A while back I shared the postcards I had received from Europe, but there are a few more that are Olympic themed. I have been trying to visit as many Olympic stadiums as I can, not all have little gift shops but I picked up a few along the way.
It’s not been my most traveled year but I have had a few trips and I thought I would look back on the highlights.
La Palma- my first time in the Canary Islands! It’s a shame neither of us could drive because the island is not easy to navigate without a car. But the mountain did provide the highlight of the trip, seeing the cloud in the caldera. We also visited the telescopes on the top of the mountain which was cool, and I like seeing the bananas that were growing everywhere.
Boyfriend and I took a trip a little nearer to home to Liverpool, we spent a night in Liverpool and then headed on to Southport with a stop at Crosby Beach to visit the Anthony Gormley sculptures. The highlight for me though was Etsu a yummy Japanese restaurant were I enjoyed Gyoza and Tempura.
Munich was hot! At times a little too hot. We spent ages at the Deutsche Museum, before heading out to the Englischer Garten where everyone was jumping into the river. I was excited to visit another Olympic Stadium especially as the swimming pool was still in action, and I liked eating fruit and granola for breakfast.
And during the Summer we went on lots of little walks. Hebden Bridge where we saw some super cute sheep and some incredible unhelpful signs. The walk was nice, although it took us about 30mins to find the start and then we got lost before the end.
- Breakfast Al Fresco, or whatever the German version is. But I quite enjoyed rocking up to a cafe and getting a big bowl of fruit, cereal, and yoghurt for 5euros
- Deutsche Museum. Its huge, even with half the galleries closed for renovation we were there for hours.
- Englischer Garten. Okay we didn’t really get to do this properly but watching people jumping straight into the rather fast flowing river was fun, and a bit scary.
- Olympic Park. Not for everyone, and they’re not as exciting once the games are over I agree. Still fun to see the stadium and the swimming pool is still in use.
- Graffiti. There was graffiti everywhere.
The Glockenspiel at the Rathaus in Marienplatz is quite the tourist attraction, it goes off at 11am, 12pm, and 5pm. We had a weird day where we ending up in the area at 4:30pm having not eaten lunch yet so heading up the Cafe Glockenspiel opposite the Rathaus. The Cafe was really quiet which was surprising given the number of people gathering down below to watch the show.
There is a 15minute build up of very a-melodic glockenspiel music before the characters start to rotate. It’s impressive, given how it’s now over a hundred years old, that it still works so well. It tells the story of the the 16th century marriage of Duke Wilhelm V who founded the Hofbrauhaus beer hall. But in all honestly it’s not the most exciting performance!
Englischer Garten is in the centre of Munich and it’s huge. We only saw a tiny bit of it, before leaving to get lunch. There was a Japan Festival and it was very hot so the park was super busy. Everyone was throwing themselves in the fast-flowing river which looked lots of fun/very dangerous.
We stayed at the Hotel Rosenheim and I thought I would give it a shoutout (as well as a proper review on tripadvisor) as it was a nice hotel (with one prominent fault!).
The website has a moody background, with a mysterious woman staring out at you- I have no idea why as this doesn’t really match the vibe of the hotel which was light and airy. They call it a design hotel as every room is apparently different, however the only real difference I could see was the wall paper on one of the bedroom walls (the other three are painted white), and you can’t pick which room you get. The staff were all very friendly and, as you would expect, spoke excellent English. There was a complimentary bottle of water and mini Haribo gummy bears. There was a mini-bar downstairs with cold soft drinks and chocolate which were free, and some cheap beer as well.
It had a very good location right next to the Ostbahnhopf (train and subway station), so it was really convenient to get about. Although my boyfriend found the noise outside a little too loud at night. We had to keep the window open though as the room had no air con, just a fan which wasn’t powerful enough. The room was too hot all the time, especially at night and we both struggled to get a good night’s sleep.
Munich was a very clean city but there was a surprising amount of graffiti- I think really there wasn’t that much it just stood out because everything else was so clean and meticulously maintained.
Some of them seem to have been commissioned pieces like the bird top right, and others more spontaneous/illegal like the bird bottom middle. I quite like street art of all forms though, especially when graffiti artist get creative.
One of the coolest parts of holidays is often to see, and consume, the different food they eat. Nowadays though, cuisine is pretty international and what we had for breakfast wasn’t anything I hadn’t eaten before. And yet, wandering down the street and getting breakfast on a sunny morning at a street side cafe was certainly out of the ordinary for me.
We only ate breakfast in Munich twice (flying visit) and both times I got basically the same thing which was cereal (granola the first day and musli the second), yoghurt and fruit. The above pictures are from Kaffee Kuche which translate to Coffee Kitchen. It was very filling, summery, and quite healthy (although high sugar content) and cost about 5 euros (my ice tea was about 3,50 euros because soft drinks were stupidly expensive in Munich). The waitress spoke excellent English (I liked how she pronounced pomegranate which made it sound like pom-granade) and there was a nice relaxed vibe.
I don’t speak German and everyone in Munich spoke excellent English. But these are a few word and phrases we picked up on our recent trip that proved quite useful.
Good manners don’t cost anything.
Written on the doors, helpful when you’re trying to get in somewhere.
The importance of these words will become apparent when you need to use the toilets.
So there is the S-Bahn trains, the U-Bahn subway, and the Busbahn buses.
Tourist attractions, bath meaning swimming pool or a spa town if it’s part of the place name.
So dunkle bier is a thing.
My boyfriend is allergic to nuts, and I am a vegetarian.
We strolled along the river to the Deutsches Museum, it was about 11 euros each for general admission which was pretty reasonable given the impressive size of the museum. We arrive about 10:30am and left about 3pm having seen about half of what was on offer. Some of the galleries were closed for refurbishment, and some technical difficulties meant the planetarium was not working which was a shame, but there was still tons to see.
We started with boats, submarines, and diving, which was a big exhibition. All the displays had the text in both German and English, so it was very easy to understand. There was also a big display of aircraft, some of the World War Two ones had had their swastikas removed as post-war German law made their depiction illegal (although it does depend on their context).There is also the Rachel Carson centre for environmental stuff- like this knitted coral reef. In the 1950’s Carson wrote ‘Silent Spring’ where she explored the idea that the environment was being damaged by synthetic pesticides. The idea was opposed by chemical companies but ultimately led to a ban on DDT and other pesticides.