After spending nearly two weeks in Munich in August — full of tourists and crowds everywhere you turned if you went downtown or visited anything remotely considered a worthy sight — I was ready to escape. Day trips to Neuschwanstein and the Königssee had merely changed the demographics of the crowds, not lessened them. Then I found myself in Nuremberg. Nürnberg, auf Deutsch, is the second largest city in Bavaria and only about a two hour drive north of Munich. On a weekday in the summer where Mother Nature couldn’t decide if she wanted shining sun or pouring rain (she eventually decided on both; lucky us), the city was a welcome relief from München. That’s not to say there weren’t still crowds in Nuremberg. There were. But much smaller.
The smaller crowds certainly aren’t a sign of Nuremberg’s worthiness as a travel stop. The city is full of history, art, culture, architecture and foods unique to Franconia that you won’t get in Southern Bavaria.
You would have to be living in a cave to not know that Bavaria’s kind of famous for its beer. Germany’s largest Bundesland has quite a few breweries, including those that are state-owned and operated. However, there are some smaller, privately-owned breweries. For example, Ayinger. The award-winning brewery is based in the small town of Aying that is just about sixteen miles southeast of Munich. In addition to owning the Ayinger brewery, the Inselkammer family also operate Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying, a four-star hotel in Aying. I recently ventured out of Munich to visit the town of Aying and to spend the night at the Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying.
Although Munich is regarded as being a large city with a small town feel, it is easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go of modern city living. You could easily stay in one of the city’s centrally located luxury hotels or more moderately priced hotels or hostels. But why would you? Instead, tucked away on an unassuming residential street in the Nymphenburg district of the Bavarian capital city is Hotel Laimer Hof.
If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed things looking a little different recently. We spent the last couple of weeks in Germany, specifically Bavaria. Even more specifically, we were based in Munich. It was a trip I had anticipated for a very, very long time. If it wasn’t for our miniature schnauzer being left in the loving care of my parents, I would have been extremely tempted not to return home at all (my husband, no doubt, has a different opinion on that topic). I’m eager to share some of my favorite experiences, places, restaurants, and so on from our trip so look for future posts. I managed to check off quite a few of those Must See sights.
It had been four years since our last visit but it amazed me how unchanged so much of the city seemed to me. The daily walk from the local S-Bahn to the hotel now has a couple of new-to-me grocery stores and medical offices that had been under construction during our last visit. Otherwise there were no big changes. It was all the same. The walks in the park. Rides on public transit. Meals at Hirschgarten. So many of the details which my mind has replayed did not disappoint me.
But, like anything, it wasn’t perfect. The crowds of tourists were amazingly large at times.
But when you find those quiet places in Munich, for me, it can’t be beat.
This month’s featured German language actor is a star of the stage and screen — big and small. London born, German raised Lucas Gregorowicz has serious acting experience. He also has range. From doing Shakespeare on the stage to portraying a pizza-making stoner selling marijuana (and this was pre-Pineapple Express but post-Jay & Silent Bob) on the silver screen to an adulterous political lobbyist on the small screen. In short, you may not have to look to hard to find Lucas Gregorowicz. He seems to be everywhere.