Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Weekend in Munich

With the conference over, we headed back to Munich, for Dad to continue on to Geissen and Mum and I to stay and meet up with Tegan and Andy for the weekend. Mum and I had both independently spend time in Munich before, so there was less necessity to race around seeing as much of the city as we could. This meant that ultimately it was a weekend to spend with Tegan and Andy, with little concern for the city in which we found ourselves.


Tegan and Andy have very different tastes and habits to Mum and I, waking late (it was their weekend) and preferring modern art galleries to those whose content predates the 20th century.

Tegan being a Boar
Tegan being attacked by a Cat... fish
So, after a late breakfast, and rugging up against the cold, we headed out through the main mall, ultimately in the direction of the Victuals Market.

On the way Mum did manage to steer us into St Michael's Kirche, a church with more historical connections than I anticipated.


Also, like much of Europe it was badly damaged in the bombings of World War II.

It is here that mad King Ludwig II is buried, after his murder/suicide/? and where Augusta Amelia (Princess of Bavaria) erected a monument to her husband Eugene de Beauharnais upon his early death and where they are both buried.


While I was aware of the existence of both Ludwig and Augusta, I was unaware of the connection between them, and with their mutual relative Ludwig I. She is the aunt of Ludwig I (of Lola Montez fame) who is the grandfather of Ludwig II. Joining the dots is one of the most satisfying things about history particularly when these dots seemingly belonged in different worlds.

The Victuals market is one of those places that would be extremely dangerous if I had access to a kitchen whilst staying in the city. There were stalls filled with cheeses, buckets of marinated olives and semi dried tomatoes. Vegetable stalls, bread stalls and a smattering of Christmassy stalls selling real fir wreaths bags of dried Christmas spices and Advent candles in anticipation of that weekend.
Actually the market near the Chinese Tower

Last time I had been in Munich with Chloe, seven years ago we’d obviously done a lot of walking as this time I felt comfortable finding my way around and weaving through the crowded Christmas markets. I don’t know whether it was just a little later than we realised but though the Christmas markets officially opened at 14:00, we never seemed to be short of Christmas decorations to look at or the smell of Gluhwein wafting past our noses.

Having indulged our eyes (Tegan and Andy bought cheese for later) and eaten our fill of German sausages for lunch we headed out from the shelter the buildings gave us from the biting air and decided to walk along the river towards the Englischer Garten.

It was picturesque with a few unusual and unknown monuments and buildings poking through the barren trees, but it was also bloody cold. 

Thankfully the English Garden had a surprise Christmas market around the Chinese tower where we could indulge in baked apples and hot chocolate before beginning the long walk back to our hotel, stopping at the Christmas markets for carols and more shopping.

The Chinese Tower with Tegan's beanie in the foreground

The Monopteros (reminiscent of the Temple of Love at the Hameau, Versailles)

Christmas Lights, Carols and Markets at Marienplatz

We were supposed to head out for a nice dinner that night, but having collapsed on our beds we had great difficulty mustering the energy to return to the streets and sit though dinner.

Thank goodness for Kebab shops with Baklava in the window.

Our second day started as late as our first though this time we headed in the direction of the Art Galleries (through the central Botanical Garden).

As Botanical Gardens go though, they were pretty uneventful though I later learned that a bigger, better garden existed further out from the city centre.

Just beyond the 'Botanical Garden' is the museum plaza where the Glythotek, Altes Pinakothek and Neues Pinakothek are all situated, in addition to a few other Classical inspired buildings.


Disinclined to spend precious time within, Tegan and Andy were more inclined to muck around for the cameras, including a delightful game of air ping pong using large leaves for paddles.

As Tegan and Andy hadn’t been there before and have an inexplicable liking for modern art I thought they might like to visit the Pinakothek der Moderne (while I popped next door to anything older). In dire need of decent coffee (one thing breakfast did not do well) we stopped, during which I was entreated to join them in visiting this gallery over any other.

Let’s just say ‘thank goodness entry was only €1’
My pessimistic attitude was not helped by the presence of security personnel who told you off for swinging on the chairs clearly designed for swinging on. If they were not supposed to be used and misused (as chairs are) by the public, they should have been displayed elsewhere.

As I do not see how a photo of a car is considered art worthy of putting in a gallery, this gallery is wasted on me.

There was a  small section of the gallery that looked at the evolution of some style designs including Edwardian chairs which I was more enthused about, but even this ridiculed but a piece of 'art' of a sawn log (complete with bark) with a few old chair backs stuck into the top of it.

Tegan and Andy had to head off in the early afternoon to make their way back to Berlin in time for work the next morning, and so having waved goodbye to them with promises to see them next weekend, Mum and I turned our feet in the direction of the Bayerisches Nationalmusuem.

And stumbled upon this along the way:

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