Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Plains, trains & palaces

We spent the morning at the Deutsches Museum.  I’d originally thought we’d need a full day here after my brothers description but it turned out that he’s a mechanical nerd and I am not.  The museum is pretty amazing and if you’re into every kind of engine, machine, mechanical gizmo you’ll need a full day .. I went looking for the textiles exhibition and was quite disappointed … a display of various machines used to make fabric but not nearly enough fabric and absolutely no fabric in use (clothes etc) .. I’ve seen looms, spinning jennys etc before. 

The boats display and the flight part were great (except I have no earthly understanding of how a plane engine works) and the actual planes & boats on display were pretty cool.  Apparently they have collected so many planes, trains, & automobiles they needed a whole new area and have established a ‘campus’ somewhere else in Munich.

After lunch I ‘finally’ headed to the Residenz, paid my 11 euro and picked up the audio guide.  This palace complex is huge, and was the Royal Residence of the Kings of Bavaria for 400+ years but has been open to the public as a museum since 1920.  Full of jaw-droppingly amazing wall, ceiling & floor decorations (think gold, marble, tapestries) and some of the most OTT furniture you could ever imagine.  Royal apartments, receiving rooms, grand ball rooms & dining rooms (and enough silver to keep someone polishing for the rest of their life) Much of it was damaged during WW2 and has been reconstructed. Many of the ceiling paintings are now reconstructions but at its height, it would have been an extraordinary place to live (assuming you were royal rather than servant) There’s a room full of religious reliquaries (think bones of dead saints etc) and a treasury full of crowns and the other trappings of royalty – gold plates, regalia, travelling altars, even a royal toothbrush from the 1700s (made from lapis lazuli and gold!) 

On my way home I dropped in to Alois Dallmayer .. the ‘department’ store where the uber-wealthy Municher does their groceries… talk about feeling totally out of place!

Tomorrow is our last day in Munich and we’re off to Chiemsee to see Mad Ludwig’s palace on an island in the middle of a lake.

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