Posts Tagged With: Germany

5 Best Things About Munich

  1. 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
  2. Deutsche Museum.  Its huge, even with half the galleries closed for renovation we were there for hours.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Graffiti.  There was graffiti everywhere.
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Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Munich

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.

Glockenspiel Munich

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!  Munich

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Munich: Hotel Rosenheim

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.Hotel Rosenheim Munich 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.
Hotel Rosenheim Munich

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.

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Munich Graffiti

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.

Munich

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Munich: Breakfast

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.

Munich Kaffee KucheWe 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.

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Handy German Words (That I learnt On Holiday)

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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.

Bitte- Please
Danke- Thanks
Good manners don’t cost anything.

Drucken- Push
Ziehen- Pull
Written on the doors, helpful when you’re trying to get in somewhere.

Ausgang- Exit
Eingang- Entrance

Damen- Women
Herren- Men
The importance of these words will become apparent when you need to use the toilets.

Flughafen- Airport

Bahn-Train
So there is the S-Bahn trains, the U-Bahn subway, and the Busbahn buses.

Schloss- Castle
Bad- Bath
Tourist attractions, bath meaning swimming pool or a spa town if it’s part of the place name.

Dunkle- Dark
Bier- Beer
So dunkle bier is a thing.

Nuss- Nuts
Erdnuss- Peanuts
Haselnuss- Hazlenuts
Gemuse- Vegetables
Kase- Cheese
My boyfriend is allergic to nuts, and I am a vegetarian.

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Munich: Deutsches Museum

Deutsches MuseumWe 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.  Deutsches Museum

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).Deutsches MuseumThere 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.

Deutsches Museum

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Munich Olympic Park

Munich Olympic Park

The design of the Munich Olympic stadium was considered revolutionary, with sweeping canopies of acrylic glass stabilized by metal ropes.  Honestly, it just looks a bit weird now, and sort of like it’s still being held up with scaffolding.

The 1972 Olympics were the second held in Germany after the 1936 Berlin games, which had taken place under the Nazi regime.  The organisers were eager to distinguish the two games and present an optimistic, democratic Germany with the slogan; Die Heiteren Spiele or the cheerful Games.

Munich

Unfortunately, the games would not be remembered for the eight gold medals that American swimmer Mark Spitz won, or even the controversial Basketball final between the USA and the Soviet Union (America had won 50-49 but the last 3 secs were mistakenly played twice allowing the USSR to win 51-50).

Instead it was the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by a Palestinian terrorist group that remains the abiding memory. There was an 18-hr standoff and a botch attempt by the German authorities which resulted in the murder of all the hostages, 5 of the 8 of the terrorists were killed as well.
Munich Olympic ParkNow you can visit the park and wander around for free.  You can swim in the Olympic pool for about 5euros and head up to the top of the Olympic tower for about the same (see the view from the top below).

We also visited the stadium (which is now used for musical events, and looks somewhat depressing without the track).  You can pay about 40euros to climb onto the stadium roof and walk around, about the same to zipline from one side to the other.  We paid 3euros just to wander in and look around, there is also a really dull film about the Olympics. Munich Olympic Park

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Berlin, Belgium, France and the Second World War

You may be aware that there was a war or two in Europe in the middle of the last century…I went to Berlin, as well as Belgium, and France for a college trip as part of my history course when we were studying the interwar period.

You can still see the divide in Berlin where the Berlin Wall split the city and country in half.  Check Point Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Berlin, and is now a museum and a tourist attraction. There is a mast with an image of a Soviet soldier on one side and an American on the other.

Berlin1

Here are some actual World War Trenches, you can see the cramped conditions that the soldiers were living in.  But more crazy (imo) is how close they were to the enemy forces at this point.  The photo below left is a bit fuzzy but it is taken from inside a trench and you can see someone standing in the enemy trench on the other side. BerlinAnd even more cheerful was this trip to a concentration camp.  The photos of the extermination camps are truly horrific, this camp was not one where people were killed but according to the tour we had they were forced to wear new trainers and run around in circles until they wore them out.
BerlinSo this was a depressing post- but then it was a relatively depressing trip!  I do think this period of history is as fascinating as it is horrible, and important to remember.

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