When we awoke this morning, the temperature had risen to above freezing. However, along with the warmer temps came a steady rain. We eventually got going around midmorning, having to wait for hot water for a shower as the water heater had gotten turned off last night instead of set on “Night”. After a quick stop to deposit the rent money for the apartment, we hopped the tram to Karlsplatz for a stop at Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof, the two big department stores, to do some gift shopping. After finishing here, we headed down the main pedestrian street toward Marienplatz. Pushing the stroller was a bit easier as most of the snow was gone, but I think I would have traded the rain and temps in the upper 30s for snow and temps in the 20s as we had been having. We stopped by to visit the inside of the Dom (cathedral), which was nice. We continued our walk, through Marienplatz, and around the Viktualienmarkt (food market). Somehow, we missed this on our trip in 2000. It was pretty nice, and we took advantage of our visit to pick up a donut for Kyle and a couple of pretzels for us as a snack. Back toward Marienplatz, I grabbed a last glühwien while Suzanne and Kyle ran into the bookstore for a gift for one of Kyle’s friends. We next stopped by the other Galeria Kaufhof branch where I finally managed to find a wallet to replace my current one which is falling apart. An S-Bahn, tram ride, and a stop by the supermarket (for lunch and more gifts), and we ended up back at the apartment.
After a rest, we headed out to dinner. Given the weather and the amount of stuff we had to get done tonight before leaving in the morning, we decided to try the Italian place (Natales) a few minutes walk from the apartment. Kyle was able to get plain ziti, which he enjoyed very much, eating the entire plateful. Suzanne and I had pizzas, both of which were pretty good. (Kyle’s meal, a small salad, two pizzas, one beer, and two other drinks was €35.) After one last quick stop at the supermarket for a few items we forgot earlier, it was back to the apartment to start getting things together for tomorrow. While I helped Kyle with his bath, Suzanne packed up our stuff. Unfortunately, we did end up with a third bag to check. We’re just hoping our larger suitcase is not overweight.
It’s hard to believe the trip is over. It’s been great to be back in Germany after three full years. (For that trip, we spent only three days here before heading to Italy.) The Christmas markets were as wonderful as we remember, especially with the snow. It would have been better if it wasn’t quite so cold, but I decided I’d rather have the cold and snow than the rain we had all day today. Traveling with Kyle wasn’t the easiest, especially given his picky eating. It was much easier once we were in the apartment since we could make plain pasta every morning. We’ll definitely return to Germany at some point, but it will likely be at least a few years. (It will also likely be when the weather will be warmer.)