Two days in Munich
14 April, 2014
The Englischer Garten is the biggest park in the city and as the weather was fine we decided to spend the morning there, along with what seemed to be most of the residents of Munich. At the entrance to the park there is a bridge over the River Eisbach on which surfers take advantage of the strong current and resulting waves to practice their sport. It’s great fun watching them, seeing how they organise themselves, waiting for their turn to jump in and do their balancing act.
The park has huge boulevards and other areas full of trees criss-crossed by streams so it’s very relaxing to going for a walk around and crossing the bridges. In the middle of the Englischer Garten you find the Chinese Tower Biergarten. People can take their own food along to the beer gardens but as we didn’t take anything we bought sausages from a stall.
We carry on walking through the park and head for one of the side exits. There we find another small biergarten that caught our attention because they had put a ski lift cabin on their terrace in which you sit to have your coffee. We thought it was a really original idea.
We took Hohenzollernstraße; we wanted to go to a place we’d been recommended by Laurel Robbins on monkeysandmountains.com. This is a restaurant in which they serve potatoes with more fillings that you could possibly imagine.
You can find all types of shops in Hohenzollernstraße: fashion designers, antique shops, shoe shops… The Lili & Milou shop window is full of really original children’s clothes and games.
Unfortunately Kartoffelhaus was closed, more than likely because we had spent too long wandering in the park. We were still not used to German eating hours and the time at which we arrived was probably far better suited to having dinner rather than lunch.
Luckily, we found a place very close by that we really liked, the Schwabinger Wassermann at No. 82 Herzog Street. The idea of being in a street dedicated to the Munich director and producer Werner Herzog also really appealed to us because we’re huge fans of his films. This man drove his entire team mad as a result of his strong character. For the film Fitzcarraldo, he had a 320-ton steamship hauled up a hill rather than resort to special effects.
As we didn’t really know what the German words on the menu meant, we ordered a Thai dish by pointing to what the girl at the next-door table was eating. It looked really tasty and the end result was really hot but incredibly tasty.
The photo shows the dish we were served garnished with red chilli pepper. One thing we will remember the next time we eat something with chilli in it is to make sure we don’t rub our eyes after handling it. The sting in the eye is just the same as on the tongue with the inconvenience that you can’t have a drink to relieve the pain.
Next day, we decided to pay a visit to the centre of the city. The Marienplatz square stands at the heart of Munich with its impressive City Hall, the Peterskirche and the Frauenkirche with their characteristic green cupola adorning the church towers.
The Viktualienmarkt market is very close to the historic centre and its spectacular colours make you stop at each little stall. On one of the side streets are butchers selling all sorts of German sausages and delicious smoked meats. Stalls are distributed all around the maypole in the square offering attractive displays of fruit, vegetables, cheeses and Christmas decorations.
The most popular stall in the entire market was a small log cabin where they served Glühwein Haferl, hot wine with cinnamon and lemon served in little Christmassy china cups. Hand on heart we have to admit that the first sip didn’t go down too well but the taste grows on you as you drink more, apart from the fact that it also warms you up.
We continued on our way to Vits in Rumfordstraße 49, a delicious coffee shop recommended to us by Laurel. They say they serve the best coffee in city here and they aren’t wrong!
Of all the bars in Munich, the recommendation had been not to visit the famous Hofbrauhaus; it’s the one the Germans don’t go to because it’s too touristy. However, as we passed the door – to be honest by chance – we could not resist the temptation of going inside. Sitting at one of the shared tables near the door, we watched groups of tourists going into a small room in which regular clients left their beer glasses, kept under lock and key. When these clients went to the bar, they collect their glass and give it a rinse. It’s easy to tell who the regulars are as they generally come decked out in characteristic Bavarian hats and lederhosen.
In the Odeonsplatzse we found the Tambosi coffee shop, one of the oldest in town. The weather had already turned chilly and on the terrace, where a classical music concert was taking place, people were sitting outside wrapped up in red blankets.
They say that if you touch the noses of the lions on the door of the Münchner Residenz, the former royal palace of the kings of Bavaria, you will have good luck, but only if your touch is light, almost a stroke. If you touch them for too long, you will get the opposite effect. Normally these types of superstitions are usually only observed by tourists, but we can assure you that in this case, the people of Munich themselves are the most rigorous followers of tradition.
Munich was home to the Olympic Games in 1972 and it’s worth paying a visit to its Olympic Village, the Olimpiastadion with its irregular-shaped glass canopy.
Apart from being a sports venue, the Munich Olympic Stadium hosts lots of concerts and many of the artists that have performed there have left their signatures in the cement, just like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can find signatures from Metallica, REM, Kiss, Genesis, Aerosmith, Bryan Adams, Carlos Santana and Roger Waters just to name but a few of those that we can remember. It’s a walk through the history of music.
By Mónica Hidalgo on seriebcn.net
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14 April, 2014