s more to Bavaria than just beer, beer, and well, more beer, despite the title of this blog post 😉

Our first beer on the trip introduced us to HOFBRÄU MÜNCHEN WEISSE, which we lovingly enjoyed in the HofbrĂ€uhaus. This iconic landmark provided us with a great introduction to Bavarian beer, and culture. The large beerhall consists of high cellings and long tables, which encourages you to meet new people to share a pint with. Within a short time of being seated, a nice local couple sat next to us. It was quite clear that we weren’t from around the area and offered to take our photo. From there, we enjoyed the live music together and even though we couldn’t speak the same language, I’d like to think there was a small bond between us and them.

20160626_160227.JPG

When we crossed the border to neighbouring Austria, our beer of choice was of course Stiegl. At this point in our trip, I had been living off head-sized pretzels and I was looking for something to round out my limited diet. Thankfully, Salzburg had just what I needed. The land of Mozart and Sound of Music supplied me with chicken schnitzel, salads, and bread with cheese and it was all glorious. Aside from the food, the town was quaint and conveniently located to where I really wanted to make a visit – Berchtesgaden.

20160628_151916_1.JPG

I had heard about Berchtesgaden from a coworker who visited there when she spent a semester abroad in high school. This charming little town built on the edge of the Austrian alps is known for skiing, hiking, and history. When I say history, I refer to the Eagle’s Nest, a mountain top retreat gifted to Hitler on his 50th birthday. This majestic retreat is now a tourist attraction with thousands of visitors making the trek, dining at the mountain’s edge, with their selfie sticks at the ready. At the foot of the mountain is Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg, a powerful museum that takes you through the rise and fall of the Nazi party. I always thought that this was something that Germany wanted to forget, but this museum shows the importance of highlighting the past, to ensure that history does not attempt to repeat itself. As I mentioned, it’s a powerful museum and I’m forever grateful that I had the chance to walk through and learn of the history from the German’s perspective compared to what we learn growing up in Canada.

As I basked in the sun on the top of the mountain ridge, I enjoyed some more HofbrĂ€u. It was my birthday afterall 😉 Before taking the golden lift to the top, we had lunch with some non-alcoholic brews (yes, they have non-alcoholic beer too!) produced by Weininger. It was light and refreshing and paired nicely with my veggie burger! I’m as surprised as you that not only did this restaurant have non-alcoholic beer, but they also had VEGGIE BURGERS! It truly was a win in my books!

20160629_135605

The beer gardens of Munich are plentiful and populated. On our last day in Munich, after quite the eventful morning where I dropped my backpack into a bath of toilet water (it was honestly the worst morning of our trip), I needed one last beer garden brew. Again, it was HofbrÀu but about the size of my head. It was a Tuesday and the small garden located along the river was less populated as it was near the banking district. As I got my second, and smaller beer, I decided that the mug from which I was drinking would make a good souvenir. Something to note, that I wish I had known earlier, is that every beer garden charges you a deposit on the mug. When you order your beer, you pay an extra two Euro or three, depending on the location. If you bring the mug back, you get your money. If not, the mug is yours. I only learned this on the last day in the beer garden when I asked if I could buy my mug. I could have gotten it for a Euro cheaper at another garden but oh well, lesson learned for next Beer Adventures of Bavaria!

 

 

Advertisements

Paris

Paris

Paris is always a good idea. It’s a magical city that has something for everyone. If you like art, may I direct you to the Louvre or MusĂ©e d’Orsay? If you’re a foodie, need I remind you that France is the home of Escargots de Bourgogne, the crossiant, and the crĂȘpe. If you’re a history buff, well… I don’t really need to go into detail here because you already know that Francia was unified in 486 and the area has seen a LOT of historical changes since then. In summary, Paris is always a good idea.

One of my favourite things about Paris, well France in general, is breakfast. As I kid, I hated it. I didn’t like bacon and eggs, I hated pancakes, and the thought of toast revolted me. That was until my mom introduced me to croissants. One day, she brought home some Tim Hortons butter croissants for me to try and I was hooked. It was one of the few pastries I truly enjoyed and would eat for breakfast. Since then, I’ve been in the search for the perfect croissant. That search took me to Paris several years ago and ever since then, the first thing I do as soon as I land in France is seek out my first croissant of the trip. Of course, we have some great croissants in Canada (I refer you to Quebec), but when I think of amazing croissants, I think of France.

The last time I was in France, it was the peak of summer and I lived on salade du cheve chaud, light beer, and escargot. This time around however, it was Fall and cold, so all I wanted was something warm and comforting, this brings me to cheese. I must have eaten my weight in cheese this past trip. I worked my way from cheese plate to cheese plate, and topping off the night with some amazing fondue. I have no idea how I managed to maintain my weight considering that 90% of my food intake consisted largely of cheese.

Paris Cheese Plate

Come to think of it, it could have been the walking. One of my favourite things about Paris is the walking. Everywhere you turn, you’re in the centre of history, culture, and beauty. This trip, we stayed near Gare de l’Est, which is located in the 10th arrondissement. While we had easy access to the Metro, we still walked quite a fair bit. From our hotel, we walked north to the 18th arrondissement to check out Moulan Rouge and shopping. Another day, we walked from the 4th arrondissement where we visited Notre Dame to see the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement. It’s because of Paris’ endless beauty that you can walk for hours upon hours and never get bored.

IMG_2756

To escape from the chill of the Paris Fall, we popped into several museums including MusĂ©e d’Orsay and Le MusĂ©e du Vin. Experiencing Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir in person is something as a child I could only dream of seeing, but in Paris, you can do it. I also have a bit of a fascination of the world wars – the history of how they played out, how each of the countries got involved, and the political change of events, it’s all so interesting to me. So it comes as no surprise that when I visit Europe, I make an effort to visit one or two of the many historical sites from that era. This trip, we spent a day at the MusĂ©e de l’ArmĂ©e. I could have spent more than a day wandering its hallways, learning about the early battles of France and its colonies, through to the end of WW2. There’s honestly so many museums and places to see, it’s difficult to take it all in in just one trip.

IMG_2670

As I go through my photos from my recent trip, I can’t help but get a little longing in my heart to return. The city offers so much and every time I go, it’s for just a short amount of time that I’m left wanting more.