Flying overnight from Atlanta, our first stop on a river cruise adventure with Abercrombie and Kent (A&K) is Munich, Germany, a place I had done little more than make flight connections through before. Normally taking a direct route to the hotel or cruise ship after a sleepless overnight flight, I did things a bit differently this time and hit the ground in Munich running.
The subject of an upcoming post and secret of getting off a 9 hour flight, dropping luggage at the hotel then heading out on a mission of discovery, here’s the short version that worked for me: A plan that enabled just carry-on luggage, nothing checked; a special in-flight meal; no alcoholic beverages; a certain must-have seat location in coach and a special criteria for making airline reservations. Details soon.
A Tour Before The Tour
One very nice part of having only carry-on luggage is that nothing can possibly be lost and there is no wait for luggage after flying. That put me ahead of schedule arriving in Munich and allowed time for my A&K driver to take the long way to historic Hotel Torbrau in the city center. On the way, we passed a number of impressive buildings, any with important roles in Nazi Germany, many tributes to those affected by the Nazi movement.
Hotel Torbrau itself, arguably along the lines of Venice‘s Gritti Palace, less the canals is the oldest hotel in Munich, opening in 1490 as the Thalor-Herberge. The hotel, the area it is in, the feel of the place begged me to be out on the street, enjoying the cool early summer day. It’s just one of those “you can sleep when you die” moments when I dropped my luggage in a nicely appointed room, grabbed breakfast in the hotel restaurant and started exploring. That the Hotel Torbrau is easy walking distance of the renowned Marienplatz as well as many other popular tourist attractions and city markets sealed the deal. Out on the street I went, capturing the images you see in this photo gallery.
With Us All The Way
I asked our A&K regional guide Gabor Kovacs, on hand to greet me in the lobby of the hotel, which way to go. Rather than a complicated set of detailed directions, his job today was easy. Pointing out the front door of the Hotel Torbrau he said “That way” and proceeded to rattle off a list of attractions within a 7 or 8 minute walk that could take days to fully explore.
Initial impression of the Abercrombie & Kent experience: Extremely well organized, high-quality target attractions, work with and employ intelligent and resourceful people.
Quick example: This is one of those hotels where you turn in the key to your room as you leave and pick it up upon returning. The front desk people instantly know the names of guests, ask if they can help with directions upon leaving, see them coming back and have the key ready to place in their hand as they approach the front desk. Impressive.
Another example: I arrive at the hotel, on hand is our above mentioned A&K guide Gabor who will be with our group of just 13 travelers throughout the adventure. He has already checked me in to the hotel and has a packet of information including a menu for the restaurant we will have dinner in tonight, a map of the city, an updated itinerary with day by day details and internet passwords to get online right away.
More impressive: This is the first four hours.
Better images- see our Exposure Storybook: On Location: Munich, Abercrombie & Kent Style