As many of your know by now, my husband is German, which means that we take numerous trips to his homeland in Munich. In the summertime, this consists of awesome alpine hikes and sunny city adventures, in the fall our visits are consumed by Oktoberfest. And in the winter, the grand draw of the city (but also country!) are the Christmas markets. Christmas markets are a holiday tradition all around Europe, where locals and visitors mingle together amongst festive stalls and magical decor. There are often ice skating rinks and ferris wheels, stands selling seasonal handicrafts, cauldrons of steaming wine, and so many delectable goodies to be sampled! You can pop into a Christmas market for a quick, hot beverage, or you could easily spend a day getting lost amongst the cheery crowd and festive lights.While I’ve been to Christmas markets in many different countries, the most magical ones I’ve found are in Germany. And the mother of all German Christmas markets is Tollwood Winter Festival, a massive München market and carnival set up on the former Oktoberfest grounds in December.Here you will find treats, art, and crafts from all over the world. Like these langos – Hungarian fried bread.Or simple, local bites like this delicious, buttery grilled corn.Unlike other Christmas markets, Tollwood also has large indoor exhibit areas, where you can check out art instillations or simply warm up at one of the indoor stalls or tables.Or guzzle down a Spezi, Kai’s favorite :) I feel very blessed that my husband hails from a very magical city! Part of venturing to Munich means lots of expansive outdoor space to explore. While Amsterdam is cramped and small, Munich has numerous parks, forests, and palaces with lots of space to explore. Nymphenburg Palace is a grand estate, about 10 minutes from the Munich suburb where Kai grew up.We’ve been there a few times now, and it’s one of my favorite places to go for a stroll and soak up some chilly winter sunshine in the city. This time around, we also stopped for lunch at the Schlosscafé im Palmenhaus, which is situated in the palace gardens And while the interior was cozy and beautiful, we waited almost an hour and a half to get our coffee and sandwich!! Hence my very impassioned face below.Still in a grumpy mood even after the meal, we went on a long walk around the grounds and I called my mom to vent. I vaguely recall being mad that Kai tipped the restaurant staff even after the horrible, horrible service, which put me in a tizzy! The hanger can be real! That said, one of the things I love about Kai is that he snaps me out of a sour mood very quickly, and is always neutral or happy, even right after we bicker. I tend to be a bit more bitter and dwell, and dating Kai has taught me that life is a lot more fun if you let go and enjoy quickly after a disagreement!We finished our adventure by roaming back past the palace, which was lit in a beautiful blue hue as the sun set behind the clouds
Can’t wait to see you again soon, Germany!