Saturday, December 29, 2012

The bubbly American and the Englischer Garten

A Walking tour is a great way to see some of the sights, get a better feel for the city you are in and to get some history and info about where you are.  We headed for the Hauptbahnhof at 10am to meet up with the Sandmans Walking Tour.  It’s a ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ type setup and was fantastic.  Our guide was an ex-pat American teacher who has lived/studied/taught in Munich for 3 years.  Full of funny stories and a great communicator, she led us on a 2.5hr tour of the main sights. 

Starting at the Neo Gothic New Town Hall with its Glockenspiel and then to the exceptionally beautiful Frauenskirche with its Devils Footprint.  Next stop was the new Synagogue the the Viktualienmarkt (City Market) with the big Maibau (Maypole is the closest translation) and the dozens of stalls selling all kinds of fresh food, fruit, cheese, meats etc as well as really beautiful florist stalls.  Off then, to Maximillianstrasse – the uber expensive shopping street where women wear real Louis Vutton scarves and probably D&G undies!  Round the corner from Jimmy Choo was the Residenz and the Field Marshal’s Hall and across the road to the amazing Theatinerkirche with its rococo interior.  We paid 10euro each and this was an absolute bargain!

Our original plan had been to do the walking tour in the morning and to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp in the afternoon, but by the time we finished the tour it was almost 1.30pm and we still had to stop for lunch.  Finding somewhere to sit and eat lunch in the centre of Munich is not easy… Germans either eat on the run or stand at little tables.  Conscious of Tony’s leg (we had walked a LOT) I wanted to find somewhere we could sit & have lunch.  We wasted the best part of an hour looking for somewhere … seems hundreds of others had been looking for the same thing and had beaten us to every available seat so we finally returned to the little cafĂ© we had been to yesterday. 

By this stage it was too late to go to Dachau and really too late also to visit the Residenz (it needs about 3hours) so Lauren headed off do a spot of shopping and Tony & I headed for the Resizenz Garden and then the Englischer Garden.  This green space on the edge of the city centre is massive – something like 5km long and provides the good people of Munich somewhere to walk, sunbathe (in summer apparently you need to avoid the nude sunbathers) walk the dog and surf… yep, there is a part of the river with an artificial surf break.  We saw lots of dogs, lots of people but thankfully no surfers or nude sunbathers even though the weather was a balmy 10degrees!

So tomorrow we’ll visit Dachau in the morning and the Residenz in the afternoon. 

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