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Christmas Adventures Part 4 - Munich & New Years Eve

       Munich hates me. I don't know why...I really don't. I mean yeah we wanted to move to Berlin, so maybe it is jealous, but it didn't like me even before then. We really didn't get to see much of the city the last time we were there, plus it was Oktoberfest so the city was dead except right around there so we couldn't get a feel for what it would really be like. On our first visit I was very excited to explore Munich but on the train ride into town I started getting sick. Like stuffy nose, coughing, maybe fever, feeling horrible achy sick. And was sick the whole time we were there, though we did a little bit of exploring, but mostly just hung out in our room watching German TV.  That is however when I saw Schlag den Raab for the first time and fell in love with the crazy game show, but technically we were staying in Dachau at the time (there were no hotels in Munich available for cheap and we couldn't find a couch to stay on). So I was joking with Raymond when we set out on our Christmas adventures that this time I wouldn't be sick so we could run around exploring. Well what happens? I felt fine all day, had dinner, got on the train and literally on the train ride into Munich started feeling horrible. By the time we go to our room I felt terrible - everything hurt, hot/cold flashes, just horrible feeling, upset stomach, weak, the worst. I was just like why do you hate me Munich??? What did I do to you? I was excited to explore your sights and see what there is to see and eat your delicious foods. Why do you make me sick every time I try and visit you? Why?? I didn't let that stop us though. We got in late so we just hung out in our room, then the next morning we set off for exploring. I still wasn't feeling well and Raymond told me numerous times we didn't have to keep exploring, we can just go back to the room and let me rest but I kept telling him I wasn't about to let Munich win! I will see the sights!! Thankfully I wasn't as bad as the night before, but I still felt pretty horrible off and on all day. Luckily on our second day I felt pretty good and we left that evening so Munich did not win! By the time we got back to Berlin I was feeling fine. So that is my story about how Munich hates me, and I really wish it didn't.

Anyways on to our visit and what we did.

Our first day there was gorgeous! In the 50's and sunny and a wonderful day to walk around. We had a tourist map and walked a loop through downtown stopping to see all of the places that were highlighted on it. The downtown area really isn't that big and you can easily walk from one end to the other. We started at Königsplatz and the Propyläen. Next are photos from walking around town.

The Obelisk

A building with a giant basketball net on top...facing over the street. Do they have giants who play basketball there? They must as that is the only explanation for such a thing. Though we didn't see the other net so...maybe they just play 1 on 1.


Inside of the Theatinerkirche St Kajetan


State Chancellery

St Lukas

And inside

Viktuslienmarkt - a large market with lots of food and people wandering

Rathaus - in the large center column twice a day there is a little drama that tells the story of Munich, and boy is it something. The music is horrible and nothing much happens and yeah we didn't stay long enough to watch the entire thing that is how exciting it was.

Inside of Alter Peter. Apparently I didn't take a photo of the outside, but you can walk up to the top of the clock tower and look out over the city in all directions. There is a narrow path around the outside you can walk along and people were in such a hurry that they kept creating more problems instead of waiting 2 seconds for people to move on they would sneak around the other way, which is what was causing the traffic jams as it is so narrow two people can barely pass by each other. Ridiculous because then you get stuck in one place until everyone can get by everyone else and if you just followed the flow everyone would be able to get around much better. They could learn something from Notre Dame and how they monitor the people who go up and down (the stairs are really narrow and we had to stop a lot to let people come down on the way up and vice versus). Below are some photos from the top - you can see it was a beautiful day and perfect for seeing as far as you could. You could see forever.

Inside of Frauenkirche

The second day we went out to Nymphenburg Palace to check out the Museum of Man and Nature. It was another beautiful day, though windy out at the Palace so a little chilly. It was also Sunday and on Sundays a lot of the museums in Munich are on a euro so next time we visit I will definitely try to fit in a Sunday so we can check more of them out.

The palace

The Museum of Man and Nature was amazing. It was pretty small, but one of my favorites that we have been to. They had a lot of really nice displays, and the things they did have were pretty cool. You started with a great geology displays telling you all about the different rocks and minerals and the plates on earth and how they move and all kind of fun things. Really really cool and fun - lots of videos and interactive displays. After that were some nice fossil displays - my favorite :)

This was in the room with all of the animals.

Apparently in 2006 there was a brown bear that was in the news (Bruno) and was the first brown bear on German soil in 170 years. Apparently people loved him here, but he ate sheep and such so the government decided he needed to be shot or captured. The public was outraged and tried to stop it, but apparently he would just kill sheep and not eat them or anything and farmers were not happy. Apparently they tried non-lethal ways to capture him, but that didn't work and he was shot and killed. He was part of a reintroduction plan in Italy and the Italian government says he is their an should be returned to them. Germany however says he was killed on their land so he is theirs. He is now on display at this museum and people leave notes for him and such (that is what the color paper is). All of these I love you Bruno! You are the best! Notes. I had no idea. To think we could have gone to Munich again and not seen this celebrity!

There was also a special exhibit of 10-18 year olds photos. It was crazy! They were so good! I know it is not a very good photo, but these were some from 11-14 year old kids. Crazy. I wish I took photos that good...

After the Man and Nature museum we headed over to Museum Brandhorst, a modern art museum, though they don't allow photos. It was a small museum, but I found some artists I really liked. They also had two rooms with videos and the one was amazing. It was from this Danish artist I believe and he brought some club kids into a studio and they did their dance or whatever they do when they go to the club. It was kind of amazing as it was a lot of kids just standing there or nodding their head, or maybe dancing badly and it was just amazing. Really fun and we sat and watch the whole thing even though it was a pretty long loop. It was another euro museum and afterwards we headed off for a fancy dinner and then the train home. We got back to Berlin really late/early morning on New Years eve.

After sleeping we woke late in the day and just lazed around. Now I knew New Years Eve would be crazy - I mean I saw how many fireworks they set off for the grocery store opening. So shortly after getting up we started hearing fireworks going off. Not a constant stream of them or anything, but every few min. This was like noon. We started watching action movies with guns and explosions and such and it really worked with the fireworks going off. Then around 5 when it was dark people started really setting them off. It was a constant stream of fireworks going off all over the place.

These were in our backyard (or the parking lot by our backyard) from the kitchen window. It was just ridiculous the amount of fireworks people had. I have never seen anything like it, and it wasn't even close to midnight. There is an official display at the Brandenburg Gate at midnight which is like Time Square in NYC, but we didn't want to head down there and be among all the people in the freezing cold all night. So we tried to find a place where we might be able to see the fireworks, but not be in the middle of all the people. We went to the one bridge by our house and slowly it filled with people, all of whom were drinking and had fireworks as well. At midnight it was incredible - like you were at a 4th of July fireworks display, but all around you as far as you can see for at least a half hour, then it died down a little bit but not much. It was really crazy and I urge everyone to come here once for New Years Eve - I don't know that you will ever seen anything else like it. I still don't know how it is possible. I mean everyone is drinking lots, and setting off fireworks. It seems like those two things should not go together...but somehow people are still safe about it. Like we were standing on the bridge and some drunk guys were setting off some fireworks next to us, but first they made sure everyone was far enough away so no one would get hurt. It was really amazing. I still don't understand how it worked and how mass amounts of people are not hurt, but it works. Crazy. After we got home we watched Dinner for One, a German tradition, and drank hot chocolate. Not sure why Dinner for One is so popular - it is the thing to watch on New Years Eve which is when it first aired. So silly.

The next morning the streets were covered in the remains from the fireworks. It was incredible. They have people who clean the streets so it was quickly cleared, but New Years day was just crazy walking around with so much garbage on the streets. Definitely something to see.


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