Friday, 18 April 2014

Munich in April - the flowers, the beer gardens and the quirkiness

Who knew that in April Munich  was so full of flowers! From tulips of all colours to  yellow daffodils, when I visited the city was full of beautiful flowerbeds, carefully tended and very pleasant to see. This is the thing that has struck me the most about Munich.
 
Munich and the flowers
Flower beds in Munich
I don't know if the wooden structure in the picture above is the cover of a fountain for the winter or if that weird but cute square stays like that all year round!
 
Munich and the flowers2
Flowers in Munich

Sure, there is also Marienplazt with its famous glockenspiel, the Theatinerkirche with its yellow-painted fa├žade, and of course the lovely Englischer Garten. I really enjoyed walking through the latter, which is the main park in Munich. The city is rich in green areas, but Englischer Garten is one of the biggest city parks in the world. It's bigger than Central Park in New York, can you believe it? It draws its name from the way the English used to lay out of the landscape. Like in English gardens, pavilions are scattered throughout the park.


Englischer Garten, Munich
Englischer Garten

The most famous pavilion in the park is the lovely Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm), which  also hosts a famous biergarten. I think we should really thank German people for beer gardens: such a cool place to relax with a beer and a bratwurst. Did you know that you can also bring your own food and picnic there? The Chinese Tower is a wooden structure built for the first time at the end of the eighteenth century, when people really liked chinoiseries, that is to say Chinese things. It also reminds me of the temples in Bali! Here traditional folk music is played, while people enjoy a beer and traditional German food. 
 


Chinese Tower, Munich
Biergarten at the Chinesischer Turm

Of course I couldn't help having a beer and a bratwurst, while with my friend Irina I explored the city. The atmosphere is relaxed and nobody will rush you. I must add that the weather was excellent when I visited!


With a beer

I found Munich to be a clean, tidy city. Its austere architecture may put you off at first, but you'll soon notice the good vibe of the city. It's very clear, while you're walking down the streets of Munich, that you are in a lively, energetic city that's projected towards the future. There is hope in Munich, and people seem happy: the restaurants are full, and the people have money to spend.

Flowers in Munich
Flowers in Marienplatz


There are some pretty quirky things here to visit as well. First of all, I loved all of its statues. The city is scattered with unusual and fanciful statues, like that of Red Riding Hood. Perhaps the connection is through Grimm's fairy tales. Another statue I encountered near Marienplatz is one of Juliet from Shakespeare's play, where - like in Verona - it brings good luck to touch the woman's boob.


Statue, Munich
Juliet statue near Marienplatz

The weirdest attraction of Munich is not a statue, though. While I was walking in the city centre with my friend, we passed in front of the Bayerischer  Hof, a 5-star hotel, and we found this shrine dedicated to Michael Jackson. Apparently he stayed at this hotel some time before his death, and people began leaving flowers, photos and candles in front of it. The memorial is of course unofficial, as the monument is dedicated to another person, an Orlando di Lasso who I am sure is not very happy about this arrangement. There were some ladies taking care of the shrine, and I wonder if they are MJ's fans.
 
Shrine to Michael Jackson, Munich
Shrine to Michael Jackson in front of the Bayerishcer Hof
By the way, I have declared Germans the weirdos of Europe (in an affectionate way). Who else could come up with the idea of surfing on the permanent wave of a river in downtown Munich? 

I'll end this post by talking of Viktualienmarkt. It is a really cute open-air market where you can find everything from fresh smoothies to decorations for your home. I really liked walking through the stalls and browse all the Easter decorations on offer.


Viktualienmarkt, Munich
Fruit stall in Viktualienmarkt
I have more to write about Munich, but I'll save it for another post! Bis bald, Munich!

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The old town hall

5 comments:

  1. Who knew that in April Munich was so full of flowers? Not me either! Your great pictures depict it as an absolute spring destination! And I didn't know either about the Michael Jackson-Orlando Lasso shrine!! What I did know, is that germans are surf addicts, so it doesn't surprise me that they surfed even the river downtown… :)

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  2. Wow, I'm really impressed by how lovely, charming and colorful Munich looks in early spring. I wish I could spend a few hours in the park enjoying the sun and being surrounded by these lovely flowers. Is Munich a busy city?

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    1. @Agness: Munich is quite big (1.5 million people), but it's not really busy. To be honest there was no traffic at all!

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  3. I love all things Germany, and your post has whet my appetite to visit Munich! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Love your photos! Happy you liked Munich…and you were there on my birthday too! :P I thought the Michael Jackson "memorial" was so weird the first time I saw it…I wonder how it got there in the first place! :P

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