Another bus through Germany. Two pitiful hours of walking around in circles in the rain, looking for my hostel. The next day: Sun, and Munich. I was a tourist only staying one day, so I wandered around the cute old-timey sections of Munich and soaked in the Bavarian kitsch.
Somehow I wasn’t expecting the clean lines of Bavarian architecture, white with red tile roofing, but I loved it.
There were whimsical fountains and statues everywhere. What’s life without whimsy?
At noon I stood under the Glockenspiel with a teeming horde of fellow tourists, and, hands protectively covering my bag against thieves, waited for the show to begin. It was funny, really: The whole crowd of us waiting, heads craned upwards at uncomfortable angles, to catch a glimpse of what came next (I was fuzzy on the details). An excited hush: Music began, tinkling like a music box or a circus. As this went on for a few minutes, without movement or visual appeal, the expectant tension became shuffled feet and disgruntled murmurs, and we began to wonder, Is this it? At last, one of the colorful figures on the Glockenspiel started moving. The circus music continued as the soldier figures danced and the knights jousted.
And there was food. Markets sprung up along streets offering fresh strawberries, sausages, saurekraut, bretzeln (pretzels, mmmm)…
I walked around a bit, over the river (did you ever imagine there would be surfing in Munich? true story!) and found some awesome street art in a pedestrian/bicyclist tunnel. I saw Residenz and the English Garden, and just enjoyed the sights. I was foolishly disappointed that the mountains that appear on postcards (from a long distance, apparently) weren’t visible from the town. If I ever get the opportunity to return to Germany and Austria, I’m going to check out Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, for my fairytale and mountain desires.