Our December holiday to Europe was decided almost at the last minute when our other plans for the year didn’t materialise. There were a lot of countries we wanted to visit and due to the time limitation in planning, we decided to save ourselves the trouble and went with an organised tour. We chose Cosmos’ 6050 Prague, Vienna, Budapest tour as it covered a lot of the places we wanted to visit, within the dates and timeframe we wanted. We had been on another tour with them previously and were quite happy with their service.
The meeting point for the tour was in Munich. We arrived a day early so that we’d have some time to get over the jetlag. It worked out very well as Munich was not covered in the tour and we had some time to discover it on our own.
We arrived in Munich at 6.15am. The 9 hours time difference and over 24 hours of air travel / transit made us very jetlagged. After we caught up with some sleep, we were recharged and excited to explore the surrounding area. We took the hotel shuttle to the airport and walked straight into the Christmas Market. The holiday mood kicked into full swing with the lively atmosphere, German sausages, Gingerbread cookies, Christmas decorations and other local delicacies. Yes, we have left our burdens behind and smoothly transitioned into holidaymakers.
We had another full day to ourselves as the introductory meeting with the tour group only happened in the evening. We took a train to Marienplatz in the city centre of Munich. It was Christmas time and the whole square was surrounded with Christmas Markets. There were stalls all around the place selling beautiful hand-painted gingerbread cookies, more German sausages, mulled wine, various shaped cookie cutters and Christmas decorations. It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The highlight of the day was that we climbed 299 narrow steps up St. Peter’s Church to get a 360degrees view of the city. It was very tiring, but worth the effort!
Our tour departed Munich and headed to Prague. We stopped by for a couple of hours in Nuremberg, another German city in Bavaria, north of Munich. The town square was surrounded with Christmas Markets. There was no lack of festivity in this town. A short walk up the hill was the Nuremburg Imperial Castle, an important imperial palace of the Middle Ages.
We arrived in Prague late afternoon and had a couple of hours to rest before dinner. We joined the group on the optional Czech dinner with folk dancing at U Marcanu.