Am I over-exaggerating slightly or is that just a fact? Ask anyone in Munich and they’ll tell you that ‘Yes, this the greatest city in the world’.
Laid back and traditional, yet vibrant and modern. Munich appears to have it all. I was so tempted to call this post ‘Transvestites, Pigs and Queens’ but thought better of it. Why? All will become clear in the fullness of time (very dramatic eh?).
We had a fabulous couple of day’s with Ryan visiting and we’re sad to see him leave when we traveled with him up to the airport. He had a great time though declaring that he would be actually moving to Munich soon as it was such an awesome place. After leaving him we got the S Bahn back into the city and had a beautiful long walk along the River Isar in the morning sunshine before a relaxing coffee in the Hofgarten and some serious people-watching.
We decided to go back early so we wandered down into the main square, Marienplatz, to get the train. It wasn’t to be though as the square was full of stalls and stages and bars and music and absolutely rammed with people. And a lot of those people appeared to be men dressed as women, or women dressed as men, or men hardly dressed at all ! It was a big LGBT carnival called the Christopher Street Parade and the whole city had turned camp! Obviously we couldn’t miss the parade so we wedged ourselves in behind a group of pretty tough looking women dressed in leather with spiky haircuts and prepared for the show.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen so many excitable people in one place and the whole area was hyper as the parade started. Led by a traditional Bavarian band it appeared to be fairly sensible ……….. that was it though, wasn’t at all sensible after that! High tempo hard disco accompanied the craziest and most positive parade we’ve ever witnessed. Everyone was dancing and smiling and completely up for a fabulous day.
We actually found the occasion inspiring with so many people just being themselves and embracing the event completely. We have to admit that a few of the costumes and clothing ensembles were mildly shocking to a 50 something straight couple, in fact we almost certainly stood out like sore thumbs in the middle of the craziness. It was brilliant though.
After a couple more super hot days just taking it easy in Zorneding we decided that we needed an adventure so Monday saw us pack the rucksacks and head off into Ebersberger Forest, apparently the biggest forest in Germany. Even though it was still very hot we fancied a long walk and some exploring, so I’d worked out a route right through the Forest ending in the town of Ebersberg. Probably a walk of 9 or 10 miles.
So armed with food and drink we went for it. Got into the forest fairly quickly and had a lovely walk along quiet tracks without seeing another person anywhere. We passed through some heavy duty gates and fences with serious looking signs in Deutsch that we didn’t understand and had soon done 5 miles into the very depths. It was at this stage that Jo noticed something watching us!
Thirty feet away in the undergrowth we saw a huge wild boar. Head up, horns menacingly pointing our way, eyes watching us intently. It looked massive, and it looked cross! We both stopped breathing and tried to ignore it. That didn’t work as we just couldn’t help but stare. Should we run? Should we stand still? Should we put our hands in the air screaming and shouting? It stepped towards us. I wanted to run, Jo wanted to walk slower. We were both terrified. Then, even closer, we saw another one. Even bigger with bigger horns and looking even crosser! Now we were sweating and not breathing at all. The bigger one started towards us. We quickened our pace. It started to walk with us just 15 feet away. For what seemed like ages, probably only seconds, the huge wild boar kept pace with us watching and seemingly getting nearer. We stepped out now not worrying about spooking it. Luckily we passed some dense undergrowth that stopped the boar and we almost power-walked into the distance. Scared? We were ******* ourselves. Hearts beating and covered in sweat we got as far as possible away and left them to calm down and forget all about us. Perhaps we looked like dinner?
We calmed down after a mile or so and had some water before seeing two more boars down a side track in the distance. So obviously the big steel gates and huge metal fences were all about keeping these fellas in.
The next 4 miles or so out of the Forest were uneventful although we both scoured the bushes and undergrowth continually for more angry beasts. We only really relaxed after passing through more gates many miles away. Researching the Ebersberger Forest after we got back (perhaps we should do this sort of research in advance next time) we found stories of wild boar attacks, cars being smashed, people being mauled, whole villages being invaded! The locals just don’t go into the middle of the forest because it’s too dangerous. Ever.
We learnt three valuable lessons from this. One, do your research first before you visit potentially dangerous locations. Two, take more notice of big scary German signs. Three, take clean pants the next time we walk in a forest!
The rest of the day was great. Out of danger we had a beautiful walk past lakes and farm houses before reaching Ebersberg. Once there we walked up a lovely avenue of trees that were planted to commemorate the town’s fallen in WW1. Each tree had the name and details of each soldier from Ebersberg that had died. Very touching and a true living memorial.
At the top we just had to stop for a beer, a coffee, and a slice of ‘heavenly cake’ at the Ebersberger Alm. Not sure what the cake was but it was delicious and the restaurant lovely. Then a quick hike up the 35 metre Aussichtsturm tower behind the bar to look at amazing views all around. Quite breathtaking. Especially the climb up!
Another adventurous day then and many more to come.