Falling into history. Day 45
It’s time for us to explore Munich! The day is crisp and a gentle breeze whistles leaves through the near empty city streets. Oktoberfest has drawn most of the tourists so this is a great time to see the history that is Munich. Through its castles, glorious gothic churches and plazas Munich has plenty to see for the tourist on foot. For the historians, Munich remains the spiritual home and birthplace of Nazism within Germany, Munich’s streets echo with the footsteps of SS soldiers and the chanting of the infamous words, Zeig Heil!
Today much of this history has either been destroyed or removed, a quick train ride brings Jess and I to Königsplatz, the kings place. Stark white buildings almost give a hostile stare, as we step into the concrete jungle. Now softened by luscious lawns, this whole area was once paved and hosted many of the Führers rallies and book burnings. We head in to the Greek and Roman museum, the Glyptotek, and look at some of the works remaining from Munich’s roman days. There are fantastically preserved works in stone and marble and some good history about Germany’s origins. The Führer building, where Hitler held office, sits silent in the background. Now a school of music it seems much of the darker history of Munich has been transformed into something positive.
A short tram ride brings us to Max-Weber place and not far from the Bayr Landtag, Germany’s Parliament House. This enormous building stands for the pride of Germany, wonderfully ornate architecture frames the massive structure and the bridge over the water makes for some great background shots. Walking the city streets alone throws up the interesting history and culture of modern day Munich; beer halls are dotted with smiling locals, patisseries waft heavenly scents into the air and bikes whizz over cobblestone. This entire city feels wise with age and it would take a lifetime to know all of its stories.
Back on the tram and we are dropped into Karlsplatz (stachus). A bustling little hub where many roads intersect. Here we walk through a little medieval gate once occupied by many a horse and cart dragging a weary traveller now occupied by boutique shops and street performers.
Just a quick walk down the street brings us into Marienplatz, the semi city centre within Munich. The giant Rathaus or town hall reaches the skies with its towers. Of course Jess wants to climb one, so we traverse the mighty structure and snap some wonderful shots of the city below. The churches within the Marienplatz include St Peters, St Margaret’s and many others, the architecture alone is heavenly. Massive spires reach into the clouds, strength in stone. The bells clatter through the streets as suddenly the Rothaus springs into life, decorated with mobile painted sculptures that dance and joust atop the spires. Marienplatz fills with locals and tourists, necks craned high getting a glimpse of the buildings performance.
So after a day of city wandering how shall we end? Oktoberfest of course! Throwing ourselves straight back in to the party it is this time much easier for us to grab a spot at one of the magnificent beer halls. Let the beer flow, and feed my face. Time for a quick roll stuffed with roast beef, sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Two bites, demolished. For Jess a roll jam packed with pork schnitzel, lettuce and tomato ketchup. Three bites from her, two from me. Done. We trek through the increasingly intoxicated crowd before Jess spots her Achilles heel. The one weakness that she knows she simply cannot resist. If you haven’t figured it out through reading now, it is rides. Spinning, dipping, blurring whirls of colours and Jess’s jaw hits the floor. She straps herself in to some awful looking torture device and shoots off into planetary oblivion. I almost lost my schnitzels just watching her blur past overhead, her enormous cheeky grin the only thing telling me she was having fun.
Is it over? Ok home time, prepare yourself for tomorrow, it’s going to be huge.
Now if I can just get another schnitzel before bed.
Josh and Jess