9th August 2012 (Munich, Germany)
After the ‘pinakothek’ conundrum, I set out to find out what ‘fahrt’ meant. I have a rather juvenile view of the word ‘fahrt’, so suddenly einfahrt means ‘one fart’ and ausfahrt means ‘a fart from down under’ (as opposed to blowing raspberries, for example). Turns out it just means ‘ride’, hence fahrkarten = ‘ride card’ = ticket.
Spent a great deal of the morning in the Residenz sector, which is where some Bavarian royalty used to live. The touristy bits are the Treasury, the Palace and the Theatre, which I did in that order. The Treasury, as you might expect, was full of bling including stuff that you kind of go ‘why the hell would you encrust that in jewels?’, like plates and prayer books. It was not as interesting as I’d hoped.
The Palace was a lot better, although a lot of the rooms had been destroyed in World War II and have since been rebuilt and then redecorated in the style of the curator’s choosing from the millennium or so that the Ludwigs have lived there rather than the latest use of the room. So there were a number of offices that suddenly became bedrooms again, for example. There was a lot of gilt as well, and a fair number of portraits of people I forget now.
The Theatre was lovely, but a very disappointing ‘tour’. Basically, you went in, you came out, no behind-the-scenes action or view from the boxes, for example. Photo of the day comes from that venue, though: it was being cleaned at the time. The red drapes aren’t really drapes, you see, but some kind of plaster imitation, Rococo style. The guy in the photo uses a brush to dislodge dust and a nozzled vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust. I thought it represented Munich quite well. The city is mostly under construction, after all.
After Residenz I paid a visit to the Viktualienmarkt, which is a food market area just south of the city centre. I met a guy called Klaus at a cafe table and argued with him about smoking (he is pro, I am anti). Then had to find a nice way to ditch him so I could go to the Englischer Garten, which is a massive green area in the north.
The Lonely Planet recommended the beer garden near the Chinese Turm, so I headed there. It was big but not that exciting, so I changed course and aimed for the Japanese Teehaus only to find, when I arrived, that it’s only open one weekend a month and you have to book ahead for sittings.
For dinner I tried another Lonely Planet recommendation, the Baader Cafe, which happened to be in an area similar to Newtown, except the street was less King Street and more… Wilson Street. The waitress didn’t treat me as a dumb tourist so I ordered my random dinner with false confidence. I ended up with duck, couscous and zucchini for my main and a crepe with berries for dessert. Only the crepe was filled with, wait for it, sauerkraut. WTF?!