Bavarian Christmas Interlude 2018, Friday: Returning to Munich for the EuroLeague basketball game between Bayern München and Real Madrid.

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Diana and I visited Bavaria (Munich and Bamberg) just before Christmas. Prior to departure, there was a series entitled Munich Tales 2018. This is the fourth of seven installments summarizing what we did, saw, ate and drank. They’re being back-dated to the day we were there.

Previously: A one-night stand with my sweetie in much beloved Bamberg.
Next: The Christmas market at Chinesischen Turm in Munich’s Englischer Garten.

Who knew the world-renowned Weyermann malting house had a gift shop? Not this beer lover — and regrettably, we saw the bus advertisement in route to the train station to leave Bamberg for the return trip to Munich.

Breakfast at the Hotel Nepomuk was a kick.

Sandwiches and beers boarded the train with us. There’s nothing better than eating and drinking on a train.

I still enjoy watching a baseball or basketball game every now and then, and while there may or may not be a baseball league in Germany, one thing for certain is it wouldn’t be taking place in December. Fortunately …

New Albany has a pro basketball player right now: Braydon Hobbs, playing in Germany for FC Bayern München.

Once the legendary Steve LaDuke caught wind of our plan to attend the game on the 21st, he contacted Braydon, who arranged the VIP experience for us. I can’t thank both of them enough. Unfortunately, Braydon wasn’t on the active roster for the game, which was in the EuroLeague, not the Bundesliga (German national league).

Bayern plays in the Audi Dome, a few U-Bahn stops (and a short walk) southwest of the Hauptbahnhof. The arena seats 6,700 for basketball, and if the game against Real Madrid wasn’t a sellout, it was close.

Since we seldom indulge in “VIP” anything, it was fun to take advantage of unlimited beer and food before, during and after the game. Appropriately, the evening’s chef-driven menu was heavy on Spanish dishes. I hit the Paulaner tap early and often.

The game itself was excellent. The visitors, who perhaps are one of Europe’s best clubs, came out smoking in the first half, but Bayern tightened the defense after halftime and fought to within four points at one juncture late in the contest. Real Madrid pulled away in the last two minutes.

Braydon was interviewed in street clothes at halftime.

The halftime band was like Chicago with a female lead singer.

Four days down, only two to go; already I was panting for breath.

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