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|From: "Bron Gondwana" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 03:57:52 +1000 (EST)
What a night - or something. Got in about 11:30pm and the light was still on in our dorm, but we quietly got into bed and turned it off. At about 1:10am, a bunch of people came in and made heaps of noise. At 7am, and alarm went off for ages, finally waking one of those noisy 1am people - who proceeded to very noisily pack. So much for a good night's sleep... There's a discount for doing two walking tours, so we joined the Munich Tour. This was probably the worst of our tours - the guide was a native German speaker, and a very casual university dude, dude. He started the tour saying how bad everything was, though he improved a lot towards the end. The main annoyance was that he mixed all the information together in a very conversational style, and didn't know the answers to a lot of questions that people had. Still, we learned a lot about the city. Munich (München - litterally "Cute little monk") was founded quite recently by Bavarian standards, and has always had a bit of an inferiority complex because most of the suburbs are actually a lot older than the town centre (some of them double the age!) To make up for this, they have built lots of big churches. The Church of our Lady (Frauenkirke) was built in 25 years, entirely of brick. They then ran out of money to decorate the insides, so they got the pope to announce a pilgrimage to the church, and convinced nobles to donate lots of money in exchange for indulgances (spend money building the church and get usherred through purgatory and straight into heaven, easy hey). Soon they were prosperous. Pity that business model doesn't work so well these days. Learned about the Bavarian Royalty and their foibles - off to see a castle of Mad King Ludwig's tomorrow. After the tour we were grabbed lunch and then wandered over to look at the library (biggest public library in the world!) and the English Gardens (biggest public gardens in the world!). The staircase in the library wasn't as impressive as expected, but the nude sunbakers in the gardens ceratinly exists. Supposedly there are particular areas set aside for nude sunbaking, but nobody takes any notice, they just strip off (some people just down to bikinis/bras/underwear, others all the way) and sunbake. There's quite a fast flowing stream running through the middle, where dogs jump in and retrieve sticks to the amusement of the people (and the distraction of one poodle that just wasn't quite brave enough!) We heard a particularly bad brass band, a decent jazz group and some impressive drumming. On the way out of the gardens there were people surfing a standing wave at the start of the stream. Quite a surprise to see people surfing in Munich, but there were about 8 of them taking it in turns, complete with wetsuits, boards, special shoes, etc - the whole kit. After a couple of trams back to the centre, Kate headed off to the net cafe to start writing diary entries, while I climbed St Peter's Chirch (306 steps by my count) to see an amazing view over the whole city. And gosh, we're actually up to date again... plans for the immediate future are more vague than usual - we're considering going to Luxembourg rather than Cologne in a couple of days, and shifting the arrival in York a couple of days to compensate. We did leave a spare week there, but we're not coming back to this part of the world, so we want to see as much as possible!
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