Munich's charm

Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Monday, April 23, 2007

Ok that's it for politics - promise!  The best thing about Sundays in Munich is: FREE MUSEUMS!!!  yes!  so after visiting Dachau (which is also free, as it should be), I hit up a couple museums.  First the Neue Pinakothek, which is home to Van Gogh's sunflowers painting, as well as a handful (3 rooms) of Impressionist and specifically French Impressionists works.  Mostly though the museum has an excellent collection of German painters from 17thish/18th cen. in Germany, but also in Rome and Italy.  They had a special exhibit on this guy Carl Rottmann, who sort of perfected the art of the wall mural.  He has this series of wall murals from various parts of Greece with mostly a focus on ancient ruins, intense skys, and distinct landscapes.  I would definitely put him in the landscape category in general.  But the colors were so vibrant, it was interesting enough.  Each mural is backed by an iron frame, as they were originally going to be inset into the walls of the original Pinakothek (another of Ludwig's things) and so needed to have a decent support structure.  So these thing literally weigh a ton!  Ridiculous!

Munich has at least 2 other art galleries, a science museum, and all sorts of other quirky museums on just about any topic you can think of.  There's even a museum called something like: the Museum of Unusual Museums.  uh, okay.  So I decided to check out the Stadt Museum, where each floor has a totally different topic going on.  The top floor is full of tons of musical instruments from all over the world, including an Amatti (sp?) violin (Strad's teacher), some sweet special edition Steinway grands, and 18 or 19 harps, mostly pedal (single and double action for you hard nerds out there), a couple lever ones too though, but only about 2 altogether that looked like they'd been played anytime recently.  It was all I could do to not just plop myself down and reach out and start playing one of these likely seriously out of tune harps!  The museum also has a floor of puppets and weird kitschy freak-show carnival kinds of things, a floor of photography, and get this:  a floor of Morris dance - what? I dont know, Morris dance stuf???  It was under construction though, but the important thing to note is that people in Munich know about these things.  They stay informed.  Heck they're the only people I've seen that can make overalls look trendy w/o having the accessory of a tractor at hand.  Impressive!
The city itself is quite pretty though.... there are many churches, and hey Kara, finally! a Glockenspiel!  yessss!!! haha... at 11 and noon it goes through a whole little ditty of about 15 min., I believe its a live carillon performance, with these statue people things that go in circles beneath the clock and joust and dance and do all sorts of silly things, and then the grand finale as one tour guide within earshot called it, is brought to you by the little bird at the top who seriously feebly attempts to coo out but it sounds more like maybe a music box winding down to nothingness.... quite anticlimactic I must say!  but still it's the cheap entertainment, eh?

The chow here is super as well - I love being in countries that don't put weird chemicals and hormones in their meat!  I treated myself to a traditional meal of 2 kinds of sausages with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, sided with a crusty pretzel... mmmmmmm!!!!!  A couple more meals like that and my butt will make a nice shelf for my increasingly heavy bag again - excellent!  Just wandering around I came upon street performers doing their thing - a xylophonist playing some classical crowd-pleasing (read: rich-tourist-pleasing) hits, a quartet of, get this: violin, upright bass (yes!), cello-maybe a demi one or something? it seemed a bit smallish, anddddd a big button accordion!  and you know what?  They are some smart cookies let me tell you b/c the accordion made a nice filler for all the missing strings in Vivaldi's Winter, or in Pachebel's Canon and all the other fun things they played.  smart!  It is so great to wander and hear real live fairly quality music, as opposed to hearing little kids toot on a harmonica and then stare at you for money or guys sort of just flailing their hands across the guitar strings really fast for 10 sec and then putting their hand out expectantly.  How I miss? the south!  Not to fear, Turks abound here in Germany all over, but especially in Munich.  I've heard the kebabs here are better than in S. Europe.  figure that one out.  And guess what?  I even saw a guy at least 85 yrs old marching along into the subway in full-out head to toe lederhosen gear.  These people have guts.  Or maybe they have beer and so then nothing matters as much, I dont' know....
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