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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas cruise on the Danube River - Dec 24th/2014....

We departed at 9 am by bus to the Nuremberg train station where we boarded a bullet train to Munich.  This is the first time I have been on a bullet train - I think they said that they travel at a maximum about 300kmh.   It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel between Nuremburg and Munich.  For the passengers going to Amsterdam, AMA scheduled an included excursion to Munich, including the train ride.

 I have to say that Munich is my favorite German city.  Perhaps primarily because of the impressive and quaint architecture, almost all German cities are inviting and enjoyable places to visit.  Munich is famous for its numerous architectural attractions, international sporting events, exhibitions, conferences and its Octoberfest. 

Included in the tour of Munich was lunch at the well-known Augustiner Beer Hall.  These beer halls are very large and hold a lot of people; frequently, there is lively German music, but not at this one during lunchtime.  We had a large slice of roast pork with a large round potato dumpling on a large platter with a lot of au jus gravy.  We also had large German-style pretzels, which were great to dip into the gravy.  The tour guide recommended that we order the dark lager beer, which was excellent.  It was a very nice lunch.

The carillon or Glockenspiel is incorporated in the New Town Hall tower - its 43 bells ring at eleven each morning. The brightly colored figures represent the medieval tournament held in 1568, while the dance of the coopers’ guild in the lower part commemorates the terrible year of plague in 1517 which the town survived.

After lunch, we had some time to walk around on our own.  I walked over to a restaurant which overlooked an ice rink and went into two churches - the Burgersaal and St. Michael’s.

St. Michael’s  is a monumental church completed in 1597.  This was the first Jesuit church in northern Europe.  The interior is awe-inspiring with its wide, well-proportioned nave, three pairs of shallow chapels on each side, a short transept and an elongated presbytery. 

We walked down to the train station, took the bullet train back to Nuremberg. and then buses took us back to the ship.  The excursion to Munich was one of the nicest days on the trip, and it was included in the cruise.

Supper was a welcome dinner because a lot of new passengers boarded the ship.  The amuse bouche was marinated melon pearls with cured ham.  For the appetizer, I had the foie gras pate with jelly figs chutney and walnut brioche - it was definitely gourmet.  I had the cray fish with pastry sticks for the soup.  Since I was eating so much meat, I had the grilled Dover sole, and another nice white wine.  For dessert, I had the white and dark chocolate mousse.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco

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