December – Christmas time

As normal life has really set in, things feel pretty much normal now, and consequently the drive to write inspired and interesting blog posts is becoming a bit scarce. I feel a little guilty of having such long breaks between posts, but I figure it’s better to write a few quality posts instead of constantly pushing out mediocre-level bulk text.

So Christmas time has finally descended in Munich. With the holidays closing in, the weather also turned nice and snowy to compliment the many magnificent Christmas markets of the city. The whole concept of the X-mas market and the stands here is great. You’d think that they would be cheesy and very touristy (some of them indeed are), but they actually are genuinely very nice and create a kind of feeling one is used to only seeing in movies. That said, I normally go out for Glühwein (a warm and spiced red wine) with my friends almost every day.

The number of the stands and area in the city covered by them can only be explained by comparing it to the Oktoberfest. In the city center, almost every street if filled with various stands, ranging from Glühwein (and every other kind of hot alcoholic drink) and Bratwurst to handcrafted wallets and other small stuff. Since my wallet had conveniently died out, I bought myself a new wallet from a wallet sales stand Enni had bought her wallet from a year ago. It cost 40 euros and I got my initials burned into it :).

Enni, my girlfriend and fiancée visited Munich with her family last weekend. During her visit we mainly walked around the sights to see and ate out at different nice places. Among other sites, we visited the TV-tower of Munich to enjoy the views from a couple hundred meters high. One afternoon we also went to my universities rooftop-cafe, from where we could see the Alps perfectly! It is quite rare to be able to see the Alps so well, so we were very lucky. Too bad I didn’t take a picture of it..

We did a weekend trip to Prague some time ago. I don’t remember if I wrote about it in my previous post, so I’ll tell you now the most important parts, hopefully not again. Our group consisted of only three people. Tragically, I was the only one who drank beer. This was a real bummer, since I like beer and Prague is well known for its various good beers.. So, my drink-as-many-kinds-of-beers-while-I-can -trip turned to a walk-around-the-city-and-see-the-nice-basic-sights -trip. We took part in a 2 hour free tour and learned heaps of info about Prague. We traveled very nicely, since we had movies and beverages during our bus ride there and back.

Yesterday we went out for a ride with the Christmas Tram! The Strassenbahn was decorated like a Christmas tree and you could drink Glühwein during the ride. It was a blast 🙂 Be sure to check out the pictures..

In about on week I go back to Finland for the holidays. Even though I miss everybody over there, I’m already getting exited about coming back here with my snowboard. The season is now open and with my avalanche course over, I’m itching to go to snowboarding to the Alps.

I also built a nice ginger bread house! Sadly something tragic happened to the stiffness of the cookiewalls, perhaps the moisture of the air or non-ideal baking/dough -conditions, and it collapsed 🙁 It’s also possible that putting large heart-shaped windows in the middle of the supporting elements is not a good idea (and it wasn’t my idea..). Anyhow it was fun while it lasted and I got pictures of it before it collapsed on the third day. Maybe this was also for the best, since my roommates were quite unwilling to restrain from eating it before Christmas.

EDIT:

As Enni’s dad pointed out I forgot to tell you about the Brewery visit we did! We visited the oldest official brewery in the world of Weihenstephan, which is located north of Munich in the small town of Freising. The town itself was really nice, with all of the houses and streets looking like they probably have looked like for the past hundred years. Weihenstephan is a state owned brewery (owned by the state of Bavaria) and works closely with the technical university of Munich. Consequently, the TUM (Technische Universität München) campus in Freising is the only place in the world where you can study brewing at a masters level. This is the place where all the Masters and Doctors of Beer (in the world!) come from (: . Maybe this is also the reason why we got an extraordinarily good tour guide in the factory tour, who was even able to answer all of Enni’s microbiology and process-technology related questions. The tour ended in nice tasting session, where we got to taste a couple of the most famous beers of Weihenstephan. One of the beers on the taste list was the Weihenstephan Vitus, which was elected as the best beer in the world a couple of years ago. We also got to keep the nice tasting glasses as souvenirs (this time legally!).

That’s if for now! I’ll be sure to write something more sometime later 🙂

Be sure to check out the pictures: http://sonkeri.1g.fi/kuvat/Timo+Kerola/

Happy holidays!

-Timo