Monthly Archives: November 2009

Trivia Questions

Here’s a couple trivia questions for my readers:

1. For nearly 60 years the mayor of Munich has been tapping the first keg at the Oktoberfest, what brand of beer was that first keg?

2. Is there any part of the famous glockenspiel at the New Town Hall in Munich that has anything to do with a plague?

3. How did Emperor Ludwig IV the Bavarian die?

4. Where are the hearts of the Wittelsbach dynasty? (the royal family of Bavaria)

If you just know the answer to one of them, then just answer one…that’s cool. Otherwise, I’ll give the answers on Friday.

[Listening to: T.N.T. (Live) – AC/DC – Backtracks (3:53)]

Christmas Markets are booming

The christmas markets were interesting to me when I first came to Germany. In fact, my first two trips to this country were over the christmas holidays and so I was able to visit several christmas markets. Other than the mulled wine, I’m not a fan at all.

These days it means something completely different to me, of course. As a tour guide, the number of English speaking tourists dramatically goes up and it’s back to peak season numbers for a few weeks. What this means for my Salzburg tours is that I don’t enjoy them (the tourists don’t either, I honestly don’t understand how anyone could). What this means for tourists actually trying to see the sights is that it is nearly impossible (there’s just too many people…WAY too many people). Good times.

I dunno, it’s probably also the fact that it’s steadily getting colder this time of year and so it is usually hovering just a bit above freezing and pouring rain…so that of course means fun for all, right?

Random notes:

The christmas tree in Salzburg is way more impressive than the one in Munich,
The christmas market in Munich is WAY nicer in my opinion because there’s 10x less people.
If you want a more authentic market, I’d suggest Landshut.

[Listening to: The Hockey Song – D.O.A. – Kings Of Punk, Hockey And Beer (2:09)]

And completely unrelated, but true: For a guy known to many as “NOFX Mike”, I’m really hating Fat Wreck lately.

I’m working on my book

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a guide book for, well,  a couple years now. The name has changed and there’s been quite a long delay, but it is coming. This last week I’ve worked on it more than I did for about a year. The reason? well, we almost moved…and while things were up in the air, we put everything on hold.

In September I tried to set a deadline for myself for the 1st edition of the book to come out in November or so, now I’m thinking maybe January/Feb. Here’s the deal: at the moment I’m working on the 48 hour edition which I believe will be what most people actually want as I would say 90% of the people I talk to on my tours are here for between 24 and 72 hours. In that time they want to see all the highlights of the city and that may be the only time they ever have to see Munich. So anyways, that will be the first release…followed some time later (probably a few months) by a 5-7 day edition…

Because the guide book publisher that I chose is very easy and all sales are online, I can update these versions as needed and I believe these willl be the best guide books to Munich found anywhere. At least that is my goal.

If anyone has anything they’d like to say that might help…ideas, personal restaurant or sight reviews, etc….let me know.

[Listening to: Can’t Stop Partying – Weezer – Raditude (Deluxe Edition) (4:21)]

Rick Steves has an iphone app.

This is probably the best iphone app I’ve seen yet, brought to you by Rick Steves. Check it out here.

Now, I HATE everything apple…but if you happen to have an iphone…well, you should definitely check his app out. There’s a demo video that explains what it can do…

Personally, if he ports it to the S60 (for Nokia, samsung, etc.) then I would download them in a heartbeat. When I watched the demo all I was thinking was that with this app you could do all your research beforehand with the book, but then when you’re actually touring, you could leave the book (and the WEIGHT) at home and just bring the phone…so much lighter.