Cycle Tour Tour in the Alps 2013
Dag 2: München, dag 2
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Added on 25 Aug 2013
on 07 Dec 2013
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by Ottocolor on 18 Nov 2013
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München, Bayern, DE (519 m NHN)
München, Bayern, DE (519 m NHN)
31 Jul 2013
Warm (22-23 grades Centigrade) and sunny the whole day.
Bike lanes along big roads, wheeled the bicycle in the pedestrian street system of the city centre, tarmaced path through the English Garden, gravel path through Hirschau, again tarmaced bike paths around Allianz Arena, one small detour in darkness on a big road, then again bike lanes along roads to the hostel.
Sources of information
Bikeline "Bike atlas Munich", a city map of Munich, borrowed from TV2 and a small city map from the hostel.
The second day of the bike holiday, still in Munich, still accommodated at the hostel Haus International.
After a good night's sleep in the barracks-like bunk beds I struck the curtain to the side of the narrow room and the sun streamed into it. There was nothing left of the last few days a little fickle weather, and the whole holiday was the weather continued to be warm and sunny, with a single day's exception.
So far, the weather could not be better for exploring the city of Munich. Today's first goal was more by necessity than by desire, namely the Caddy in his hotel garage. I had in fact forgotten my bike's headlight out there, and I knew we would come home late from the stadium in the evening. Furthermore, it would be pitch dark in the English Garden, so it was absolutely necessary to fetch it. The trip there went well on bike paths along major roads, and luckily I have a good sense of orientation in a big city. Traffic lights for bicycles in the most places meant little more waiting, but then I felt safe all the way. On the way back from the hotel garage we swung down through Nymphenburger Strasse towards the city. It ends up up at Königsplatz, today's first place of sightseeing. The square is an orgy of neoclassical buildings, well it seems almost real classic with the Propylaea in Doric style to the west, the Glyptothek in Corinthian style to the north and the Ancient Art Collections in ionic style to the south. To the east, towards the center runs the big Brienner Strasse, which ends at the Odeonsplatz where we were yesterday. Just north and south on the east side of the square there are two large buildings from the Nazi time, namely the party headquarters on the one side and Hitler's personal representative building, the "Führerbau" on the other side. The National Socialist Party had been founded here in Munich and retained its administrative center here to the end and not in the capital of Berlin. Simon and I looked closely at Hitler's headquarters, now a college of music and theatre. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to look inside, but then we would certainly disturb the music students. We read on a poster that here Czechoslovakia's fate had been sealed on the so-called Munich meeting in 1938. Hitler had twisted the arms of the Western Allies and the meeting stands out as the highlight of the so-called appeasement policy, which particularly Britain spoke in favour of during this period. The country's Prime Minister Chamberlain returned home with the paper with Hitler's signature and declared "peace in our time". Just over a year later began the Second World War... The direct result of the meeting was that Germany annexed the Sudetenland, which was the part of Bohemia, where the majority of the population was German. This annexation promised Hitler, was the last territorial claims he had. And was apparently believed. At the corners of Brienner Strasse, there had been two so-called honor temples. Here the Nazis staged a cult around the dead from Feldherrnhalle in 1923, which was called ' the movement's death witnesses ' and were buried in sarcophagi here. They were not rebuilt after the devastations of the war's final stage. Fortunately, that was done with the other buildings on Königsplatz, which is very stylish. Whether you like the cold, rigorous style is something else.
Simon and I pulled the bikes on the left pavement into town and saw another poster in front of a new building, which was not yet complete. It turned out to be a new documentation center of Munich during the Nazi regime! It is built in the shape of a cube and is located at the place where "The Brown House" stood. It would probably be worth visiting it, once it is finished. So far, the opening is scheduled for late 2014. Now it was not far to Karolinenplatz square, which is completely circular and surrounded by a large roundabout. In the center stands an Egyptian obelisk and there are many flowers in beds.
Now it was time to ride into the center and it turned out to be a circuitous trip in heavy traffic and no bike lanes, in turn, with many tram rails, which of course are dangerous for cyclists. There were many posh and expensive shopping streets here with elegant passages at he backside of them. We headed really just for the cathedral, the Frauenkirche, which we would pay a visit now.
The almost 100 meter high towers of the Our Lady's Church look extra high because the city government does not allow taller buildings around the center of Munich and even beyond that, there are not many skyscrapers. Some claim that the city from the air looks like a large village for the same reason. But it may have to do with the inhabitants' conscience for tradititions that they do not want to change too much of the status quo. Conservatism is certainly a feature of the Bavarians. Simon and I approached the church from the north, and the first thing we saw was a guide, who told about the church in English by a bronze relief of the center where it is supposed to feel ones way, probably made for the blind. We listened for a short time, because we had not paid for the guidance and in the meantime disposed of our bikes as we parked them near a building trailer. There was restauraion works going on at the towers, and one was completely wrapped in scaffolding. Therefore, we also had to use an alternate entrance for the one between the towers was closed. Inside, we were immediately overwhelmed by the very high nave. The church was built in the late Gothic style (ca. 1490 ) and has three naves. It is completely painted white inside, and visions majestically down from the floor. We looked a little at a large cenotaph, a tomb, here King Louis The Bavarian, who had lived in the Middle Ages, but without remains of the king. An orgy in cast iron ornamentation it was. Some photos in the hallway how the church had looked after the bombing during World War II made an impression on us. It was not bombed entirely in ruins, but it had still completely burnt out. It must have been a mammoth task to rebuild after the war. Simon and I went one round and looked at a few of the ornate chapels that Catholic churches are always so rich of. There were also many epitaphs of bishops, because Munich is an archbishopric, albeit together with Freising, approx. 30 km. to the north along the Isar. In fact, Freising is older than Munich, which was founded in the 1100s. The ruler, King Henry the Lion, simple burned the bridge across the Isar up in Freising and built a new out of stone, further south in competition to Freising. The city's name means "by the monks" (bei den Mönchen), because there soon arose a monastery here, one that they haven't found any archaeological traces of. First when the royal family of the Wittelsbachers chose the city as their seat in the 1200s, it began to grow. The first Our Lady's Church was also much smaller than this one.
After the tour inside the church we went around the outside. At first, we lingered, however, just at the eastern end, for here is the home of the excellent restaurant and beer mekka 'Andechser am Dom'. It just was lunchtime, and we settled at a table outside. At first, there was not a free table, but the waiter asked simply some guests who spent only part of the seats, if we were allowed to sit with them at their table, 'dazusetzen', as the Germans call it. It is normal practise here, and a good way to fill up the seats for the restaurants. Unfortunately, there was some noise from the neighboring house, which was about to get a new facade. And it was a working day. But then we sat also just below the cathedral's choir.
After lunch, during which I, of course, had an Andechser Doppelbock, one of the world's best beer in my opinion, we went through a small alley to the new Town Hall, Munich's neo-gothic splendour copy of a town hall with a tall tower. We had to go up it, because there is an elevator there, and the weather was just for that. First we went, however, straight through the yard, which is taken up entirely of pavement restaurants. Well, we had done that, so we took the elevator and went up the first part of the tower. Where it ends, sits a lady in a glass cage, and then you had to part with some euros to get further up. Smartly so, of course, because you continue, when we now have come part of the way. And it was well spent because the view was of course utterly breathtaking. Even the Alps could be clearly seen, and on the balustrade were the mountains' names mentioned besides a lot of the city's buildings. And because of the lack of tall buildings, you could really see far. Only far, far away, there were some ugly boxes, otherwise it was really a nice view. To the north, we could see all the way to the Allianz Arena where we were going to see two football matches in the Audi cup in the evening. And Ludwig Strasse also looked well from up here. The cathedral seemed even bigger up here than down from the ground, especially the nave. We also looked down at Marienplatz, which is the town hall square. Here the masses cheer for Bayern Munich's players and coaches when there is something to celebrate. And there had of course been plenty of that in the early summer.
Soon we stood down in the square and looked up at the tower. Here is a nice chimes with figures in two floors that perform a dance when it plays a few times a day. I was in the tourist information office as I had a small task of researching about the visit of the Oktoberfest for my friend Kolja. When this was done, we went into the big department store Ludwig Beck just next to it. Simon wanted to buy a pair of sunglasses and a book in English. The former was too expensive as genuine brand names were the only choices, and forthe latter the offer was much bigger at Hugendubel on the other side of the square. We just made round the socalled plague pillar in the middle of the square with the Golden Mary on top. It is called this because the citizens erected it in gratitude for having escaped mildly from a plague epidemic. We also had a look at the fish well. It's the favourite meeting place of the munichers, it is said. Inside the bookstore of at least five floors the number of books on offer was huge and Simon found his book, a thick detective novel, which he read during our cycling holiday. I bought a Bavarian flag, a book on historic remnants of the city as well as a book about "The White Rose", the siblings Scholl's resistance group against the Nazi regime.
After the bookstore we went through the main street to the east past the old Town Hall, which seems newer than the new. But that's because it had been completely destroyed in the war and had to be restored from scratch. You go through a gate where there is a bronze statue of a full breasted woman. Her one breast was completely blank, so I suppose it's good luck to touch it, so I did. It's not often you are allowed to touch the ladies on the breasts anyway... Simon did with thinking his part, I guess. Right after we stood outside the Weisses Brauhaus. Here Kolja and I had experienced a marvellously funny evening and night, when we were in town in March of that year. It is the home of Schneider Weisse and the incomparable Aventinus. I was not to taste that now, but it could very well be about beer anyway. So, Hofbräuhaus was the goal, the world's most famous pub, it is said. And even if there were only a few steps won to it, we went just a little detour before we made it under the domes.
As always, the wooden benches in the Hofbräuhaus 'big' Schwemme, a beer hall with the bibcocks in it, were well occupied. Even if there is room for 1,000 people at a time, but due to the famousness, everybody, who visits Munich, has to go around no. 9, Platzl, and see if the royal brewhouse is still standing there. And of course you should also try their beer, "oans, zwoa, g'suffa" (one, two, it's drunk), as the chorus in the German famous Hofbräuhaus song says. But two beers, that means two liters! And after having those, it can be difficult to count to three. Well, I was content now with one liter, this time a dark one. Simon was impressed and looked at my big glass of beer. Although, he had his favorite drink of mezzo mix. You could luckily have it in a smaller glass. But there was a lot more than beer to look at for him. And we sat perfectly fine as a sign above our heads announced that it was the royal regular table! We were a bit uncertain as to whether or not we would be chased away from there, but we were allowed to stay and order drinks. We sat right next to the brass-band in Bavarian costumes, which obviously includes lederhosen. It meant that we could not talk to one another, but it lifted the mood a lot. The hall is divided into departments by many thick columns, and the ceiling is domed. I do not know if that's why, but the sound reverberates unbelievably in there. I also do not know, if that 's why football fans are especially excited to sing their cheering and hate songs in the Hofbräuhaus. Today there were only a few FC Bayern fans, although the club was to play against FC São Paulo that evening, but it was only a training tournament. Yet one could easily hear them, at least when the band paused, and they did that often. It must be hard to play music. In March, a group of Arsenal's fans were gathered under the domes, and noone could match their singing. No fans sings like English fans, and no one there like the gooners.
A little about the house's history. The brewery was located in an old chicken coop in 1589 as a supplier to the royal Wittelsbach family court, so the name comes from that fact. The idea was to create a local production of the tremendously popular so-called "Ainpöcker Beer". Behind that strange name was hidden beer from Einbeck in Lower Saxony many miles to the north. It was only dispensed in early spring as a kind of strong, bottom-fermented beer with high gravity. Over time it was called just Bock. (I think the Bavarians thought that "ein" was just the definite article, ie a "bock"). Today bock beer is still brewed in spring during the so-called 'strong beer time', but it is now Paulaner at the Nockherberg, a few kilometers outside the old city that has taken over the traditional serving of strong beer. They call it Salvator, and Kolja and I were there in March and it has the characteristics of a mini-mini-Oktoberfest. But Hofbräuhaus grew certainly big and strong and meant a huge source of revenue for the Bavarian Free State. The entire reconstruction after the violent devastating Thirty Years War was funded with proceeds from this brewery! Soon the henhouse obviously grew too small, and the current building is the third on the site.
Well, there are limits to how long it takes to drink a liter of dark beer, and I would certainly have no "zwoa" (no 2), as Simon and I were supposed to, once again, cycling all the way to the Allianz Arena. But there was plenty of time before the kick-off of the first match between Milan and Manchester City. So we ambled around the narrow alleys. I remembered I wanted to show Simon Max-Joseph-Platz with the beautiful National Theater and the south wing of the residence. After a brief look, we drove out along the upscale Maximilianstrasse. It is said that it is the most expensive shopping street in Munich and even one of the most expensive in Europe. But that wasn't on our minds now. We had better watch out for those pesky tram rails for not coming to kiss the asphalt. Too bad, because there was enough of beautiful buildings and many statues to look at. Another upscale boulevard! When we got down to the Isar river we looked onto a huge, stately building on the other side. It was the Maximilaneum, the seat of the Bavarian Landtag, ie the state parliament of Bavaria. It stands on a hill above the river, and Simon felt the urge to go up there, but I thought we had better save it for another time and head north along the river. The cycle path here was a bit annoying because you have constantly to wait for green light. And then we were asked for directions. It was a bit silly, but I just had to boast with my knowledge about the city. And still could not really help the man. Instead the time went, and now we had to get some kilometers cycled, and therefore I decided to take the 'cyklostrada' through the English Garden. Here we knew the road and the paved trails without a lot of people invited to a fast ride. We took a different, more direct route, away from the beer garden at the Chinese Tower. And we both needed a good workout on the bikes. Therefore, we arrived at the Allianz Arena well in time. We even found a perfect, direct gravel path, but fine to drive on through the forest of Hirschau. Great! Especially when we rolled over the motorway bridge and saw that great stadium in front of us. Now we were here to watch football. Even two matches!
Access to the stadium went quite smoothly with the tickets that had been sent home to me with DHL. There were not so many people on the way in, but it was too early yet, and Bayern would only play the late game. Simon and I found our seats high up behind the middle of the goal end stand of the southern end of the stadium, the end where the Bayern fans usually stick to. We quickly got something to look at down on the grass as the opening show of the Audi Cup began. Considering, that this was only a small training tournament with four teams, who meet each other in the semi-finals on one day and play finals and bronze match the next day, it was quite a large-scale show with many participants who ran around between each other and formed a variety of mass shapes. And club logos also played a major role. I think Audi has invested heavily in promoting its name!
The first match was between Milan from Italy and Manchester City from England. A pair of large, prominent teams of which the English had only a few weeks to start of the season and therefore was likely to be more prepared and take the tournament most seriously. It also turned out to be the case, as they quickly took a big lead of 5-0 on goals by David Silva, Micah Richard, Aleks Kolarov and a brace by Edin Dzeko. It was as if Milan was not on the field, although it was certainly not a reserve team, they had sent on the pitch. But after 35 minutes the match was decided. A fantastic first half ended with three Milan - reductions within six minutes, two by El Shaarawy and one by Petagna. I thought that it might become the match with the most goals I 've ever seen in a stadium. There just had to be scored one more in the second half to beat Rosenborg vs. OB at Odense stadium in the Royal League, which had ended 5-3. But the second half ended, incredibly, totally without goals, so now I have seen two games with eight goals in. Now the stadium had filled up well with approx. a crowd of 52,000 out of the 69,000, there are seats for. With a price of 35 euro for each, they must have made good money for the cashier. We added a little income by supplementing the Arena cards we had gotten for free, up to an amount for food and drinks. It works well as long as there is money on the card. Otherwise you have to stand in a very long line to get it filled up. And as we were there for two games, we had to help ourselves at the counter a few times.
We saw our heroes from Bayern Munich plus two other European top teams. And then FC São Paulo, which is a completely blank page for us and for many others. But Brazilian football sounds like a serious matter. And proved to be a difficult opponent for Bayern. They had to play the first match of the Bundesliga, only one week later, so they were eager to show they were ready. And there was also the first match as triple winner in front of their home audience. The first match of importance for the new coach Pep Guardiola had ended with a defeat to Dortmund in the German super cup. So now it was about to get back on track again. In the first half, no score, although there were many chances for Bayern. The South Americans were most concerned with defending their goal. But shortly into the second half Bayern stroke. A long pass was allowed to go all the way over to Mario Mandzukic, who was close to the goal and could flush it into the net for a 1-0 lead. It lasted until five minutes before the time when Bayern decided the match with the second scoring. Xherdan Shaquiri banged the ball against the post, after which the young talent Mitchell Weiser came up and laid it cool into the long corner after looking the keeper out. A cool goal. Bayern were in the final against Manchester City, while Milan and FC Sao Paulo had to do with a match for the third place. But it was not until the following day, so now it was time to find home. It was completely dark, and then it's late in mid-summer. When we had taken our bikes on the highway bridge (nobody had fortunately had been wanting to throw them over the railing), we talked with a couple of Hungarians who took a picture of us with the red glowing stadium in the background. Then it looked just great with its shining Plexiglas pillows and looked like a spaceship that had landed on an empty space. The atmosphere was relaxed and cozy. Even a few Brazilians who spoke Portuguese were noticed, as we headed for the bikes.
The trip home was a little long, since we did not want to cycle anymore. But we found the safe route through Hirschau. Unfortunately Simon's rear wheel had a puncture, but luckiy we could pump it a few times. It worked until we came 'home' to Haus International. Once we went a bit wrong when we were to pass the Isarring. Suddenly I could not recognize the familiar paths and we ended up on a big road in the opposite direction. But then I saw a sign for Schwabing, and then it could not be completely wrong. A look at the city map confirmed that it was the right way, and soon we were on Leopold Strasse, which is Ludwigstrasse's extension to the north. It was great to check in at the hostel and creep down under the covers, as it had grown a bit cold. Before that we just popped in at the gas station opposite the hostel. Here came the day's downturn since the tank attendant thought my homemade footballhat looked, and I quote, "like shit". Well, there is more to ruin a perfect day and the wheat beer in the room still tasted good.