Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-08-17

Stayed the night in Munich

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
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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