MUNICH, GERMANY. It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision that I was in Munich during Christmas Day. I was there because Munich was the starting point of the 2-week tour that my family and I joined in. Anyhow, I will discuss more about that as we go along!
It was actually my first time to spend Christmas Day in Europe so to fill in the gaps, I did some research before the trip and found out that Europe during this day is as quiet as it can get. Since people usually stay in and celebrate the momentous day with their family, the streets are mostly devoid of people and almost all of the restaurants and the shops are closed, with the exemption of some restaurants which offers Christmas lunch which more often than not is not open to walk-in customers.
I arrived in the Hauptbahnhof area with so much excitement and a growing awe of my surroundings. Everything demanded attention. The modern regional trains that lined up on their respective railways, the Germans that were towering in height, the various sandwiches that look so yummy on display from the stalls' showcases, the glittering Christmas lights and holiday decorations that were hanging from the ceiling and displayed on the train station's entrance. Even the littlest things are interesting. Everything was magnificent. If not for the cold weather, I would have gone gaga and ran all over the place just to remind myself that everything I am seeing is real and not a dream that I would wake up to after an hour or so. But since we are not used to the 4 degree-temp, all we could do was stand and be still for a while, pray silently that we would be able to surpass the coldness until we check in into our hotel.
After checking in and settling down our things in our hotel room, we just grabbed our thermal wears, wore them and bolted once again out of the hotel and into the cold December afternoon. First stop: Marienplatz. We used our Airport-city-day-ticket to take the five of us from the Hauptbahnhof to Marienplatz; just two stations away by S-bahn and we were already there.
I already have played an image of Marienplatz in my mind before coming to Munich, but what I saw as I ascend the escalator from the S-bahn station was something different from what I envisioned. There were no crowd, just few people in the streets and some debris of the Christmas market stalls that gave the Germans and the tourists some happiness a few weeks prior. Nonetheless, the grandeur was still the same with the Glockenspiel, the Peterkirche that I was seeing from the distance and all. It was still the Marienplatz that I dreamed about.
We walked along the first side street that we encountered and walked some more passing by Cafe Glockenspiel and Zara Home until we reached Sendlinger street. From here we walked a little further until we came across a facade of a small church. Asamkirche it was and it was owned by the Asam brothers as their private church. Aside from the fact that the church served as a refuge away from cold temperature outside, we also had a hard time leaving it because of its intricately designed interior fusing architecture, painting and sculpture in harmony that we could not stop looking at.
We went back out again and walked some more until our feet could no longer move a meter more and until our body could not anymore endure the cold. Yes, the streets may be devoided of people and was reminiscent of a ghost town during Christmas day but I felt lucky still because really, how frequent is it that one would be able to enjoy Munich and the Marienplatz almost all by himself?