Sunday, June 19, 2011

My first overseas trip: a year on- Munich

19/06/2010   Munich

It has rained for all of my time in Munich. If not rained, it has drizzled, or had the very real threat of rain about to be unleashed. It is also a little cool, so I have been wearing my jacket and scarf. But none of this has dampened my trip (pun intended), for there is something nice about the rain…maybe because we have not had that type of rain back home for what seems so long now. On my first full day in Munich I joined a walking tour of the city- yes, it rained, but it was still lovely! We took refuge in beautiful old churches and palaces. We walked under umbrella’s through the vast English gardens, dodging puddles and bicyclist. 

Day two saw me on a tour of the concentration camp at Dachau. Again, it was emotionally draining, but worthwhile... I don't think I ever need to see another of these places. Once more I was filled with grief, tears and utter sadness over why and how this occurred. Interestingly, there is an international memorial there (I think made in the 70's perhaps?), it is made up of the triangles (badges) of colour of those that suffered in the camps, with the exclusion of 2 - pink (for homosexuals) and black (for asocial elements such as gypsys and ‘work shy’ people). It was really sad to see that prejudice still existed then to the point that they chose not to respect these two groups of people in a memorial for those that suffered!

One of the best things about Munich was that my friend M has a mate called Stephen whom she used to work with in Dublin. She kept insisting that he and I catch up, and I am glad I said yes. He is such a nice guy and originally from Ireland. We meet on a couple of occasions after he had finished work for the day. One night we had drinks at a cool bar, moved on to dinner at a gay bistro and then were off through the gay section of town and onto a couple of gay bars. The bars were tiny and full of smokers !!! I drank way too much (note to self- Don’t try and keep up with an Irish drinker) and am amazed that I somehow made my way back to my hotel in the early hours of the morning. The next night Stephen and I had dinner at a Bavarian styled place (with kitschy décor), walked through town and then had coffee.

Munich has quite a few art galleries and I decided to spend the good part of my last full day in Munich visiting three of them. Walking from the hotel I put on the discman and let the music fill my head. First up local Aussie raw energetic garage/rock group -Eddy Current Suppression Ring´s LP 'primary colours' fittingly sound tracked the grey and wet streets. ‘Memory Lane’ screamed into existence and the words.. “as i walk down memory lane”... caused me to reflect that I was walking along the same streets that so many historical figures have as well, infact they may have taken the exact same steps at the exact same speed as I !!!  WOW!! And then lost in fantasy I realised that I had become a little dis-orientated (yes .... lost !!). The track 'which way to go' comes on and it is if I was making the lyrics up there and then-'and I still don't know, which way to go'. This put such a big smile on my face!!!

I soon found my way and arrived in an area filled with some of the galleries I had planned to see and wow!!! I saw such great things! At 'neue pinakothek' I saw many great works including one of Vincent Van Gogh's sunflower paintings. As walked past other paintings I had these realisations that I had seen many of these before in books !!  It was so exciting.... I next went to the ‘museum Brandhorst’ and saw some great modern pieces. In particular they had a brilliant collection of Cy Twombly. I didn't really know this person before I had been to the gallery, but immediately loved the art. The canvases were HUGE and the paintings looked so great. At the ‘pinakothek der moderne’ I saw some architecture, design and art exhibitions.... which were all very aesthetically pleasing. The thing I realized was that not only are the galleries filled with fantastic art, but the buildings themselves are beautiful!!  Some had very modern designs and others were more classical looking (ie. Greco-Roman).

Anyway, what a huge day!!!!... as great as it all was, three galleries were more than enough, and I walked back to the hotel in the rain, which had become heavier. Future of the left's Lp 'travels with myself and another'..came on, very fitting! They are a heavier, indie-rock/noise-rock group. Jaggered guitars sounded in my ears, Vocals yelped and the rain lashed against my near to collapsing umbrella... brilliant !! The energy of the music played against Munich's weather and got me back to the Hotel.

I’d had such an interesting time in Munich despite the constant rain. Stephen certainly made it so much better than it could have been! Tomorrow I am off to Zurich! It is a four hour scenic train trip Via Austria! Wow!!

Next Stop- Zurich 

 The City's beautiful buildings:


Not as old but definitely as cool, is this:

The English garden:

Inside one of the many beautiful churches:

Deutsche Bahn Trains!

Tram!!!  Just like being back home.

Cool scaffolding!

One of the original gates to the city!

 Cy Twombly:

A local outfit anyone?

At the internet cafe I was frequenting, they had lovely Peonies on the tables. Very classy!

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