We left St-Anton on Saturday, heading for Freising. The morning sun was just kissing the mountains as I laid my last attempt to cook the perfect soft-boiled egg on the breakfast table. I packed up the left over fruit for our journey and made sandwiches out of the last of the meat and cheese. We were heading to Freising, a new town, for our last night in Germany.

Freising is home to the Weihenstephan Brewery, the world’s oldest continuously operated brewery. It’s also a state-run brewery, and linked with Technical University of Munich. In fact, it’s known as the Harvard University for brewmasters. The population is just under 50,000, and most of them seem to like to cycle. We knew we’d picked a winner! This town was alive, not like the dead silence of Neufahrn.

Our hotel was in the heart of the old town. This made it a bit challenging arriving on Saturday because the street was closed for the weekend market and Christkindlmarket. I told NosyNeighbour to just keep heading straight like we knew what we were doing. I’d already worked out in my head what I would say in German:

Wir suchen für unser Hotel. Wir bringen unser Gepäck und Skier und dann park Auto.

But I didn’t have to worry. Nobody stopped us, even though we drove down a one-way street the wrong way. The Hotel Bayerischer Hof is located in the old part of town. It’s currently undergoing renovations, which are probably a bit overdue. Our room was in the unrenovated section. It was clean, but very, very dated. And noisy. I could hear through the window and walls all night. While it seemed quaint to have a window facing the street, as the night wore on, the drunks stumbled by, and women in heels clip-clopped along the cobbles. Before we left, I did learn that it should all be done by our next visit. And the staff was very helpful, so I’d give it another try.

Freising had its own Christmas market, which was just a bit smaller than the one in Innsbruck. It was called the Freisinger Advent. One of the more interesting stalls was a wooden merry-go-round for kids. It was self propelled, meaning the kids would take turns pushing the big arms and then jump on. Once they were on, they could sit on large musical instruments. Well maybe not exactly instruments, but pieces of furniture that they could simulate a piano, or a cello.

We eventually found the Weihenstephan brewery on top of Nahrberg Hill. But that was after walking up, then down, then back up again. And asking three different locals how to get there. It was the sign that had directed us in the wrong direction. Unfortunately brewery tours don’t happen on Saturdays. The gift shop wasn’t open either, so I ended up with just a few coasters as souvenirs. But that meant more money for beer. And this time I dove right in: no radlers or alkoholfrei beer for me!

At supper, we ate where the locals do: at Weißbräu Huber. They do have an English menu, but the waiters (and there were many who served us) kept thinking I was German. The food was great value for the money. And it was clear that locals love the place too. Even the family dog gets to come along for evening outings. He was very well behaved, and lay on the floor beside the bowl of water he was served.

After a not-so-great sleep, we got up and ate a few Corny bars and some fruit for breakfast. We knew that Lufthansa should be offering free coffee at the airport and we wanted to get checked in and through security before we worried about caffeine.

Air Canada only gave us 50 minutes for our connection in Frankfurt. Thankfully, we’d scoped out a map of the airport and consulted with some passengers on the flight. Despite being a bit late to the gate, we ran through the tunnel and made our connection. And shockingly, so did our luggage.

Home at last for a nice, peaceful Christmas at home. I hope you had a safe and happy holiday too.

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