Surf's Up Dudes

Trip Start Jun 26, 2011
Trip End Jul 18, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Thursday, July 7, 2011


I’m writing this on the train from Munich to Stuttgart. Many of the blogs have been written on the
train, long journeys are proving useful for blogging!

Yesterday was a free day. We were both exhausted from game day antics so had a very lazy morning. So lazy, in fact, that we managed to get up & have breakfast in the hotel, but then sat around in our room until lunch before heading out into the city.Once out we headed for the English Gardens. We didn’t get there the other day (mainly because we spent half of the day in a bar with the Cheeky Girls & the Banter Club), so decided that was where we wanted to explore. We walked (via Starbucks, caffeine fix was needed) through the main pedestrian street & en route to Marienplatz and discovered all the stalls & big screens that had been put up for the announcement of the Winter Olympics 2018 host city. We knew that Munich was a candidate city, but it hadn’t registered that the host city was to be announced yesterday. All the Olympic bid sponsors had a stall & some form of activity in the pedestrian areas: BMW had a mini bobsleigh run, there was a “find the golden ball in this ball pit” competition by DB Bahn (the prize was tickets to one of the semi-finals of the WWC), a “throw the ball through the hole” competition from another & lots of giveaways from them all. There were also several giant screens to watch the build-up and the announcement on in the heart of the city. Lisa was given a balloon, so that was attached to her camera & gave us plenty of entertainment through the day by bopping people (including us) on the head.

On the train home from the game, we were told about a place called Dallmayr in Munich which was just behind Marienplatz. It’s a food hall similar to Harrods (although not on the same scale) with a café upstairs. We found it and had a look in. Everything looked & smelled incredible, the only drawback was there were so many people in there it was stuffier inside than out! We had a look around & then headed back out into the sun & carried on our slow-paced walk to the English Gardens.

We reached King Ludwig’s palace & stumbled on a beggar who had an adult goose & 2 baby geese. He insisted on us giving him money if we wanted to take pictures, but he seemed to be taking such good care of the babies (he was giving them water mixed with something from a jar & they looked well fed & happy – although how a baby goose looks happy I don’t know) that we didn’t mind giving him some change. The adult goose was presumably the mother goose, and
she seemed very friendly & is possibly the first goose I’ve met that I didn’t want to cross the road to avoid! Over the road from the goose man was a tea shop – Eilles – this is the tea we’ve been drinking on our travels, so had a look in. The tea smelt great & there were lots of tempting gift boxes of tea that we thought about buying. The only thing that stopped us was the fact that they would be crushed in the cases, so we’ll be on the look-out for another branch along our travels, when we have less travelling to do & it’ll be less likely that the pretty boxes will be ruined.

We reached the English Gardens via a tunnel under the ring road. We came out of the tunnel to see a river running alongside the path leading the way into a beautiful park. People were having picnics on the river bank, sitting & reading whilst dipping their feet in the water & even swimming in there. As we walked up the pathway the park got busier (although there was always lots of space, nothing like Regent’s Park or Hyde Park on a sunny day where there’s no grass to be seen for all the sun-worshipping bodies lying everywhere), with more and more people wandering round in swimwear, jumping off the bridges into the water & swimming. We walked across the gardens to the surf point & watched the surfers cross the river for a while. The river at this point has a man-made surf wave & looked fairly dangerous to surf on. There were warning signs around this point of the river stating that people surfed at their own risk & that injury could be caused whilst surfing. Some of the surfers were clearly skilled on this surf wave as they were able to do a few tricks (including the odd 360 in the middle of the wave) and stay on their boards for a couple of minutes at a time. Others, however, were less skilled & were lucky to reach the middle of the wave before wiping out.After watching the surfers for a while, we moved on & walked into the middle of the park to the beer garden. Here there was a tall Chinese pagoda, with an Oompah-pah band playing on the second level up. There was a posh looking restaurant next to the beer garden. The beer garden itself had food & beer stalls so we bought some lunch (late for lunch, but it was our second meal of the day, thereby making it lunch!) and some apfelschorle (apple juice with sparkling water) and sat down to eat. Just as we were finishing our food we got a text from the Carneys. They were at the Irish bar next to Ned Kelly’s for a couple of hours and wondered if we wanted a drink with them before we all left Munich. Naturally we said yes & slowly made our way down to them.

The candidate city celebrations were still going on (they hadn’t won the bid, but they were having a
party nonetheless). When we reached Marienplatz there was a band on stage & the woman with the band started singing “99 Red Balloons” in German. It may well have been Nina herself, but we
don’t really know what she looks like these days, so it may well not have been. If it wasn’t Nina, why would anyone decide to sing that song!The Carneys were sat outside the Irish bar when we arrived, so we joined them at their table. One drink led to us ordering our tea there (Irish stew for me – massive portion which came with a chunk of baguette & the biggest portion of butter I’d ever seen – a potato wedges & dips for Lisa – again a massive portion which could probably have fed all of us without any bother – and Marie had a pudding – they’d already eaten before we arrived). We then all realised that the USA Sweden game had started, so we headed into Ned Kelly’s (the Aussie bar) to watch the match. It was a lovely relaxing evening, just talking & swapping stories & watching the football together. A great way to end a lovely visit to Munich.After the game, we walked back to our hotel to pack, ready for checking out in this morning. We’re off to Stuttgart today. There was a reason we decided to stop-off there on our way to Cologne, but neither of us can remember why! Maybe our itinerary (which is at the bottom of one of the cases) will tell us (we have our hotel & travelling itinerary, but not the list of things to see & do in each city). Or maybe not, I’ll let you know in the next blog.

Until then:Come on England – We Believe!

Big love
S&L xx
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