Friday, July 27, 2012

Fourth of Munich

MunichMunichMunichRiver Surfing in Munich, GermanyRiver surfing in Munich, GermanyA Surfer on the Eisbach River in Munich
Surfing in MunichMunichMunichMunichMunichMunich
Store in Munich that sells colorful feltMunichMunichMunichMunich Rathaus and GlockenspielMarienplatz in central Munich
Munich GlockenspielMunichElaborate May-pole in MunichMunichMichael Jackson shrine in MunichMunich
Munich, a set on Flickr.
We could have celebrated with hot dogs, beer and fireworks on the Army base but instead we skipped the festivities and opted for a day trip to Munich.

Hopefully it will be one of many trips to the city, and we'll be able to explore more. On this trip we stopped first at the Biergarten in Englischer Garten where we enjoyed oversized pretzels, beer and some sandwiches I'd packed. We could have lingered there all day and enjoyed the German band that was playing in the Chinese Pagoda, and of course more beer, but since I hadn't been to the city since 1992, I was curious to see if I'd remember any of it and how much it'd changed. Turned out I didn't remember much at all, except for the famous Glockenspiel that every tourist to Munich visits.

We headed toward the Marienplatz, where the Glockenspiel is located, but first I had to witness the river surfing. Yes, surfing on a river. About a half dozen young men in wet suits took turns hopping from the banks of the Eisbach River onto their surfboards to ride the wild rapids that form on the river just after a bridge. Apparently people have been surfing here for 40 years but 2 years ago Munich made it legal to do so.

From the bridge over the Eisbach River we walked toward Marienplatz, passing through the Hofgarten. We had mssed the last show of the Glockenspiel (11 am but also noon and 5 pm in the summer) but perhaps we'll catch it another time. I do remember that I saw it 20 years ago - about all I can tell you is that characters come out and twirl around and music plays. I'm sure there's a Youtube video of it out there.

On our way back to Englischer Garten where the car was parked, we stopped to see a huge memorial to Michael Jackson. We don't know why there is such a huge memorial to him - it takes over the statue commemorating a Bavarian musician. At any rate, it was somewhat amusing to read the heartfelt messages and see the items left by his fans. It was certainly impressive to see such an expression of adoration. I don't know if there was a special connection he had with the city, other than probably playing concerts there.

Munich is about 2-3 hours away, depending on traffic, or more accurately the amount of construction on the autobahn that causes the traffic. We'll be back, I hope.

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