We’ve visited many times but still not seen all it has to offer. We typically stay in Freising, near the airport and home to the world’s oldest continuously operated brewery, Weihenstephan.

But this time we found a good deal near the train station with underground parking at a reasonable rate. The Augusten Hotel was a quick walk from the Altstadt and our favorite Brauerei,  the Augustiner Keller.  While there is an Augustiner restaurant in the Altstadt,  the Keller has a huge biergarten in nice weather and a massive hall and cellar area year round. And it’s where locals go, meaning no English tourist menu.

On the walk up to the door we saw a chalkboard sandwich sign indicating an event wad taking place. Once we  got inside, we discovered the big hall was for the party and only the snug and small area at the entrance were available.

I quickly spotted two empty seats at a table with a couple in their late 50s. Using my best German,  I asked if they were free. Germans and Austrians aren’t shy about sharing a restaurant table. And we were in luck.  After they had received and eaten their meals, I asked the woman where they were from. 

They were from a small village near Salzburg,  where they run a pension.  Surprisingly,  their English was pretty much non-existent. I suspect they had the hotel vocabulary down pat, but not social.

So I spoke in German with the woman and NosyNeighbour used his translator app and the free wifi to communicate with her husband. Eventually NosyNeighbour downloaded a translator app for the Austrian’s iPhone as well. It was fun to watch them speak to their phones and then show each other the translation,  especially in a noisy hall.

Other highlights include the two young Japanese women who ordered by pointing at NosyNeighbour’s sausage plate, and the group of middle aged guys who kept singing German football songs.

The next day we walked to the BMW museum and BMW world.  It was about an hour and it was interesting to pass through sleepy neighbourhoods on a Bavarian Sunday morning.

Despite the low cloud cover we also went up the Olympic Tower, which is also home to a small rock music museum.  Ir was reaaly cold and windy at the top. I imagine the view on a vlear day would be spectacular.

Our last evening was spent at the Löwenbrau brewery restaurant.  The reviews were mixed. Our waitress was a crusty old German woman with no personality.  The food was okay. But itnjust couldn’t compare with our experience the day before.  And I somehow managed to lose my pink angora gloves.

Our return flight was in late afternoon, and we planned to arrive at the airport early enough to do a tour, check out the observation floor and grab a meal at the airport micro brewery.  Yes, it’s true, and even includes a biergarten in nice weather.  But it wasn’t meant to be.

I suppose the first clue was the Liufthansa email that arrived on Sunday, which only had one of our names. Then at the airport, we needed to get boarding passes and check our bulky luggage. 

The check in agent found a problem with our tickets. They weren’t joined, and I appeared in two reservation systems. While she tried to resolve the issue, we took advantage of the airport’s free wifi and patiently surfed.

Eventually she handed us our boarding passes but indicated she wasn’t able to assign seats. We were to report to the gate, wherevthe flight manager would assign the seats. This process had already taken more than an hour.  I asked if we were going to make the flight because the pilots’ strike had bumped people over the weekend.  She indicated that the flight was full but they weren’t looking for volunteers. 

We went through security immediately and waited at the gate for the manager to arrive.  I spoke German to her and asked if we had time to grab a bite to eat, given that it was now after 2 p.m. She said that would be fine.  Appropriately,  the closest restaurant had a special of beer, pretzel and Weiß wurst.

Hunger satisfied,  we returned to a packed gate area to pick up our boarding passes.  Result! Row 15 in Business Class!

Lufthansa is one of the best airlines I’ve flown. The service and food is excellent,  even when the splash red wine on you. That accident brought an offer of a free bottle of champagne or wine to take home,  but I like beer better. So she returned with a plastic bag of nice German beer and some 1st class freebies.

But wait,  it gets better.  My seat wasn’t working properly.  It didn’t really bother me because on the return flight I want to stay awake.  But I wanted them to know so that it could be fixed gor the return overnight flight. When they couldn’t fix it they were going to offer me more compensation.  But I just didn’t feel right folliwing up on that.

Icing on the cake for the Best. Ski. Holiday. Ever. 

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