After a half day in Berlin, we hopped the train to Wittenberg, only 40 minutes away, and dragged our luggage straight over to the Lutherhaus, the domicile of Wittenberg’s most famous resident, Martin Luther. His former house and university building now boasts a very informative and interactive museum about the man who single-handedly began The Reformation, a religious, cultural, and political revolution in every sense of the world. they have his robe, pulpit, and living room on display, but even more interesting are the smaller touches of his story, from how the rather new printing press and his painter allies Cranach the Elder and Younger’s illustrations made his message accessible to the common man, or how he got “unexpectedly married” to a former nun to his for the time unique stance on women’s education (It should exist!) He led a truly incredible life.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it for sights in town, outside of the town square with its old town hall and two extremely old cathedrals, both unfortunately undergoing renovations for 2017’s 500 year Luther Anniversary spectacular. Thankfully, though, the All Saint’s Church door with Luther’s 99 Theses was still accessible, as were his and fellow reformer Philipp Melanchthon’s graves inside it, surrounded by scaffolding.
Since Wittenberg is a short entry, now’s probably the time to tackle German food and, of course, beer. Both are… great. Pretty much everywhere in Germany you can get cheap sandwiches, kebabs, and more kinds of pretzel than I’ve ever seen for an on-the-go snack or meal. You can also get great sausages and brats, of course. In Berlin, currywurst, a sausage split open and served with fries, all covered with curry powder and ketchup, is the way to go, and I had a straight up amazing Thuringian bratwurst and an excellent frikadellen (a type of fried meatball) as well.
In Wittenberg, we had an awesome kebab pizza (there’s great Turkish food practically everywhere there) and a huge schnitzel (breaded pork or veal cutlet) complete with paprika and fried egg. Beer-wise, while Belgium is still the gold standard, Germany is also a paradise. In Berlin and Wittenberg, we had some excellent Purity Law pilsners and lagers, my favorite probably begin the malty, robust Rothaus Pils.
Munich, though… was a whole other level. I’ll talk about what we saw there in my next post, but honestly our main concern was hitting up as many of the Big Six Breweries (Augustiner, Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbrau, Paulaner, and Lowenbrau) biergartens and bierhauses as possible. We arrived just after Octoberfest, but beer time is all the time in Munich, and plenty of Octoberfest Marzens (the stronger, maltier brew specially made for this time of year) on tap. I’ll get into exact comparisons next time as I chart our beer odyssey, but will say that the food was just as amazing. It’s all about the park, from crispy suckling pig and pig knuckle to huge chunks of fried pork back in gravy with salty pretzels, from potato dumplings, and sauerkraut and creamy red cabbage on the side.
I also have to give a final shout out to what constituted breakfast in Munich. Weissbier (wheat beer) was traditionally only consumed until noon in Munich, with a switch to darker brews for lunch and after. Yep, Blue Moon is a breakfast beer. Along with your beer, a soft, delicious Munchner Weisswurst (white pork sausage) with a pretzel is the way to go. Like I said, Munich. is. awesome.