The quest to catch up the blog continues. Here is an entry covering my short time in Munich, Germany.
After Salzburg, I arrived in Munich, Germany, the predominant city of the region of Bavaria. I have heard that Bavaria is the Texas of Germany. This raises the question of what Texas city Munich is (maybe Austin).
In Munich I stayed at “the Tent”, which is just that; a large tent (actually there are several tents) set up each summer that hold hundreds of cheap beds inside. The place is something of a cross between a hostel and a campground, and I wasn’t expecting much from it, but the facilities are surprisingly good. Although it is not by the city center, there’s a tram stop nearby so you can easily reach the main part of town. For me the best part of the Tent is that there was an outdoor clothesline that anyone could use, so I took the opportunity to do all my laundry there (domestic adventures, hurray).
After setting out all of my laundry, I took the tram back to near the Munich train station and walked down a pedestrian street towards Marienplatz, the main square of Munich. Along the way I paid a visit to Frauenkirche, a brick medieval church with onion domes. I was planning on climbing the church’s south tower to get views of Munich, but the tower was closed for repairs when I was there. Moving on, I came to Marienplatz. There’s a large Gothic building on the square that I figured was either a cathedral or government building, but when I went in I only found restaurants in the inner courtyard, so I’m not sure what it is for. After looking around the square for a bit, I continued down the pedestrian street until it ended and then kept going along a regular street until I hit the river that runs through town. Like many other rivers I’ve seen, Munich’s had a few islands in it and I checked out one as I moved north along the river. I continued alongside the river, checking out an open church along the way, until I got to a street called MaximillionstraBe (sorry, I’m not sure how to make one of those German upper-case B’s that are a double S). Going left (west?) along the road I walked over to near the Residenz, and then went up to the square next to it. The Residenz was the Munich estate of the dukes of Bavaria, who ruled the land back when Germany was made up of a hundred small nation-states. I would have taken the tour of the Residenz, but with my limited time so I had to keep moving. Near the Residenz is a large baroque church that I looked in, and then I passed through the Hofgarten (a park that used to be the garden of the Residenz) to reach the English Garden. The English Garden is really a very large municipal park, supposedly the largest city park in the world. There I got to see Munich’s river surfers, who surf an artificial wave that exists in one of the streams that runs through the park. The surfers try to ride the wave as long as possible – until either they fall off their board or until the water pushes them over the crest of the wave. Some of these surfers are quite good and actually throw and leap onto their boards to land on the wave. After watching these people for awhile, I explored the park a bit further. If you ever come to Munich’s English Garden, be aware that you might see some scattered FKK (nude sunbathing) going on. A ways into the park, I came to one of Munich’s main beer gardens, which strangely has a Chinese pagoda in it. As many of you know, I don’t like the taste of beer, so I didn’t drink anything there. At that point the day was about over so I caught a tram back to the pedestrian street that leads to Marienplatz and then walked along it to the other end and then caught a tram back to the Tent.
That was all for Munich. I had only one full day there, but I feel I saw a decent amount of the city. From there I went to Prague, in the Czech Republic, which will be the subject of the next post. I am typing this from Krakow, Poland, and should be able to get at least that Prague update added to the blog before I leave here.