Published: July 13th 2009
July 12th 2009
Well today I spent the day in Munich. Getting from the airport to Munich centre was a little bit of an adventure as the airport is quite a way out of town. A bit like Heathrow really. And I was trying to do this really quite late at night. However I made it into the centre of town and then had to walk through what appeared to be the red light district of town, at 10:00pm at night with all the drunk and drinking men to reach my hotel. My hotel is lovely and is called Litty's Hotel. A very pleasant little establishment.
I only have one day in Munich before I head off to visit Rod and Jess down in Mudderfing so this morning I decided to do one of the free walking tours that are offered here in Munich. Well this was just brilliant. It is offered by the company called Sandemans New Europe tours and we had a guide called Jared who was an american that is living here in Munich doing his masters degree and he was just excellent. The tour started in Marienplatz and then took us all over the town to various sites. We
learnt all about Hitler and how he started his dubious political career here in Munich, how the third reich was mostly formed and started here, we saw where the ill fated attempt to overthrown the government in 1923 started, and ended with Hitler nearly being shot (his bodyguard took 11 bullets in protection of him). We learnt how Ocktoberfest came about ( the tradition started with the wedding feast of one of the king's of Bavaria where they were drinking wine, and only turned to be beer in the 1800;s). It was basically a totally amazing tour and I learnt an awful lot about the city of Munich.
One of the best stories that Jared told us was about the may pole that is in the centre of the square at the airport. Apparently there is a bit of a tradition that if a rival town can steal the may pole of a town then that town has to give the other town a big party in order for the other town to return the may pole. Now apparently in 2002 the may pole at the centre of the square at the Munich airport went missing. Obviously the airport
authorities were pretty disturbed about this because how on earth can a large may pole be smuggled out of an airport (especially after 911 and the increased security). So they called the airport security guys and asked if they saw what happened to the may pole. Now as it turns out because the airport is so far out of town it is actually closer to another town then it is to Munich, and a lot of the people who work at the airport actually live in this other town, especially the security staff.......and it was they who had stolen the may pole. Of course the airport authorities asked for it back, to which the security personal said one word, "party". Eventually they got their party and the may pole was returned to the airport.
I have to say that Munich is an amazingly beautiful city. I had no idea that it was this pretty. Everywhere I went there were delightful little streets and beautiful buildings (ableigt most of the buildings are reconstructions of buildings that were destroyed during the war). They also have the most beautiful park, Englischer Garten, that actually stretches from the centre of Munich out to
another town. This park is collosal and I had a most beautiful walk through it. There was even a naked man sunbathing in the park (who does that!)
Following my tradition of walking into random festivals in Germany today I seem to be in Munich while the Christopher Street Day celebrations are going on. Now I am not really sure what this means but I have a working theory that it is something to do with gay pride. Well at least it was in the area around Marienplatz. There seemed to be a lot of very gay looking men around and there were certainly more than a few very colorfully decorated transfestites about the place.
For some reason Munich also appeared to be the place where people wanted to talk to me. I had two groups of people stop me and ask me for directions (goodness only knows why I looked like I might know where I was going). I had a young guy on a bicycle stop me and ask me if I knew who the person walking in front of me was (apparently a nobel peace prize winning physicist) and then he cycled beside me and
talked to me for about 15 minutes, and then I had another guy in the Hofgarten come up and ask me for a kiss. It was all rather weird.
Tomorrow I am leaving the beauty of Munich to head down to Salzburg to meet up with Rod and Jess so we can go and yodel the sound of music in the hills around Salzburg.
There are more photos below