Ok so fast forward a few years and we’ve arrived at December 2017. Our holiday river cruise has been two years in the making and I could not be more excited heading back to Europe!
Our trip would be from Dec 18th to Jan 4th. The cruise is 7 nights 8 days, and we’ve added an additional leg to the trip because, why not! Packed and ready to go, we are departing from Toronto to Munich!
Normally long haul flights don’t bother me too much. Aside from the mishaps of my 27 hour journey to Australia, I was not overly worried about this short 7 hour flight to Munich. Ok so it’s not short, but when compared to my last adventure, this was nothing.
The flight was crammed full. I was hoping to sleep most of the journey but 3 young children decided that no one would be sleeping tonight. My sleep was broken at best. I maybe got 3 hours in total during the flight.
We landed in Munich and anxious to get off this damn plane. Our journey would begin the moment we made it through customs! Adventures by Disney (ABD) had people waiting to pick us up. We managed to make it about 100 feet from the gate when my dad says, ‘where’s my passport?’ Oh boy…here we go.
After delaying us about 25 minutes, they find his passport in my mum’s carry-on unbeknownst to her. Did he put it there? Well no, of course he didn’t…Mum must have taken it from him while he was sleeping on the plane. Why would she do that? She didn’t do it, why would he put it there without her knowing? …
Ok so Munich, not off to a good start. But thankfully his passport was not lost and we could finally make our way to baggage claim. Luckily our bags were right there and I snagged them real quick. As promised, ABD was waiting for us outside the door. With them was a family from Idaho who were also cruising for the holidays. The parents seemed friendly, and their three boys were nice. ABD wasn’t picking up any more guests, so we were on our way to our hotel for the night; the Hotel Kempinski.
Upon arrival our room was not ready. The lobby was bustling. People everywhere trying to get somewhere fast. We opted to sit and wait for our room, which they said would not be long. After a coffee in the lounge we were finally given our room key. We all needed a nap if we wanted to make it through the night and try to combat the jet lag with the time change. I set an alarm so we would wake up in 2 hours and explore the city.
Munich is beautiful. I wish I had more time in the city! I could have stayed a whole week! But sadly we’re here just for the night before we board our longship on the Danube. We asked the front desk where we could grab a bite to eat. He told us a few restaurants and we were on our way. We managed to find the places he had mentioned, but opted to find something a bit off the beaten path. Not that there was anything wrong with the restaurants he had suggested, it was just, well he probably sent every tourist to them. It was mainstream and posh. If you’re going to see a city, try to eat where the locals eat. A small pub hidden in an alley or a local dive. We decided against the restaurants he suggested and kept wandering the city.
We arrived at our very first Christmas Market in Marienplatz (Christkrindlmarkt). It was lively this evening. You could smell the sweet treats and mulled wine running rampant in the air. We spent a bit of time wandering up and down the stalls, taking in local treats and artisans gifts.
For dinner, we found a pub just outside of Marienplatz; Zum Spockmeier. The host sat the three of us a large table with two young women. Just as we sat down, the got up and left. They didn’t even finish their beer! We were that bad??! Dinner was fantastic. We all ordered something different so we could share. Of course for dinner we ordered the strudel. Was it ever good. Nothing like good food and drink the first night in on a holiday. Hopefully the next two weeks would be just as wonderful!
Just as we finished our dinner, we had two new guests join us at our table. We mingled a bit with them. The gentlemen shared his fondness of Canada and Canadians. It was a nice way to end the meal. Leaving the pub behind, we eventually made it back to our hotel. It was an early morning tomorrow to meet our ABD guides and be driven to Vilshofen to board the AmaViola.
Stay tuned for floating hotel, Oktoberfest and the start of one epic holiday adventure!
Until next time…