Friday, 10 April 2009


I’m crossing international borders for the second time in less than a month. But it’s the longest weekend of the year and we had to go somewhere! And I’m glad I did. As it turned out, the weather in the UK turned to custard over the weekend and we were greeted by gorgeous sunshine and temperature in the late teens as soon as we set foot in Germany.

Very good first impressions of Munich. Very clean and tidy, everything is organised to the extreme, and people are very polite. That is, unless you get caught walking on the bicycle lanes in which case you will get yelled at for being a bad pedestrian, even if you are clearly a tourist who is completely lost and was obviously not raised in a country where people use bikes for getting around and not only exercising.

We just dropped our bags at the hotel and went off to explore the city. Marienplatz was the obvious first stop, and surprisingly pleasant (subtler, less crowded, and and not as touristy as Brussels’s Grand Place) We stopped at a restaurant and sat outside to have some bratwurst and sauerkraut in the sun.

After that we were walking aimlessly around Munich but ended up finding all the good spots by pure chance: Residenz which was undergoing restorations for the most part but is still an impressive palace. Just a short walk away were the Englischer Gartens, an awesome park where half the population of Munich was enjoying the sunshine. Families, couples, groups of teenagers, people playing sports, naked guys, etc. Yes, you heard me: middle-aged men sunbathing in the park as they came into the world -- just in case I wasn’t sure I was really in Germany.

I’ve seen way too much for one day. Time to get back to the hotel and get some sleep.

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