28th July 2011 – Sightseeing Munich!
After landing in Munich after a flight with EasyJet, we were duly refreshed after a good sleep and we were raring to head out to explore Munich or Munchen as the locals call it. After a lovely continental spread, the waiter was flummoxed when I asked for a cup of tea. Only coffee he replied. WHAT?! I’m an Englishman and there’s no tea to get me started?! He soon saw my rage building and he said he will try to find some. It never arrived. Ah well. Leaving the hotel, we were faced with some building works. Ah, so that was the noise last night. Metal clanging and construction vehicles piled on the road behind us and we wondered what they would be up to? Ah well, we weren’t bothered, we were here in Munich and we were ready to explore! So where did we start?
This most public square is literally tourist central. It has most of all the sites on all sides and it would be a pretty amusing place to people watch. Scratching our heads where to go, we did visit a tourism stand and booked tickets to go out of Munich for a day out in a couple of days and marvelled at the hordes of Chinese and Japanese descending on the stands. In the square, there’s a public fountain that holds significant interest. Every friday afternoon, the major of Munich comes here to wash his wallet out in the fountain to signify that any loose change from that week would be given to the public. Of course, I would be there waiting but unfortunately I have a Take That concert to attend…
Deciding which place to sightsee first, we left one side of the Marienplatz.
New Town Hall (Neus Rathaus)
I like this building. Much to the consternation from Ann, I kept calling it the Rathouse. I know it’s not how it’s pronounced but it’s just easy and more memorable for me. Situated on the side of the Marienplatz, you can’t help spying the Glockenschpiele that at 11am and 5pm every day, it chimes up and features medieval knights jousting around. It’s a pretty cool thing to see especially when everyone’s faces are staring up to the heavens at this time. Inside, there’s a variety of unique architecture but we were more interested in the cakes being sold inside.
Knowing that our bellies were crying for food, we thought the best thing to do is visit a food market…
Situated just a few minutes walk from the Marienplatz, you’ll definitely see this market with loads and loads and loads of food. You can’t miss the big Maypole slam dunk in the middle. Of course, before we did anything both Ann and I danced round the Maypole much to the amusement of the German market traders.
There we filled our stomachs. There’s far too many delicacies to name but anything covered in chocolate is a huge tick in my book. Then Ann had to drag me off from buying these mean looking hedgehogs..
From then with our appetites sated, I was in the mood for a nice drink and we were recommended to go to a particular beer garden.
Anything english is again a huge tick in my book. I was extremely tempted to find a nice english tea here but thought I would get lynched if I didn’t have a decent beer in my hand. So after grabbing a bottle of the one of the local ales, we were pleasantly surprised to find an Operatic troupe singing famous songs particularly from Gilbert and Sullivan, who I absolutely love. Entranced, I looked around and remarked that it wasn’t a beer garden that would have sprung to mind. It was pretty nice to get away from the tourists and here was a special quiet and calming garden to have a tipple and listen to the songs from Pirates of Penzance!
St Paul’s Cathedral
Returning to the Marienplatz, we entered into another side of this town square into St Paul’s Cathedral and climb the tower to give is panoramic views of the city. The inside looks pretty awe-inspiring as well. Although I had to be shushed by Ann for giggling inappropriately…
Michael Jackson Shrine
Opposite the Bayerischer hotel, there lies a famed German. Only we can’t tell who the statue is commemorated to as Michael Jackson is plastered all over it. Pictures, posters and even a life-sized copy clings to this statue amidst all the candles scattered about it, only to be upped by a crazed woman weeping continuously throughout our observation there. Any attempts to approach the shrine was quickly shooed away by the snotty crier. I thought this was extremely bizarre and even so when the city council hadn’t done anything about it. Is Munich weeping for this Thriller star?
Rains Stop Play
By mid-afternoon, we had to stop our sightseeing. Because from the Alps nearby, the rain clouds gathered and absolutely thundered it down so off we scurried back to the hotel but not before I grabbed Ann’s Umbrella and started singing Robbie William’s hit Angels….who knew what premonition that would be for me later on…
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I remember seeing Chelsea fans on the day of last year’s Champions League final soaking up the sun in Marienplatz. I thought it looked really nice, and also somewhere that doesn’t really get much publicity.