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Morning photo: Fountain festival in Munich

Serendipity in the Viktualienmarkt

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Playing with the big boys!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Finding a bustling market packed with fresh fruit and veggies is always a treat, and when it’s located in the heart of a major urban area, it’s a real score. Such is the case with the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany, where city residents mingle with tourists for shopping and even sit-down meals amidst the many vendor stalls.

Offerings at the market include mushrooms from near and far, wild forest strawberries from the Balkans, Greek cheeses and locally made sausages. Some locals bring their own white and blue-checked table cloths to decorate the tables under the shade of old chestnut trees. Sausages and pretzels are close at hand and big-handled liter steins of beer are ubiquitous.

Our visit this summer coincided with a festival held to celebrate the heritage of the many fountains in the market, erected to honor some of Munich’s cultural heros — poets, musicians and storytellers. At the peak of the summer harvest season, each fountain is lovingly decorated with bright flowers, and local singers and bands perform traditional songs nearby. It’s not really marketed as s big-time tourist event. We found out about the festival by reading the local newspaper, and for many market visitors, the event simply added a nice backdrop to their daily shopping or lunch routine. Continue reading

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