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Germany can be a fun place to visit any time of the year!
Traveling to Germay during the Winter
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By Jerrold VanNocker
Looking over the offerings at one of Munich's Christmas Market food stalls we turn down their offer of warm wine. I wanted to get a good night sleep for my second day in Germany. I did not want to mess up the brain chemistry with an alcoholic drink or with caffeine.
Getting a couple of sandwiches my wife asks about non-caffeinated drinks. "There is eggnog" replies the clerk. "Eggnog sounds good!" my wife and I both reply. The eggnog arrives in a ceramic mug; my hands encircle the cup, seeking out the heat coming off its surface.
Gathering our food we join a young German couple standing at one of the last tables with an open space. I look down in to my cup of eggnog; a very yellow egg yoke looks back... Taking a sip of the warm mixture I am greeted to a mild sweet taste. Other than the egg, I can not quite identify the other ingredients in this concoction. I suspect Rum, but something else is in the mixture. With the help of the German couple we learn Eggnog here is a combination of egg yoke, rum and white wine.
Chatting with my wife I take a few more sips of the warm eggnog and leisurely scanned the activity around me as I reflect on our day. Here I am, insulated underwear beneath my clothes, drinking in the streets of Munich. I say to my wife "you know, if we suggested to our family and friends to do this type of thing at home, they would think we were crazy!" She nods. I smile and acknowledge, "I am really starting to enjoy this trip!".
In the next two weeks I discover traveling in Germany during December can be a lot of fun.
Visiting Germany in December is not as crazy as it might sound. Due to Germany's Christmas Markets, December is actually considered a high travel season for Germany. Most, major, tourist attractions remain open to the traveler during the winter but you do need to plan for shorter visitation hours. Minor tourist sites often close during the winter as tourist traffic is not sufficient to cover the cost of keeping these sites open during the winter. Outside Metal Statues are often covered over the winter. Historic cities such as Wurzburg remain completely accessible to the visitor and even with the presence of the Christmas Market, less crowded with tourists than you will find in the summer.
Dress warmly but be careful not to over do it
As most travelers know the secret to surviving off season travel is to pack with the expectation the weather can do anything. Historic temperature averages for a place are just that, averages. During our December visit to Germany, temperatures were a little below average but still tolerable, in our long underwear, light winter coat and occasional sweater. We did not arrive with sub-minus degree coats. Instead we wore winter coats appropriate for the average temperatures we expected. We also packed sweaters, insulated underwear and thick flannel shirts. Layering clothing as the weather requires is the best way to avoid being too warm or too cold. Worst case scenario, if you fail to pack what you need to keep warm you can always buy it in Germany.
Next Story - Octoberfest, Festival of the Gods
When looking at the temperature averages for Munich, Berlin and Cologne, keep in mind these are averages for the month. Winter temperatures can fluctuate from the average significantly, you may find yourself colder, or warmer then what is listed above.