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Bavaria is a region that is full of delicious ales and hearty meals, according to Kiwi ex-pat Nicholas Halsall. Why did you decide to relocate to Germany? The first time I moved to Germany was to Munich to work for the sports organization that I worked for. I now live in Germany with my husband and son. The earthquake struck in February 2011 the family was on holiday in Christchurch, New Zealand visiting our family and friends. We needed to alter our plans and eventually stayed in Germany. We were able to make the choice to move from our apartment in central Munich to Andechs the beautiful Bavarian village located about 40 minutes from central Munich. It was a better choice for our son’s education. What do you do in Andechs? I am currently the marketing and sales manager for Europe and the Middle East for Contiki. It’s a youth-oriented travel company. What do you like or dislike about life there? Contiki was established in Europe by an Australian. I feel blessed to be able to do what I do and where I do it. Oktoberfest is always a blast and I enjoy attending summer celebrations and events. There are times when winter is a time of up to seven months of winter snow. This isn’t my favorite thing to do. How do the costs of living compare with New Zealand? Pretty good. Germany is blessed with an outstanding health system. Most people are able to buy food and drinks, even if they’re on welfare. Although the rent in Munich is higher than other cities, this is more common across Europe. All utilities are reasonably priced, including petrol, electricity and gas. What do you do during weekends? Andechs is located in Funfseenland in the Five Lakes District. It’s clear that there are five lakes within the vicinity, so swimming in summer is very popular. It also sits at the top of a hill and located in a forest, so I love going out and running, whether in sun or snow. It takes me some time to trim the lawns. What do you think about the food? Bavaria is known for its many variations of pork and potato. So you can’t get a better pork knuckle than a huge one with potato salad (schweinshaxe and Kartoffelsalat). But, I must admit that when we have sunshine (and sometimes, not) I try and barbecue. What is the most efficient way to travel? Munich and Bavaria are easy to reach. Undergrounds and overland trains will be frequently accessible and operate according to schedule. Munich centre itself is quite compact and nice to stroll around. How is the shopping? Munich shopping is absolutely amazing. Tourists flock to Munich for the shopping. What is the nightlife in Munich like? Munich’s nightlife has a variety of. There are traditional beer halls that are enjoyable and must-sees. Also, there’s KultFabrik, which is Europe’s largest nightclub and entertainment area after the closing of the beer halls. What is your favourite area in Munich? It’s Andechs my home town. All the advantages of village life are available however, we are 40 minutes away from Munich’s 1.2 million inhabitants. What time of year is the most ideal time to visit? Munich is certainly a city that has two seasons. The Christmas season is filled with markets, Mulled Wine (gluhwein) and ski, and summer is the time for beer gardens and cuisinart bbq grills. Also , in summer, each town or village holds its own annual festival (volksfest). My preference is July through September, specifically for the summertime lifestyle. What’s your favorite activity for tourists? Bavaria, Germany and Munich are all well-known for their beer gardens. It’s impossible not to enjoy the pleasure of drinking delicious beers, eating exquisite food in a picturesque location, and experiencing “gemutlichkeit”, a term used to describe characteristics unique to German culture and Germans. Your top travel tips for tourists: One of the favourite days on my calendar is when I am able to go on the Flossfahrt. In the time when Munich was being constructed the city was built, they made use of huge wooden rafts built along the Isar River. They could carry everything that was required. When the journey, the rafts are removed and the timber was used to construct the city. This day we follow the classic route of the river that runs from Wolfratshausen up to Munich. There are about 50 passengers aboard the raft as well as food, beer and a group of four. It takes around eight hours and is great fun. The raft needs to be removed at the endof the day, along with the wood used to build Munich. And my town Andechs is known for its Benedictine monastery that actually holds relics from Christ. Andechs is the only one that makes use of German Purity Laws to brew beer (called Reinheitsgebot), is most well-known for its beers and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the Austrian Alps. What is the easiest way to travel back to New Zealand? There are a variety of flight options which make it easy.

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