Monday, April 14, 2014

" Hotel Review = Hotel Am Viktualienmarkt "


Tucked away along Viktualienmarkt is a street name Utzschneiderstrasse.
( I know, it is as hard as it's pronounced. ^0^ )
It is a small family run hotel that breathes modern furnishings and contemporary interiors.

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Among the hundred reviews I've read and re-read again,
this place seems to be the perfect accommodation for us.
The hotel is centrally located right at the heart of Marienplatz,
well, you need a 5 minute walk give or take, about two to three blocks.
Literally, it's a few steps from the famous Viktualienmarkt,
a local outdoor marketplace where you can browse, buy and try fresh produce and more.
At night, the area is safe although, a bit quiet and less touristy.

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heading to the breakfast area
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so the location can't be beat but was the service up to par?
read on...


We arrived on a typical Thursday afternoon,
where a chirpy and smiling receptionist greeted us.
She welcomed us with a handy map plus a quick overview about the city.
did you know that shops and stores are all closed every sunday.?!
how can I missed that?!

It was already 2-ish then, hoping we could already stretch our legs and rest for awhile,
only to informed us that we still have to wait for another hour and so because no room was available yet.
Leaving us with no choice but to leave our luggages behind and familiarize its environs instead.
When we got back, we were placed in a quiet, facing-the-courtyard room,
which we would've preferred, if only we haven't distinctively requested for a room facing the street.
But we didn't complain further, because the view was not bad at all and
the room was just sparklingly clean and new.

the view from side to side, above and below.
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beautiful tree
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facing our window
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down below...
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We were given 2 sets of single beds with an ample room space for the both of us,
and although, I slept soundly all throughout the night,
the pillows were just foam-less. * sorry, don't know how to describe this better *.
I have to add another one of my jackets below just to keep it from getting flat.
I ended up having a stiff neck the morning after.

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the restroom
very clean as well.
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the hallway.
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Because almost all the hotels in Munich don't offer air-conditioning during winter,
we were stuck with the heating system instead.
For someone like me, who lives in a hot and humid country all her life,
meaning constant tropical weather and intermittent rains and typhoons.
I couldn't understand how the heater works. ^0^
It was either unbearably hot or warm, and I always felt suffocated.
I'd rather have my windows open and let some air in,
and that we did, the weather then wasn't too cold,
it would've been okay, because that was what we did when we stayed in Paris as well. *see last hotel review * * and here. *
but here, I was surprised to find insects inside the room, In Munich, on a cold weather which was clearly coming from outside the window!
I had dengue a few years back thanks to those pesky mosquito bites, so the thought of insects has made me a bit phobic.

In this day and age,
where Selfies and Like-me are just a click away.
I was seriously hoping that the free wi-fi was really available?! .. Not!
As soon as we settled in, there was no connection.
I complained immediately, and the receptionist gave me an evasive explanation regarding thick walls and weak wifi.
The owner, * I think it was* an older lady, quickly apologized and told us that they will restore it soon.
It was working during the first 2 hours of our stay,
until we got disconnected and the rest is history. :(
Obviously, I think, they only have one router for the rest of the building.
Munich's internet connection is quite expensive.

Before booking, I was warned by some TA reviewers that connections were a bit iffy.
We didn't realize that you have to go all the way down to the lobby every night, and it was clearly a bit of a hassle.
so even in my pyjamas, after saying a few Hi's to fellow travelers, who couldn't connect inside their room as well.
We were all like backpackers staying in a hostel hanging out in the lobby.
Me: skyping with my parents.
Them: browsing and searching on their IT for the next day.

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So we're hoping that the Free breakfast wouldn't disappoint us.
and that is, I think the best bit of our stay, apart from its location.
Nothing beats a hearty meal to start the day.
The breakfast area, small but ample.

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what we ate:


a nice christmas tree display


I'm not sure what it's called, except it's raw fish with some wasabi inspired cream.
I don't eat raw, not a sushi lover actually,
but this one has got me craving for more.


like, like these croissants,
I could eat them everyday. ^0^


Overall, it was a pleasant stay,
apart from a few ifs and buts .
If you're looking for a good location and a cozy ambiance.
This maybe your option, It has all your basic necessities but that's about it.


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Friday, April 4, 2014

" what Christkindlmarkt is all about "

With only a few days in Munich,
planning is everything.
But if there's one thing I look forward to whenever we travel during Christmas,
it was to see the local
CHRISTKINDLMARKT = Christmas Markets .

To some, they say: "yeah, been there, done that" or "same old, same old."
Well, for a seasoned traveler like moi.
It is always something new,
like opening a page in a book and sharing its beginnings ,its history, culture.
and Munich is a city apart from beers during October,
offers one of the oldest markets, dating back as early as the 14th century.

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While I've been to Berlin's version and found it to be a bit dull and boring. *sorry*

This was somehow its exact opposite,
I honestly don't know why,
but I seem to feel the Christmas spirit here,
and like I've said before,
livelier and yet cozier in a way.

For starters,
let me share with you what we ate, saw and did. ^0^
of course, the quintessential fruit stands on sale here.


and then, Christmas trinkets galore! j'adore ça!

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Ornaments on your merry tree.


sweet treats from candies to sugar coated almonds.


attention tea drinkers: this is your haven.


and my favorite drink.
the hot and tasty Gluhwein

Traditional Glühwein (“mulled wine”) is a hot drink made with red wine, sugar, sometimes citrus, and spices including cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Other types are made with white wine or fruit wine.
* source here *

When we were in Berlin,
we couldn't find the courage to order one,
because not only was it hard to converse with them,* lost in translation* -english
they were also not that friendly.

But we finally did last Christmas,
as confusing as it may seems,
it's actually easy.

Here's how you order:

You get to choose what kind of GLUHWEIN concoction you want.

Glühwein (Rot, Weiss, Rosé) : regular, white, and rose mulled-wine
• Glühwein mit Schuss : mulled wine with a shot of liquor
• Feuerzangenbowle : Glühwein with sugary rum syrup
• Eierpunsch : egg punch, or egg nog
• Kinderpunsch : non-alcoholic punch; literally, “children’s punch”
• Apfelwein : apple wine
• Brombelbeerwein : blackberry wine
• Heidelbeerwein : blueberry wine
• Himbeerwein : raspberry wine
• Kirschwein : cherry wine
• Maracujawein : passion fruit wine
• Pflaumenwein : plum wine

*source here *

Day 1 :
we attacked the usual Gluhwein.

Day 2:
we also tried the Kirschwein.

The usual price is roughly 3.50 euros
+ deposit (for the mug) 2.50 euros

If you like to keep the mug as a souvenir, (like we did) then you pay the full 6 euros.
But if it's only a glass of punch, then you have to return the mug and redeem your deposit.


cute right?!

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your typical Wurstbraterei Stand.

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and then we walked less and ate more. ^-^
I gain weight every year!
not healthy at all... ^0^

We saw quite a long line in one of the booths,
aha! my tummy starts acting up again,
I couldn't say no this.
so what exactly does Reiberdatschi looks like?!


every October, they serve KARTOFFELHAUS and
every WInter, they serve REIBERDATSCHI.

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the frying process, the greasy-fatty-potato feast.


we had Reiberdatschi mit apfelmus - with applesauce.
a picture is worth a thousand words. ^0^

I still think about this every now and then...



don't ask me how to pronounce it right,
but for 3.50 euros,
you get a slice of this "Delicious" and "Scrumptious"

Rahm Schmankerl


This is one of Munich's street food delicacies, often associated with the word Christmas.
I took a snap at this guy kneading the dough.


then putting it in the oven,
that's him on the side evenly spreading the ingredients.


The dough was soft and freshly baked,
in fact it was so hot that we had to wait for it cool down a bit.
the melted cheese not only smells heavenly but it melts in your mouth and
the bacon tidbits were just divine,
I love, love, love bacon btw,
as soon I saw those bacons,
I immediately ordered one. ^0^

It is definitely perfect for winter.


If you want to know more about this .. * Source here *


I couldn't remember clearly but If memory serves me right,
We were still planning to visit the Residenz Museum that late afternoon, it's some sort of a grand palace,
the equivalent of let's say Versailles.

Well, we didn't make it in time,
that was after strolling in and out of 3 museums in one day!
yes, Museum hoarding in a day, can you beat that?! ^0^

We often laugh at how crazy we both were when we plan our itinerary. ^-^

So, we took a break and metro-ed off to Sendlinger Tor instead.

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my feet were starting to kill me,
but that quickly shifted my attention to food. ^0^
From afar,
we could smell a whiff of delight and greasy fries.
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this was how I said I must be conscious at what I eat,
but when you see a handful of these,
how could you say no?! ◕‿◕


and finally, I caved in...
the über-licious STEAKSEMMEL .


The Tor was surprisingly small by the way,
like your usual community park.

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with a nice Merry-go-round.

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But then I also found these very unique display.
If you look closely,
they're all made of bolts and nuts where you'd normally see in a hardware store but not
so cleverly and creatively designed like figurines.

How I wish I could take one home....



This is another Christmas Market around Karlstor or Stachus as they like to call it.
These arch entrances are like their official gates in each area.

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hand made wooden trinkets.
I love that cute porky pig thingy on the right,
but I'm not sure what is it used for.
any thoughts?

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Random christmas ornaments,
I made it in monochrome instead.

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we took the metro and went to this other Market,
But the place was twice as crowded.
so hard to take photos let alone order something to eat.

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Me, standing 5'2 in height could only manage to get this angle. ugh~✿

German Menu 101

Lebkuchen - Gingerbread

Plätzchen - Cookie

Gebrannte mandeln - Sugared Almonds

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I love these mustard and mayo dispensers. ♥
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did somebody say beer?!
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Hand made colorful paper lanterns.

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It was just as beautiful as it was during the night.

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Christmas Poster

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and just proof of how happy I was during our trip, even my eyes were trop chinky. ^-^

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