Look who made a (not so surprise) visit! We are not quite sure if it was us, the bratwürst or beer that clinched the deal but we were so pleased to have Ryan with us for a few days. More on that later.
Early last week, once the heatwave had subsided, we set off to explore and revisit favourite places in one of our favourite cities. Our host, Monika, said the heat was unprecedented in Bavaria with temperatures way above the normal for such a prolonged time. And there was us thinking we were just soft Brits!
We had a day in München on Monday.
Much to Jon’s disgust a bit of shop browsing was required and a few purchases made. He was very patient with me and managed to fill his time watching a variety of buskers along Kaufinger Straßer (very aptly named as shopping street so I was doing the right thing!). One very talented group we had seen before in 2007, so they haven’t made the big time yet or probably just enjoy making an extra few euros doing what they love best.
Of course we needed refreshment after the grueling 30 minutes of shopping. Spookily a table was free outside the Augustiner Haus. So it was a stein (or as us locals say a maß) for Jon but just the halb litre for me and for energy how could we resist the local specialty of specially seasoned chicken and salad. Delicious.
Having had enough city heat for one day – it was still around 33 degrees – we decided to head to the Englisher Garten. It claims to be the largest inner city park in the world. It got it’s name from being in the style of an English garden and was opened in 1789. English Garden (Wikipedia). The park is perfect for people watching. There are people picnicking, commuting, swimming, reading, sleeping, footballing, drinking in the beergarten, getting married and even surfing. We lounged around for a couple of hours then walked through to the Chinese Turn (Tower) and adjacent beergarten for some refreshment before heading home to Zorneding.
Tuesday saw the temperature rocket again so it was a trip to the local park to sit under a shady tree. We found the perfect tree on the edge of the park so there was a nice breeze coming across the fields. We only realised 5 minutes later that we were sitting under some sort of tree that was shedding seeds. After those first 5 minutes we were basically pebble-dashed in yellow seeds. They got into every nook and cranny (for fans of the film In Bruges!). We decided we would take the hit. The breeze was just too good to pass up.
The temperature dropped on Wednesday so we got going preparing for our VIP guest. Extra food supplies were purchased, additional bedding and towels organised, all in honour of Ryan arriving for a 2 day visit. He managed to get a staff flight and met us at München Hauptbahnhof at the popular family location of the frikkadeln stall. It was soooooo good to see him and I am not going to apologise for the embarrassment of your excited mother running at you for a huge hug. Shortly followed by Jon, by the way.
Ryan had been in München with Jon last September for the customary 21st birthday outing to the Oktoberfest. We thought it might be interesting to see the site pre-set up. So we took a short train ride to take a look. It looks like empty wasteland and relatively small without all the huge tents and fairground. Crazy to think that in around 2 months thousands will converge on the site to eat, drink and be (very) merry.
Another short trip on the tube took us back to the centre of town. A place on Ryan’s wish list was the Hofbrauhaus. He and Jon had visited last year but could not get a seat it was so busy. Inside was a bit warm so we sat in the garden within ear shot of the band and enjoyed a maß and a pretzel before visiting the museum on the 2nd floor. It was only a small museum but there were some really interesting facts. For example, the Hofbrau brand is owned by the city not privately. Hofbrauhaus official website.
After a visit to the market and a bratwürst stall to avoid a thunder storm we headed to the Bayern München Fan Shop. Oops, nearly forgot to mention the three female violinists buskers on our way into the market. As if by prearrangement they played Pachelbell’s Canon, so a couple of euros had to go in their violin case. This was followed by a visit to the Bayern München Fan Shop to look at football shirts from all over the world and the odd bit of memorabilia, including one of the actual balls used in the Germany v Argentina World Cup Final 2014. There was a ticket next to it in the display cabinet so we are assuming that it was kicked into the crowd and the lucky German it landed on brought home with him. Of course, he may not have been that lucky, he may have received massive head injuries or facial disfigurement but for a true fan it would have been worth it.
Ryan was beginning to flag. He had left home about 4am but we decided to fit in one more beer hall and then it was back to Zorneding and early to bed for one very weary traveller.
Suitably refreshed we headed off on the second day of Ryan’s visit to the Olympic Park and Stadium. We had all been before in 2007 but Ryan was only 13 then. Despite being decommissioned for sporting events, the stadium is such an iconic and impressive building. There were tourists completing roof walks of the main stadium and others zip wiring from the roof. Looked great but the heat must have been a bit overwhelming up there so we stayed on terra firma. The grass had all been taken up from the stadium and it looked like they were preparing for a concert. We later discovered that Billy Idol is playing there in a few weeks. We spent a while looking at pictures and information from the 1972 Games but so much more could have been made of this display. An employment opportunity for Jon post travelling me thinks!
Adjacent to the Olympic Park is the BMW headquarters. We just had to go and sit in a few cars in the show room. Surprisingly, even Ryan didn’t find most of the BMWs very comfortable or have that “wow” factor inside. The car we were all most impressed with was an early 1960s Austin Mini. Just like the ones both Jon and I had. Happy days!
We headed back to town and aimed for the surfers in the English Garten. We walked via Odeon Platz and the Hofgarten where the staging was being finalized for an operatic performance on the next day. The Hofgarten was a small park which originally belonged to the Residenz which is former royal palace. The gardens had a lovely lazy feel and we there was a very talented busker playing classical spanish music in a stone gazebo. The sound was haunting and it was one of those “moments”. Further on we as we entered the English Garten we saw the surfers who are amazing…. and surf so close to the concrete edges of the river. Couple of YouTube videos showing just how crazy they are ( English Garden Surfers, More English Garden Surfers).
We wandered through to the Chinese Turn and spent a few hours in the beergarten just soaking up the very social atmosphere before heading back. No one wanted to leave. It somehow felt like the first one to say, “Let’s go” was calling an end to Ryan’s time with us. We did eventually manage to rouse ourselves and head back.
What a lovely couple of days. A trio of tired, happy Ringwoods. We knew the morning would be a sad one and very emotional because of how lovely it has been to have Ryan here but I am determined to leave this post on a happy note.
We have added some extra photos that we like but were not as meaningful as the ones above. Please dip in and take a look if you can……. this is a new feature know as “Culture: Ringwood Additional Pictures”. Go figure the acronym which is ironic because we don’t think they are. Now you will have to look just to be sure. All part of the free blogging service don’t you know. Till next time….