Monday, July 06, 2009


I will spare you the pictures of the central square and the crazily awesome architecture. Instead, I will list a few observations.

These people are serious about their beer.

You couldn't spit without hitting a brauhaus or biergarten. And we had gorgeous weather, so brauhaus (-es? -er?) and entire cafes and restaurants conducted their business outdoors. I quite liked the weisse beers I tried- I found them sweet and aromatic. Although I cannot drink them by the litre. Alcoholic drinks should not be measured in litres! Petrol and water come in litres, not beer!

These people are serious about their meat.

Bavaria does not seem to be a place that recognizes the fact that people might sometimes feel they've had enough pork and beef. However, I definitely didn't starve. Here, at Der Pschorr (at one corner of the Viktualienmarkt), I had some pike perch, on a bed of some beautifully done risotto.

But it was definitely hard going sometimes. The Limey was in Munich for a conference, and I attended the conference dinners and barbecues. This is the only time I've ever been at gatherings such as this where no effort whatsoever was made to accommodate vegetarians. I'm not vegetarian (see fish, above), and luckily I'm not picky. At the fancy conference dinner, I ate soup, salad and veggies and gave The Limey my portion of meat (so he was happy), and at the barbecue, I ate crisps and bread.

One of the great things for me about travelling when I don't know the local language is ordering random stuff off the menu to see what you get. Like I said, I'm not picky, although not eating most meat does limit this pleasure somewhat. However, ordering from the dessert menu is always safe.

These people are serious about their dirndls.

When I first saw these in a shop window, I thought, Haha, good tourist trap. But then I noticed them everywhere: in department stores that seem to to cater largely to the locals; in shops outside of the more central touristy areas. So it can't all be souvenir tat. That purple one with the peacock feathers costs EUR2200! But, except for waitresses at the brauhauser, I didn't see anyone actually wearing one. A friend of mine said that you do see more of the traditional costumes around Oktoberfest time. I did see gentlemen "of a certain age" wearing the old-skool lapel-less jackets with the small collars. I think those look really good, actually. We should have bought one for The Limey.

In all, I had a really good few days wandering around the city. The public transport was easy to use, I could get by with a half-dozen words of German, people were helpful. I do like Berlin better, but that could be because I had my own personal tour guide and translator with me there.

And now for the knitty portion of the trip review.
Non-knitters, you can stop reading now.

I know what's on everyone's minds: Wollmeise.

Okay, well. Okay. Now, I've never bought or even seen any Wollmeise yarn in person. I like touching and feeling new yarns, so I hardly ever buy stuff off t'internets. But I'd heard good things about the yarn, so I figured I'd make some sort of effort to see it. What a rollercoaster ride- it went something like this:

:) Going to Germany! Wollmeise is German! I'll be able to get some at the yarn shops!

:( Wollmeise doesn't sell in shops, even in her native land.

:) But she sells in markets! I can navigate the Deutsche Bahn website to get to a market!

:( No markets are scheduled for the few days I'm in Germany.

:) But what's this?! She has an actual physical, bricks-and-mortar shop! And it's only 30 minutes by train from Munich! And it opened for business last month!

:( But it's not scheduled to open any of the days I'm in Munich!

So I'm afraid there is no Wollmeise experience to report. I did wander around the city to find some yarn shops. Unfortunately, two of them were closed when I found them, but I did get into Lanaiolo.

They had a good selection of GGH yarns, a little bit of Rowan (KSH, natch) and Debbie Bliss. Some other cashmere, mohair, alpaca blends and such. Basically, though, it was way too hot to even think of those fibres. I was on the hunt for summer fibres for a dress. I eventually bought some GGH Safari, a linen/nylon blend- but maybe not enough for a whole dress? (Stop me if you've heard that before...) I think I'll be able to do something with a constrasting colour, though.


soknitpicky said...

Too bad about the yarn. I will have to say, I think the 2 dirndls you pictured are really appealing! Maybe you need to design a knit one?

Sinéad said...

Sounds like a great trip! I loved Munich when I went a couple of years ago. A shame you didn't get to the Wollmeise shop, although if it were me I think I would have had some budget problems afterwards! I've knit with GGH Safari before, it softens up nicely after washing, and if you DO run out, they sell it in Loop ;)

Liz said...

Shame about the Wollmeise but it sounds like you had a lovely trip.

Woolly Stuff said...

My first meal when I was in Berlin in May was made up of three different kinds of sausage and some meatballs. I kept expecting a salad or some sort of veg to appear with each new course, but that never materialised. Unless you consider mustard a vegetable? In that case, I had lots of veg...

Gulrukh said...

Ohhhh, I am getting excited about our trip to Munich. Wish you guys could be with us. I would love to have a couple of litres with Mick and you. Can't wait to see you guys and have a few pints instead.