Friday, June 27, 2008

Munich Run Around

Janet arrived this morning, all smiles from her delightful flight over the Atlantic. Well, maybe not. But she was smiling about something. Could it be seeing me? I greeted her with a cold bottle of Evian, a rose, and a couple of croissants. I think she appreciated all three. I drove her back to the hotel, where she unpacked and freshened up. Then, in true whirl wind weekend fashion, we headed for Munich city center to take in as many sights as we could.

We started with a visit to St. Peter's church, near the Marianplatz. Then we walked over to the Marianplatz, which is in the heart of Munich, and the location of the Rathaus (city hall). The Rathaus has a glockenspeil that plays 3 times a day, but we managed to miss all 3.

Janet by the Rathaus in Marianplatz

We visited the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of our Blessed Lady), the largest church in Munich. It is a major landmark, and its bell towers are recognized in almost every commercial picture of Munich.

Frauenkirche bell tower

From the Frauenkirche, we walked to the Hofbrauhaus. Originally a brewery, it is now a famous beerhall/restaurant/beergarden. We enjoyed a 0.5l of beer and a big soft pretzel there as an afternoon snack.

Enjoying beer and pretzels at the Hofbrauhaus

After that we walked to the Englisher Garten, a large city park in the middle of Munich. It is larger than Central Park in New York. It's very pretty, and has a rapid stream running through it, where we saw something I'd never heard of before: river surfing. There is a point where the water enters the park from under a bridge and creates a standing wave that some young men were actually surfing on. There are plenty of wide open green spaces in the park, one with a horse track where we saw riders actually running their horses.

From the English Garden, we went to the Odeonsplatz, a large beautiful square bordered by the Theatinerkirche. The Theatinerkirche is unique with its bright yellow exterior.

Yellow Theatinerkirche bell towers

Prominent in the Odeonsplatz is a large arched structure called the Feldherrnhalle. On the other side of the Odeonsplatz is the Hofgarten, another beautiful landscaped garden that we visited next. It contains a central domed structure where an excellent guitarist happened to be playing. We sat on the grass and listened for a while.

From the Hofgarten, we headed back to the center of town, and had dinner in an outdoor cafe in the middle of the Marianplatz. Janet enjoyed a tomato and mozzarella pizza, while I sampled some bavarian sausage and sauerkraut. We washed it down with some weinschorle, which I found out later is white wine mixed with soda water.

By the time we finished with dinner, it was after 9pm, so we headed back to the hotel. We stopped in the hotel lobby bar for a couple of drinks and some Apfelstrudel with ice cream. It seemed like a perfect finish to a long and busy day.

Tomorrow? Maybe Neuschwanstein.


Mary said...

You guys having a beer??? Will wonders never cease? Seeing Nueschwanstein was a wish fullfilled when we saw it in 1997. I hope you get to see it. Enjoying the sightseeing report.

Anonymous said...

Awww, I am loving reading your sightseeing.