Travel Journal

Munich - what no Octoberfest in October!

(Monday 1 November 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 64-66 – 10/7-10/9/10 Munich
Our hotel is about 8 kilometer from the city center which is a bit of a hike but the room is okay. Naturally after unpacking we had to go to a beer hall. Hoffbrau House is a bit touristy (I doubt there were any local patrons in there) but we had a mug of beer and some wursts and chatted with our table mates who were also travelers.
Parking was a bit expensive downtown so we decided to take the metro the next morning. Julie got a lead on a Flohmarket (flea market) so we spent some time searching for tea cups before heading back to the city center.
St. Peterskirche is a grand church with a lavish interior. I paid a couple Euros to go down to the crypt to visit my buddy Ludwig II who rests there.
We walked around Marienplatz enjoying the Neues Rathaus although we were too late for the Glockenspiel which is the animated figures that parade around the clock at a couple times during the day. ]
We found a German Football Jersey which I have been hunting for since we got into this country but it was slightly different than the ideal one I wanted so I held off getting it. I could always get it later, right?
Next we did the Residenzmuseum which was in the palace used by the Bavarian rulers for 500 years. Again some ruler decided sea shells was the way to go and created a “grotto” indoors – hideous. The rest of the museum had lavishly furnished apartments, ceiling frescos, relics from saints, and an indoor theatre where we stumbled across some musicians practicing for a performance that evening.
The treasury held a vast array of priceless gems placed into all kinds of items. After a bit my mind got numb and locked up from all the wealth accumulated there.
We made our way through protestors, the Germans always seem to be protesting against something, and entered the Englisher Garden which I think is bigger than Central Park. I had read there was a Japanese Tea Ceremony performed on certain weekend and dragged Julie to it thinking it would be informative and fun. The narration was only in German and we were on an island with the only bridge locked so we sat there and smiled for an hour. I’m sure Julie will not let me forget this soon. Also the park has the artificial wave that surfers practice on that was featured on the Amazing Race
so we stop there for a few minutes before heading through the park which often has nude sunbathers. The Germans are hardy stock but there was no skin showing in this fifty degree weather. We ended up at the Chinese Tower and Beer Garden when Julie got some food and I some suds before heading back.
On Sunday we ventured out to Schloss Nymphenburg which was the royal summer house for the king of Bavaria.
Not set to impress or send a message to visitors, it is more subdued than other royal houses we’ve visited. The gallery of beauties reflects this as a more personal taste of Ludwig I where he hung portraits of beautiful women, sort of a pre-Playboy pinup room. Entrance here gives you access to several other buildings on the vast park so we spent several hours at the Royal Coach and Bridal museum which I’m sure Kathy would love, and several cottages and hunting lodges around the lake and forest.

We headed back into Munich to visit the Deutsches Museum with its large displays. It is more of a technological museum with full scale boats and hands on interactive displays.
I think Russell would have a blast running around here, Stephen might enjoy the pharmaceutical exhibit, and Dad would get a kick out of a surviving German jet plane from WWII. I convinced myself to buy the German jersey so, afterwards, we stopped by the store to find it closed. In fact almost all the stores close on Sundays here. Julie was feeling bad from the cold she got and trying to find cough medicine was impossible. The pharmacies were all closed and even the designated emergency pharmacy was not open! I did venture back out to the Glockenspiel for the 9PM show the guidebook promised but arrived in time for a quiet and almost empty square.


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