The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

The Most Hours Ever Spent in an Airport

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on August 29, 2009

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Looks like the Husband was having fun, no? After realizing that I had written down the wrong time for our flight to Rome from Munich and that the train ride from Munich to the airport would not be quick, we were rushing and stressing to get to the airport on time 😦 Running through the airport (a la Home Alone), we arrived at the Alitalia check-in counter to zero lines.  The flight had been cancelled! And not cancelled that day – cancelled weeks ago and no one told us!

Alitalia is code shared with Air France and KLM and one of their agents rebooked us on the next flight six hours later.  We received a food voucher and headed on our way to hunker down for a few hours.

Luckily, we were in Germany and there was beer, pretzels and sausages 🙂  And we brought travel board games!

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After a few hours hanging out, we decided to walk around the airport and headed out to the Christmas Market (even the airport has a Christmas Market!).  We found this ginormous Foosball table! How big are the teams that play on this!?!?!

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About two hours prior to our rescheduled flight we headed back to the check-in counters and found out we couldn’t check in before a certain time.  We got in line behind a handful of Italians, Americans, and other Europeans waiting for check-in to start.  As it got closer and closer, more people joined the line.  When it finally seemed like we should have checked in already, they announced that this flight was CANCELLED! For no apparent reason.

This was when chaos (in my mind) began.  Apparently, Italians don’t believe in lines so a mass exodus to the customer service desks emerged.  It turned into 3 semi-lines but there were clear individuals butting in and out of lines trying to get in front of others.  There were no Alitalia reps there and only the lovely Air France and KLM customer service individuals.  They worked their hardest to get through all of the people.

After about an hour or so, we got to the front of our line and got rescheduled on a Brussels Air flight to Brussels and then to Rome.  The rep walked with us to Brussels Air to ensure that our tickets were booked and that our luggage was checked.  Both of the individuals we worked with here were amazing!  We had to hurry though as the flight was boarding.  We went through security, used our food voucher as quickly as possible (we weren’t allowed to use them in the pre-security section 😦 ), and jumped on the plane to Brussels.

Brussels Air was great!  We highly recommend them if you find an opportunity to take them.  We spent about a half hour in the Brussels airport before boarding our flight to Rome.  This flight had many Italians and after spending so much time in Germany and Austria, where order is key, it was a bit difficult to adjust to the less ordered environment.

After another relatively quick flight, we arrived in Rome.  And then we waited. And waited, And waited.  Until our luggage finally came.  Luckily, the Husband’s brother was patiently waiting and we were finally in Rome to start our holiday with his family.  If only we hadn’t spent nearly 12 hours in airports and on planes to fly what should have been about two hours.  But at least we were there!

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Less than 48 hours in Munich

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on August 29, 2009

Our cruise was finally over 😦 The lovely people at Gate 1 allowed us to leave our luggage on the ship while we explored Vienna a little bit longer.  After lunch, we headed back to the ship, grabbed our luggage, took Vienna’s cute public train system to the downtown area to catch a train to Munich.

The train ride to Munich was delightful!  The booking process was easy and we went with First Class seats which are similar to Harry Potter rooms 🙂 There were six seats per room, 3 facing 3.  When the Husband and I boarded there were 3 others in the room and we had the seats next to the windows, facing each other.  It was a very pretty 4 hour train ride.  Train travel is definitely the way to go in Europe! Although, luggage storage is tight so if you take the train, try to pack light!

We arrived in Munich and walked to our hotel a few blocks from the station.  We checked in, dropped our bags, and walked to the downtown area (less than a mile).  We went in search of the famous Munich Hofbrauhaus which the Husband had been looking forward to since seeing the replica in Las Vegas.  Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos and we were a bit overwhelmed when we first arrived 😦 It’s HUGE! Just like any photos you’ve seen of Oktoberfest, it’s lots and lots of wooden tables and benches, sausages, and waitresses carrying multiple giant mugs of beer.  After walking around for a bit and attempting to ask someone outside, we figured out that you just sit anywhere.  So we sat, and we drank, and we ate, and it was delicious! We can’t wait to go back! And take photos 🙂

The next day we went about exploring the city! We bought train tickets and took their light rail around, jumping on and off when we  saw something we wanted to see.

There were beautiful churches…

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Old buildings…

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The Hofbrauhaus in the daylight…

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The city hall (I think!) aka Rathaus (we ate dinner in the basement here)

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and more unique buildings…

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and statues 🙂

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At night, we spent time at the Christmas Market, exploring the unique stands and the ones we’d been to in the other cities.

And the Husband’s favorite – the life size Glockenspiel.  Unfortunately the picture didn’t turn out very well but it was fun to see it come alive!

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The funniest part of our visit to Munich came when we walked through their very large park.  At one point we were walking across a bridge and looked into the water and found…

SURFERS! In Munich! In December!

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To show how cold it was, I posed with them in the background 🙂

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How funny!

The next day we were off to Rome!

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A Meet-up in Passau

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on August 21, 2009

On the 4th day of our river cruise, we arrived in Passau, Germany, where the Danube, Ilz, and Inn rivers meet.  The Husband’s awesome brother and sister-in-law decided to travel up from Rome to meet us for the day as well as their friends from Austria.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, we learned we’d only be there for 4 hours!! Traveling on a river is slow going so in order to get to Melk the next day in a timely manner, Passau’s visit was going to be short.  Luckily the sibs arrived the night before so we walked straight to their hotel room as soon as the boat docked.

Once we started walking around Passau, we saw why only a few hours were scheduled – it’s a small town with not much to do!  It primarily served as a drop off point for those going on the excursion to Salzburg (who would be picked up farther down the river after their day tour).  Apparently Passau is famous for its St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  The Christmas Market was set up right in the cathedral’s square.

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It was a cold and dreary morning, but not too cold thankfully.  We meandered around the Christmas Market but it didn’t offer much of anything that weren’t at the earlier ones.

We saw a pretty clock tower…

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And an odd mannequin wrapped in gold in one of the small alleyways/streets…

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We spent as much time as possible with the sibs and friends before we headed back to the boat.

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And took a quick photo to capture how awesome they were for coming up for what turned out to be such a quick visit!

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We hopped back on the boat and continued the trip down the Danube toward Melk

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Regensburg, Germany

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on August 20, 2009

After our first few days in Nuremburg, Day 3 brought us to Regensburg, Germany – the home of the current pope!   Our tour here was a walking tour and we were looking forward to it instead of being on a bus.  While Nuremburg’s port was not in walking distance to the downtown, Regensburg’s port was – this was our view as soon as we stepped off of the boat – the Regensburg Stone Bridge.

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Our tour started at the bridge and took us to the old city gate.

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From many locations in the old town, we had good views of the Regensburg Cathedral.

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Many cute little streets with shops along the way.  Our walking group had many slow walkers so the Husband and I enjoyed the scenery and appreciated that it wasn’t too cold that day 🙂

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Our last stop on the walk was the Town Hall with a large Christmas Tree out front.

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A view of the cathedral from the Town Hall.

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Then we went on to the Christmas Market!  This one was way smaller than the Nuremberg one, but still enjoyable.

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On our way back to the boat, we stopped into the cathedral to have a look around.  I love visiting churches and cathedrals.  It just amazes me to think about how they were built!

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There was a tribute to Pope Benedict adding a modern touch to all of the gothic elements of the cathedral.

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Before making our way all the way back to the boat, we stopped to get spiked Hot Chocolate and an amazing pizza pretzel.  Yum-o!

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The mugs were the same type that we had in Nuremburg for our Gluhwein, but were special to Regensburg.

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As the sun went down, we had a beautiful view of the cathedral with the christmas market and christmas tree all in one.

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We headed back to the boat for dinner and to set sail to our next port, Passau

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