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Published: June 12th 2016
Gretchen has all the logistics of getting to and from Munich worked out.
It is another beautiful day and we can keep the summer theme going with appropriate clothes for temperatures in the high 20’s again.
We must say that almost everywhere we have been on the BBA V3 the public transport system that has been available to take us places we don’t really want to take the car too has been outstanding. There have been buses in the most remote places we have been, and there have been a few of those. And trains haven’t been too far behind.
Today we are taking a bus to Wolfrathausen which is about 5 kilometres away and then the S Bahn train to the central station in Munich.
There seemed to be at least half a dozen bus routes that travel around the road adjacent to the apartment from the numbers on the poles at the bus stops. Where they all come from is any ones guess but they all end up at Wolfrathausen railway station.
The bus duly arrived on time and we purchased our all day ticket for up to 5 people for €22.30 and took
our seats. We could have got a few random people to join us and got ourselves a very cheap day out, had there been any random people around!
We had purposely delayed out departure until mid morning to avoid the morning rush of workers and students getting to their destinations.
The bus weaved its merry way through Geretsried giving us a tour of parts we hadn’t seen and then onto Wolfrathausen.
The train arrived in from Munich as the bus did and we took our seats but had to wait for 20 minutes before it departed taking us towards Munich. Wolfrathausen is the terminus for Line 7 of the vast S-Bahn and we have been warned that it is the only line that doesn’t terminate at the Central Station in Munich so when we return we must make sure that the train has Wolfrathausen on it or we could end up on the other side of the city!
All train rides are enjoyable or at least they are for one of our party. The other person counts the number of stations to our destination to make sure we get off at the right station although how
we could miss Hauptbanhof Munich is unlikely.
We had 15 stations ahead of us and initially the train passed by open fields and through forested areas with a reasonable distance between the stops which at first were small villages. Then the stops became more frequent as we got into the suburbs of Munich. The trains on the S-Bahn are electric and are very quiet and fast between stations and we covered the 30 odd kilometres in a little over 40 minutes.
Our first place to call at was the tourist office so we had a map of the inner city to make our way around easier. We found this, eventually as it wasn’t very well signposted, in Marienplatz, the principal square of the old part of the city.
The old city area has a wide pedestrian mall which makes for a very open feeling and with the buildings in the area at just 4 or 5 stories high that open feeling is added to.
We had made it to Marienplatz in good time for the midday performance of the Glockenspiel which is situated on the new Town Hall, which actually looks quite old.
people watch the Glockenspiel go through it performances every year and even today before the summer holiday season really picks up pace the plaza was fairly full of people all looking upwards waiting for things to start.
To keep passerby’s in the large open plaza entertained there was a guy dressed in traditional Bavarian garb; lederhosen etc, playing an accordion and singing tunes in German that made you tap your toes to the beat. Although you could hear him from a fair distance away in the vast plaza he stood on a small box and at times such was his involvement in the tune with the accordion opening out and closing quickly we thought he might have fallen off his perch.
He had it timed right though and just as the Glockenspiel started up he finished his tune.
We watched the figures on the Glockenspiel go through their routines for about 15 minutes and then it was all over and people began to disperse. It had been an interesting show and not one you can see in too many places around the world but at times there was something just not quite right with the music that
accompanied the movements.
Our next move was to find somewhere traditional for lunch and sort out a self guided walking tour for the rest of the afternoon. And there were plenty of places to choose from in Marienplatz or the pedestrian malls on either side.
We found ourselves a table on the pavement outside a beer hall that was serving local food and ordered a couple of half litres of beer which was brewed on site and their special of the day, meat loaf with a fried egg on top and potatoes salad. The beer was cold and the food was very tasty and filling.
We think we annoyed the chubby waiter in traditional shorts when we wanted to pay by card and he had just come out to the pavement from inside where the mobile machine was and had to go back and get it for us to pay the bill. That annoyance was probably doubled after he showed me to write the tip and I only added 5%.He was of course bloody lucky that he got anything from the BBA V3 travellers who do not add tips except for exceptional service!
We had planned
to take a walk around the outside of the old city to the English Gardens which would also take us along the River Isar which eventually finds its way to join the Danube.
With the afternoon temperature building it was a pleasant walk along the riverbank under the shade of trees.
This afternoon was going to be another of those times when you go off the beaten track and discover a surprise and today there was going to be 2 surprises as well as the things we thought we would probably see.
Munich is some hundreds of kilometres from the sea yet people still found a shingle beach on the River Isar to get down to their bikini or swimming shorts and sunbathe on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Well this is what we found at a point in the river where it split. A large number of people dressed as if they were at the beach were sunbathing. There was even one woman we saw get into the rather brown water and swim a short way before getting out. Perhaps she was a newcomer to the ‘day at the beach, when you are not actually at the
We walked on further in search of the English Garden which is a park just outside the old city established in 1789.The name refers to the informal type of garden/park that was popular in England at the time and the name has stuck although it would be interesting to know if it retained this name during WW2 especially when Munich was Hitler’s home base. We haven’t been able to trace an answer to that question anywhere.
We entered the park looking for a seat in the shade to rest and admire the area of the garden where the seat would be located.
However, before we could find a seat we found the second surprise of the day.
We had noticed earlier that where the sunbathers were on the shingle beach on the River Isar that part of the river seemed to divert off under the city.
We had entered the park where a stream ‘exploded’ out from a bridge over the road and the force of the water created waves that 10 or so people in wet suits and with a surf board were surfing’! Again here we are hundreds of kilometres from the
sea but there was an activity that you would usually only see in the ocean, going on!
We, like a large number of other people were spellbound by the antics of the surfers who to us seemed to risk live and limb in very fast moving water contained in a narrow channel where the only way out after you had performed your ride was to simply drop or roll off your board into the river flow and swim for a bank with your board tied to your ankle.
After 20 minutes or so of some great free entertainment we did head off to find a seat and rest up before tackling the final leg of our circuit back into the old city and to Marienplatz.
On the way back to the old city we did pass a very solid looking oblong building that was constructed as a model for buildings in the Nazi era which is now used as a museum. It had a rather cold and featureless look about it but had survived all these years.
We crossed through a beautiful garden area where people were sitting out enjoying the sunshine. The Hofgarten was originally
established as a private garden in 1613 for members of the Royal Court as the palace was nearby. To us this was another serene area right in the city where the locals and visitors alike could get away from the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the fence of hedging.
Our last stopping point was the Field Marshalls Hall built in 1841 by Ludwig 1st
.A rather ugly looking building it was the place where Hitler’s first attempt to seize power failed in the infamous Beer Hall Putsch of 1923.
We finally retraced our steps to Marienplatz and took one last look at what was going on in the plaza before a short wander through the Victuals Market where our interest in buying fresh strawberries was raised although we ended up buying them at a stall just away from the market at a lower price than what they were offered for in the marketplace.
By now our legs were weary and although we hadn’t covered quite all that there was to see we were satisfied with as far as we had got and so headed for the station and the train ride home in what was
now almost rush hour.
We didn’t have to wait long but we weren’t going to get any rest for our tired legs as the train was fairly full and it took a few stops before Gretchen managed to get a seat and a few more before I did. We were both grateful of the rest.
The bus ride home from the Wolfrathausen station was an exciting one in a ‘bendy bus’ (one of those buses that are twice the length of a normal bus and bend in the middle to get around corners).The driver must have either been late on his schedule or just wanting to show off his skills as we both had to hold on tight from falling into the aisle as he rounded corners at what seemed like break neck speed.
We ended off a long day out with pre dinner drinks again on the garden swing recounting all that we had done and seen on a very enjoyable and memorable day out in Munich.
Tomorrow we continue the Bavarian theme but from a small village in the Bavarian National Park close to the Czech Republic border.
PS: enjoy the video available
on Youtube and get in the swing of a day in Munich,Bavaria.You will be reaching for a cold beer before you know it!
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