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Best Places To Spend The Winter Holidays

We cannot deny it but winter has finally come a bit early this year.  The holiday season is a peak season for travel too. My family and I booked our tickets 6 months ago and back then, seats were already getting full for Manila-bound flights. We will be spending the Christmas and New Year holidays back home. How about you? Have you planned any holidays this winter time? If not, here are some places you may consider and you can always count on lastminute.com for those spur of the moment bookings for hotel and flights.

Here are some great places to visit during the winter holidays.

ANY OF THE DISNEYLAND RESORTS AND THEME PARKS

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Yes, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth! At least for me and my family it is. Where else can you spend the holidays beaming with glee and excitement? Only in any of the Disneyland parks around the world. They always have annual Christmas and Winter holiday themes, parades and activities during the Yuletide season. So, soak in the holiday feeling in the magical kingdom of Disney.

VIENNA AND SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

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Visit the outdoor Christkindlmarkts at night and enjoy the various Christmas crafts they sell which double as great gifts for family and friends and Christmas tree ornaments.

Enjoy the Vienna Choir Boys who render beautiful Christmas songs for the public every Sunday at night. Aside from the beautiful music, you can eat tasty finger foods and drink Vienna’s famous spiced mulled wine or gluhwein.

ITALY AND THE VATICAN

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Being a Roman Catholic, it has always been my dream to attend the Christmas Eve Mass, officiated by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. This is still in my dream list and one day, we will fulfill this dream.

You can enjoy your cold Christmas time in lovely Rome as well and experience the Italian celebration of the holidays.  The famous Baroque square in Rome named Piazza Navona is converted into a Christmas market where you will find various kinds of toys, Italian sweets, Nativity scenes and other Christmas ornaments.

You can go further North of Italy if you want to enjoy skiing like places in Bormio and Cervinia.

TROMSO, NORWAY

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If you like to visit a place where the possibility of seeing the northern lights is a high probability, then head on to Tromso, Norway.  There will be limited hotels but you can check yourself in at Clarion Hotel Bryggen near the Harbor.

NEW YORK, USA

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A visit to the Big Apple on Christmas season also tops the charts of most travelers. You can visit the big Tree in the Rockefeller Center and also enjoy the ice-skating rink in the same vicinity. Enjoy shopping at nearby big department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue for last minute shopping and you may even score further discounts offered for the holiday season.

AUSTRALIA

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When the other side of the world is experiencing cold, winter season, Down Under Australia is welcoming summer. So, if you want to get away from the drab, cold weather and soak in the cool breeze of Australian summer, then get on that flight and head on to Australia.

Spend Christmas in the beach along the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney and enjoy the frolic under the sun.

NUREMBERG, GERMANY 

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The Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is a well-known open Christmas market. The famous Christmas market welcomes millions of visitors yearly with a giant carved wooden Ferris wheel. The stalls sell all handmade nativity ornaments and other Christmas decorations. Not only that, even adults will enjoy this place as they can eat plenty of sticky buns and finger foods while the young ones can spend the day at the Toy Museum.

THE PHILIPPINES

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There’s no place like home and even more enticing during the holiday season. Metropolitan Manila’s famous thoroughfares are well-lit with Christmas lights and decors. Most big malls house gigantic Christmas trees adorned with pretty decorations. Christmas revelers will not miss the Misa de Gallo and a bite of the tasty bibingka and puto-bumbong right after the early morning mass. Children go caroling and ask for aguinaldo from their neighbors, family members and godparents.

No matter where your dream takes you, enjoy the spirit of the holiday season and remember, the reason for the season is Him. Happy Holidays!

 

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Places of Interest in Marienplatz in Munich

Munich is a lovely place to visit. There are plenty of interesting places to see and you can all do that using the Hop-On and Hop-Off bus plying the routes famous for tourist attractions.

Marienplatz is the town centre in Munich. We booked our Hop-On and Hop-Off bus tour from the Travel information centre in the plaza. And riding the Hop-on, Hop-off bus was a great way to see most of the sights without having to worry on finding our way around town and using the public transportation.

Munich has plenty of points of interests which were covered in our Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour. I am very glad we booked it because I don’t know if we’d have enough time to cover much if we had decided to take the public transportation. There are plenty of eateries, food stalls and souvenir shops.

Marienplatz is an old town square in Munich, Germany.  Marienplatz stands for Our Lady’s Square or St. Mary’s Square in the town square which is a main square since 1158 in the city centre of Munich.

Attractions to find in Marienplatz:

Teddy Bear / Toy Museum

This is one of the places that we wished we visited earlier. It was closed already when we tried to visit. We were just few minutes late when the museum closed. Anyway, the Teddy Bear Museum houses plenty of collection of toys from some prominent countries. You can find more information about this place here:

http://www.ivansteiger.com/en/toy-museum/munich

The Rathaus

The New Town hall is a very famous gothic-inspired building in the northern part of Marienplatz. The Rathaus is the seat of the mayor’s office, the city council, and the headquarters of the city administration in Munich.

Glockenspiel

The Glockenspiel in the tower balcony of the Neues Rathaus is also world famous and worth seeing. Since 1908, figurines representing stories from Munich’s history twirl on two levels daily at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. (the 5:00 p.m. show is omitted from November through February). In addition to the well-known coopers dancers, the Münchner Kindl (symbol of the city’s coat of arms), and the angel of peace also make an appearance in the almost 12-minute-long spectacle. (Source: http://www.muenchen.de/int/en/sights/attractions/new-town-hall-neues-rathaus.html)

Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt)

Munich is home to many Christmas market stalls during the holiday season. Marienplatz is one of the famous Christmas Markets in the world.

(Photo credit: timesofmalta.com)

Mariensäule (Marian Column) in the square

The Marian column was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years’ War. Atop the column is a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon as the Queen of Heaven.

Fischbrunnen (Fish Fountain)

One of the famous meeting points in Marienplatz. It is found in the eastern side of the town square near the Rathaus.

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Visiting The Rathaus Glockenspiel In Munich

What is a Glockenspiel, you might ask? It is a famous attraction in the town centre in Munich, Germany. This big clock with chimes tells  several stories of a royal marriage, jousting stories,  and a folk dance called Schäfflertanz (coopers’ dance) which all became part of Munich’s folklore.  The last to top of the attraction is the chirping of a golden bird which signifies the end of the show.

The Glockenspiel plays every 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. every day. I’m so happy that my family and I managed to watch the whole performance. It was a good 12-15 minutes show and we all loved it.

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The Rathaus Glockenspiel is in the heart of Marienplatz. It is easily accessible by train via Hauftbahnhof or directly at Marienplatz S-bahn station.

If you are visiting Munich, this place is a must. Do add it in your itinerary.

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Munich, Germany Part 3

Posted in annual trip, Europe, family, family trip, Germany, Munich, places, travel, vacation
on June 30, 2013

More photos of our vacation in Munich, Germany.

A little pond in Olympia Park… we fed the ducks!
That way to the Lowenbrau brewery.”

We went up this tower – Olympia Tower and from there was an amazing 360 degree view of Munich.

That duckie my hubby fed was so friendly. I wanted to take him home….hehehehe.
The STAR of all season!

Oh my, I was still slim that time!!! Arggghhh!

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Munich, Germany Part 2

The next installment of snaps. These pictures were taken at the Nymphenburg Palace.

Nymphenburg Palace is located in Munich, approximately 10 to 20 minutes from the Marienplatz by bus. It was used as the summer residence of the royalties. In 1664, the construction commenced and over the next hundred and fifty years, several buildings were also added making this palace a sight to behold.



This is the street leading to the palace. In front of this is the long canal which freezes during winter time and is used as skating rinks.

Side profile of the palace
The queen! Oppps, the swan just licked its butt! Ewww….
Behind the palace, on our way to the gardens
The sprawling gardens
The Royal Family!

(I have taken this post from my www.riablahgs.com site and moved it here where it is more relevant.)

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Munich, Germany Part 1

I have taken this post from my other blog, It’s My Party and moved it here since this post is relevant to my travel blog’s niche.
We visited Munich, Germany in late August of 2008 before my daughter’s school started. We had fun seeing the beautiful attractions of Munich and enjoyed our visit to the Nymphenburg Palace. The weather was great, not too cold and not too hot. The old buildings around the square in Marienplatz and Karlplatz were a marriage of old and new architecture. Just amazing! I don’t mind going back to Munich and explore more of it’s beauty.

Here are snaps from Munich and do hope that I did justice to the beautiful scenic spots there. Enjoy!

Above is the Rathaus, the new town hall located at Marienplatz. In the same building is the Glockenspiel, a very large chime and clock. It gives off a nice chime on certain times during the day
and we were waiting for the “cuckoo” to do its thing and for the puppets in the tower to dance.

Posing while waiting…
Posing again…

Finally, the chime went off at 11 a.m. lasting for more than 3 minutes.
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