I went on a little trip to Munich in July. It was my first time there and I was quite excited about it (and also to escape the not-always-summery weather in the Netherlands). The weather in southern Germany was certainly summery as expected and I appreciated that greatly, even if the heat left me sapped of energy in the afternoons.
I shall admit that the first two things that came to mind while planning my trip were FC Bayern München and BMW. So let’s get them out of the way.
I went to the Allianz Arena one morning to have a look at it. The stadium was impressive – one could see it in the distance from the metro station. Unfortunately, outside match times one isn’t able to walk around the stadium because of a long fence blocking the way. Regardless, I got a fairly accurate sense of its scale.
Later in the week I spent an afternoon touring the BMW museum, production plant and BMW Welt. This one I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the tour of the plant. We got to see how panels were welded together and how the cars were painted.
The museum showcased the company’s history and, if you drive a 3 Series, you’d be happy to note that there’s an exhibit of every iteration of the series – from the very first 3 Series to the one sold today. They even have the car (model forgotten) formerly owned by Elvis Presley while he was on military duty in Germany. It was restored over the course of three years and is now on display.
And now back to Munich, Germany’s 14th richest city.
One thing that really impressed me was the metro network. Despite being old, it was clean and very well maintained. The trains looked good both on the inside and outside (I thought they looked like restored vintage metro trains). I was so impressed that I decided it wasn’t important to make any photos of the metro, so here’s a photo of Marienplatz instead.
Close to Marienplatz is another square whose name I’ve forgotten. I can’t be bothered to google for it, but in the summer they organise an outdoor concert where some orchestra – the Münchner Philharmoniker, maybe – plays in the ‘hall’ facing the square. Anyway, here’s the square as viewed from where the orchestra would perform.
Now, the right side of this square leads to the Hofgarten, which further leads to the Englischer Garten. The latter garden – park, really – is lovely and rather large. If one were to walk through that park, one might eventually get to a place where people can be seen surfing (yes, with boards, wetsuits and all). Surfing in the middle of a large city – that’s something to remember!
The Hofgarten itself is well kept and it’s nice walking through the paths and admiring the plants and flowers.
Much of my time in Munich was spent walking around and exploring the city centre. About the most cultural thing I did was attend a performance of the musical Cats, performed by some company from London if I remember correctly.
This being summer, I spent an ungodly amount of money on ice cream. Very good ice cream, in fact. And the parlour I bought mine from was generous with the size of its scoops, unlike a certain one from the eastern side of Utrecht (where I live). It’s rather pleasant, actually, walking around a city while enjoying some frozen cream mixed with sugar.
The other food item I consumed plenty of in Munich was meat. White sausage, pork knuckle, speck, more sausage – it felt good to resupply my body with protein after a long day of walking.
Munich was fun. And its food was tasty. (You’ll just have to take my word for it since there aren’t any food photos in this post.) Plus, I enjoyed seeing and listening to how the German spoken there differs from the German spoken further up north.