For this blog post, I’m going to take a break from current day happenings and go back in time to 2012. As spring rolls round in London, I feel like I missed out completely on winter last year, as I was travelling around Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam over November to February. While there’s no arguing that winter can be dreary and bleak, I have to say that I do quite enjoy the cold season, primarily because it’s so completely different from the boring tropical weather we get all year round in Malaysia.
The one thing I’ve particularly come to enjoy in recent years are the christmas markets that spring up around December. Modelled on the traditional German christmas markets, stalls selling sausages, mulled wines, hot chocolate, festive cookies and handmade crafts spring up in various parts of London – what could be better?
Well, the original christmas markets in Germany of course!
After hearing, year after year, about how wonderful the Nuremberg christmas markets are, from one of my best friends who’s half German, I finally decided to follow her on a short weekend trip to Bavaria when she went to visit family, just before christmas in 2012. Whilst I always enjoy visiting Germany, for whatever reason, my past visits have always been on transit to or back from other neighbouring countries. As a consequence, this was going to be my first time visiting Germany for Germany, and on top of it, being shown round by locals!
I had written a blog post at the time of my trip (for a previous, now dormant blog), which I am reviving for remembrance sake. Here’s how it went down.
Day 1 (15 Dec 2012): London Stansted to Munich, Germany; Munich to Freising; Freising to Regensburg
It was an extremely early start, with the cab arriving at 4.10am to take me to Liverpool Street, in order to catch the Stansted Express to Stansted Airport. We arrived in a snow filled Munich airport, extremely tired but glad to have arrived.
We caught a bus from the airport to Freising train station, and had to wait there for about 45 minutes in order to catch the next train to Regensburg.
The reason for this trip was two-fold: for my travel companion to visit her German relatives, and for me to visit a small part of Bavaria and check out authentic christmas markets. We therefore stayed with my mate’s German family in a quiet part of Regensburg throughout our stay. It was perfect as it allowed me to experience home life with a traditional Bavarian family!
The day ended with us attending my friend’s cousin’s classical concert at a chapel. I love how much classical music is embedded in the culture throughout Germany! It’s not something you really find in England which (I think) is a shame.
Day 2 (16 Dec 2012): Regensburg Old Town
Today was all about exploring the old town at Regensburg, ending at the Romantic Christmas Market at the Thurn and Taxis Palace. Photos describe it easiest and best.
Day 3 (17 Dec 2012): Nuremberg Old Town
Again, lots of walking around the old town of Nuremberg, including going up to the old Castle, once again ending at the famous Nuremberg christmas market.
Day 4 (18 Dec 2012): Regensburg to Nuremberg; Nuremberg to London Gatwick
We spent about an hour milling about Regensburg before catching the train to take us back to Nuremberg. From there, we took the Underground to the airport and caught our flight back to London. We made sure to fully stock up on original Haribo sweets and other German goodies before we left though!
Side note: Reading my writing from 1.5 years ago seems so strange (and cringe-worthy!). Still, I’m reminded again about why I’m glad I’ve decided to keep a proper travel blog of all my travels as re-reading old posts really does wonders with jogging the old memory and reliving past experiences. I’d recommend blogging to everyone!