Rathaus Munch

Today in Munich was my worst nightmare weather—rain that froze upon hitting the ground and glazed over everything. Forty years ago, I fell on ice and shattered my elbow, so I’m now paranoid about it.

I managed to get through the morning with the help of a friendly arm from my travel companions. We watched as a couple of people slid and fell. After lunch I was ready to call it a day. I returned to the hotel and read and napped. I didn’t mind a bit.

Before declaring defeat, I managed to get to the Christmas market near city hall and watched the famous Rathaus (City Hall)-Glockenspielclock do its show. It chimes and 32 life-sized figures re-enact two stories from the 16th century.The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine. In honor of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback. After that, the figures on the bottom half do a dance.

Rathaus Square holds the largest Christmas market in Munich, one that I visited decades ago after a business meeting in a nearby building.

I did a little bit of shopping there and then we walked down the main shopping street to another, smaller Christmas market. They seem to be everywhere in the city.

Lunch was at a typical Bavarian wursthaus. I didn’t eat any wurst (not my favorite food). Instead, I had a beef broth soup with semolina dumplings and the house specialty, a cheese dish that we all sampled and decided was a close cousin of Cheese Whiz. Best part of the meal was a warm pretzel, crunchy on the outside, soft inside and smothered in salt.

After lunch it was pouring and the rain was freezing. There were black ice warnings. I went back to the hotel and haven’t left since.