I’d been dying to visit Germany for years (which part of the world haven’t I though, really). I had been before, but I was about the age of 3 or 4 so my memory recall of the place was more than a little vague. My partner in particular was far too excited for the countless steins of beer and plates of pork knuckle and bratwurst he planned on consuming over our three days.
Why we decided to pick Munich in particular, you’ll discover in my next post.
After spending a fair amount of my travels in Europe, surrounded by age old architecture and preserved buildings, Munich was an entirely different experience. It’s much like a model town – with building facades and details painted on otherwise basic structures. It gives you a very small idea of just how much of the city was destroyed during the war (after which, Germany had little to no money for restructure, which is why it was a very basic rebuild). Very few pieces/buildings remain in their original form – two things that do still stand include two tall and rather beautiful towers that rise up from the Munich Frauenkirche, both with copper caps/turrets. However, the reason these were kept didn’t stem from admiration, but rather so that planes flying over could see just where the city was and knew where to release bombs (tracking/navigation equipment not being what it is today).
There are also quite a few homages/reminders of war and peoples small revolts against the Nazi regime to be found as you wander the streets. My personal favourite is a small number of gold painted bricks down a quiet side alley, down which people walked so as to avoid Nazi soldiers and having to salute before entering the Odeonsplatz square. The soldiers cottoned on to what was happening and closed this street off, however these bricks exist in memory of those that, even in the smallest way, defied what was a horrible regime and ruling under Hitler.
Outside of yet another fantastic Sandemans New Europe tour, we spent our time sitting under chestnut trees in beer gardens enjoying the absolute best German beers, eating far too many oversized pretzels and also managed to catch up with an old work friend of mine who had moved to live there.
We wandered about Marienplatz square and watched the impressive Rathaus-Glockenspiel, and one night dined at the famous beer hall, Hofbräuhaus, taking time on our way out to watch a little of the live traditional band set up in the main hall.
Overall, those three days we spent in Munich were some of our favourite from the entire trip.