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Published: April 17th 2012
Please read on if you fancy reading some deep thoughts or as Michelle put it "what kind of nonsense are you talking", but before all that I'll tell you how we got to that point........
My first impressions of Munich were of great joy and for a very simple reason. The great people of Munich know how to use an escalator. Somewhere along the line the unwritten rules (written in some places) got lost and never made it to the part of Germany I currently reside in. You see, everywhere I've been the "unwritten rule" is, that you stand to the right and let people who want to move fast go up the empty
left hand side. Where I currently live everyone piles on both sides and you just have to wait. If you’re in a rush to make a connecting train, late for work or just generally in a hurry, this can be extremely infuriating. There is only so many times you can say Entschuldigung (excuse me). So I was pleasantly surprised that I could breeze up the left hand side, stress free and unhindered towards my next adventure, sightseeing in Munich.
Our guide book had a few
helpful itineraries for 1, 2 & 3 days. After plying our way through Munich’s beer houses the previous day we only had a day and a half left. It’s always nice to see as much as possible as you never know when you'll be back to a place or even if you ever will. We decided to use the open top bus as a means of transport and also while you are on them, they are an interesting source of history and information. Due to the weather conditions the open top was a closed top and thankfully so. The previous days snowfall might have lifted but the temperature certainly hadn't. After identifying what stops we would like to get off at over breakfast we made our way to pick up point No.1.
It was tough but we got the upstairs front windows on the double decker. A few kids may have been injured in the process but in this world only the strongest survive. Actually we were the only two on the bus but if there were kids, let them be warned. We waited awhile as we were a little early before a few more tourists got on. Our
first stop was to see Residenz. A palace located in the centre of Munich and the biggest in any city in Germany. It was home to Bavarian monarchs and badly destroyed during WWII. Restored by the early 1980’s it’s well worth the visit to see the treasury and the rooms of the palace. After a long walk around the palace (that sometimes feels like you’re in a maze) we skipped getting the bus and made our way to Marienplatz to see the Glockenspiel, a merry go round of dancing figurines high up in the beautiful building of the city hall. Tourists gather in large numbers to witness this but before it ends it kind of fizzles out and people go back to their business. Lunch time came and some more Bavarian food was needed. The longer I’m here in Germany the more I’ve realised that their food is designed around surviving winter. It’s meaty, tasty, hearty and warm and comes in portion sizes that ensure those extra few pounds are going nowhere. There is absolutely nothing fancy looking about it but it sure tastes good. We shared a table with a French couple and two Americans. That’s what you do
here. You just grab a seat. Nothing fancy.
We still had a lot to do so we got back on the bus before long. We did stop to see another palace outside Munich but only to see from the outside. We had more important historical sites to see. BMW World, A futuristic designed building that in no way copied the Star Ship Enterprise. We didn’t go to the Museum but did have a look through its show house which was the size of a small shopping centre. A quick coffee re-load, we moved to the opposite side of the road to the Olympic park (Munich 1972). We had a look around but other than saying we were there, it doesn’t hold much interest (for me anyway). Our tour was nearly over but we had one more stop. The Allianz Arena, home to Bayern Munich and the lesser known 1860 Munich. This year it holds the Champions League Final and as I write Bayern are in the semi-finals of that competition. That evening we went to a recommended restaurant with promises of Bavaria’s finest sausages. I ordered the special plate which contained a little bit of every sausage. Again what
landed in front of me looked in no way appetising. The potato salad was luke warm and looked like someone over boiled the spuds and put it on the plate with the water and all, but by god did it all taste good. I told Michelle I was all sausaged out and that would be the end but I knew well and truly tomorrow would come and I would hunt down another Bratwurst.
The next day was really the highlight of the trip for me. We visited the Deutsches Museum. A museum of science. A playground for boys and girs (pc) of all ages. Now, science is kind of boring (well some elements
are anyway!) but this museum was the museum to beat all museums. We had three hours. The guide book gave it 2-4hrs. In reality it needs a few days. This was six floors of toys. Fighter jets, Helicopters, full sized boats, a coal mine built into the basement 3 floors under that was so real and life like you couldn’t tell the difference, a section dedicated to Mecanoo & Lego sets, film & photography, astronomy, agriculture, the list goes on. The section on the aircraft was
one of the most interesting and also when I started to think deeply. There was a huge area dedicated to plane engines. All were without casing so that you could see inside them. I started to wonder what kind of great minds came up with the ideas and then designed them. They were so intricate and detailed. Tubes, pipes & fans cut and shaped to carry out a job. Each curve, each piece of metal designed in a way to lift a giant weight off the ground. Of course Michelle brought me back down to earth again but I couldn’t help but be amazed. The next moment of deep thinking came in the film & photography section. I got watching a small screen of homemade videos from 1901 to 1978. It got me thinking about one of the greatest inventions of all time. The Television. For me, a man of simple intelligence, I was baffled at how it could be done. Imagine a world without TV. Where it’s not even a thought. Then someone sits you down and shows it to you. The first people to have witnessed it must have been truly amazed. Nothing amazes people anymore. Ya we
say wow and think how cool new inventions are but to take something real life and put it into motion on a screen is and was truly amazing. Everything else that has followed was just an update in technology. As I tried to explain this to Michelle she brought me back down to earth again with a quick look that said “what are you on about”. The raised eyebrows, the rolling eyes. You know the look. The Deutsches Museum is an incredible place. Somewhere where science is fun and where every boy or girl (pc) who dreamed of being a fighter jet pilot, astronaut, or even a coal miner could live out his or her (pc) fantasies, if only for 3 hours.
Munich had been a blast. Three days of food, beers, sights, sounds and even some deep thinking. My favourite and even though the Deutsches Museum was incredible was the escalators. You see, a man of simple intelligence.
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
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