As part of our big tip, we stopped for a week in Germany. We are so thankful to be able to travel to Germany with points. This expensive country would have definitively hurt the wallet quite a bit if it was not for travel rewards.
Our around-the-world trip is going great so far. We spent some incredible time in Italy and are so glad our family travels are going smoothly. We did forget our passports in Italy but, fortunately, got them back a few days later. Other than that, we did not get robbed, sick, or hurt, so life is good.
We are now staying in Thailand for two months and enjoying ourselves a bit too much to take the time to write every week.
In Bavaria, we stayed at the Westin Grand in Munich, an amazing luxury hotel which we booked with our credit card rewards points.
Upon arrival, we got upgraded to a suite with an amazing view of the city (above) given our status with Marriott.
We also gained access to the hotel club lounge and free breakfast at the restaurant. This lounge must be one of the best of all the chain. The service was outstanding, beers, wines, and drinks were served all day, meals were served, deserts, snacks, you name it.
Located on the 23rd floor, spanning on two levels, the lounge offers a great view of the city and greatly helped us keep our costs low since we ate about one meal per day there and drank from there rather than the room’s minibar or grocery store.
The suite we ended up getting was in two sections, one bedroom and one living room with a dining table and second bathroom. A huge space we did not need but let’s enjoy the amazing benefits of the SPG card when we can, right!
Since we planned to be in Germany during Oktoberfest, we had to go a few times and enjoy the true Bavarian hospitality.
The first time we went, we sat down in the Spatenbrau tent and ordered a pork leg with a beer. Calling this a tent is a large understatement but that is how they call them.
Above all expectations, the food was astonishing! It is so surprising to see these huge operations, feeding thousands of people at the same time, churn out such high-quality meals.
The tents are enormous. Boasting traditional colors and elegantly decorated, they can host thousands of patrons at a time. It was nice to see all generations, from kids to octogenarian, enjoying themselves in traditional garments. The beer was flowing and the plates flying.
Boasting leather pants, called Bundhosen, men are walking down the streets of Munich in this festive fall season. The atmosphere was just so joyful.
We went back to the Oktoberfest, this time over the weekend, and it was even busier than during the week. The crowd was dense, it was a bit trickier with Baby. Thankfully, the carrier really helped to get her around safely. With her hanging from my chest, we were able to walk through the crowd easily.
People were dancing on tables and signing to the musicians on stage. Definitely, something to experience once in your lifetime!
We ordered chicken and more beer. Again, it was delicious.
Apart from that, we visited a few churches, markets, and admired the history of Munich. Participated in a free walking tour and learned a bit more about the city but, of course, everything was in a small radius so it was pretty limited.
From our hotel, we could easily take the metro everywhere. We purchased a weekly pass with the MVV, which operates the metro, buses, and railcars, for only 15€ per person.
Of course, we could not miss the impressing Gothic revival architecture of the New Town Hall.
Every day, at 11 A.M. noon, and 5 P.M. the Glockenspiel plays. This show reenacts an important wedding to the town’s history with figurines, music, and carillons of cast bronze bells. This event seems to attract every tourist in town and, coincidently, we ended up in that square almost every day at 11 A.M.
It is quite impressing to see but the most impressing is to see all these tourist filming the play on their phones. There must be thousands of videos of this event on Youtube!
Other than that, we visited BMW Welt and did the BMW factory tour.
If you are at all interested in robotics, I highly recommend the BMW factory tour.
You can visit BMW Welt for free. It is mostly a showroom for all their models, including some prototypes, motorcycles, and models from Mini, and Rolls Royce.
The factory tour, however, shows you all the ins and outs of car making. It was fascinating to see the giant robot arms assembling the cars.
Being the first BMW factory, it was fun to learn a bit of the history of the company and see where it all began. For only 9€, it was one of the best “museum” experience I ever had.
After a week traveling in Germany, we took off back to Switzerland to catch our plane to our next stop; Thailand.
Once in Switzerland, we stayed 3 nights at the Sheraton Zurich Hotel for free using our SPG rewards points, saving us $483 per night. The hotel was great, located in a nice up and coming area with a lot of shops.
Again, this hotel had a lounge so we ate all our meals there instead of spending outrageous amounts of money on restaurants. Even eating at fast food joints or takeout restaurants would have cost at least $20 per person, per meal.
The hotel’s menu was ridiculous; $7.5 for a bottle of water and $25 for a glass of wine! We just drank everything from the lounge. 🙂
The old city of Zurich was nice but it was not long before we were on our way to the airport.
Obliviously, we took the time to stop before our flight by the Primeclass Lounge for a little drink and lunch.
We had first entered the Aspire Lounge but could not even stay due to its proximity to the smokers area, the whole place stank. The food selection was lousy and the looks missed a little class.
After entering there for nothing, running out, and finding the next closest lounge near our gate, we ended up in the Primeclass which was beyond our expectations. With a wide variety of drinks, snacks, and hot meals, we were very happy with our visit.
Thanks to the American Express Platinum card, we get unlimited lounge visits so visiting two in a day did not bother us a bit.
On the plane to Bangkok, we got an extra seat for Baby and enjoyed a rather calm flight. She slept most of the way and we arrived at our destination at 6 A.M. the following day.
Cheers, Mr. and Mrs. Xyz