As ale-culture gospel doth decree, Munich and beer go hand-in-stein.
Germany’s third-largest city is world-famous for its hallowed Oktoberfest when, at the height of the annual festivities, it hosts some seven-million visitors. The thirsty troupes start filtering through the Munich Airport in late September and overflow the beer halls as swiftly as a quickly-poured Hofbräu. For those whose preferences slant towards a watering hole with more solace, rewind the clock to Munich’s summer months. The plates of pretzels and pork sausages still abound, the one-litre steins of ale freely flow, and München’s historic streets bustle with a more relaxed atmosphere.
Lufthansa’s views fall right in line with this notion and, this past May, the airline inaugurated a new Vancouver (YVR) to Munich (MUC) flight path. “As a German company, we are very conservative and always economizing,” says Tamur Goudarzi-Pour, the director of network planning for the Lufthansa hub in Munich. “The Vancouver-to-Munich connection is the only long-haul route Lufthansa added in 2013, so all eyes are on this one.” During this premiere year, the route is available until October, and will resume in either March or May 2014 for the summertime demand. Incoming Germans have long had a soft spot for British Columbia’s natural wilderness, while outbound Canadians often pair a trip to Munich’s cultural capital with an accelerated zip down the autobahn through the Bavarian Alps to visit the opulent countryside castles of King Ludwig II, and the traditional towns, such as historic Oberammergau.
“At the moment, the demand is still asymmetric,” notes Goudarzi-Pour of Lufthansa’s seasonal service. “But it will become year-round eventually, I’m sure.” For now, a cold pint in one of Munich’s gloriously green parks is hard to top, and the biggest biergarten of them all, called Hirschgarten, seats around 8,000 patrons, so invite a few friends along for the flight.
Munich images provided by Munich Tourism.