Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hello Bavaria! - Munich Day 4

As you may have seen in the previous posts about Munich, I was lucky enough to convince the company I work at to send me to Germany for five days for a design conference called Push Conference. I have been writing them slightly out of order because I wanted to get the conference posts out as soon as possible, with the tourism posts to come later. And here they are!

Yesterday was the glorious final day of Push Conference, and while I was sad that the conference was over, the feelings soon subsided to make way for the excitement of today - to which I had especially been looking forward. I would be heading out of Munich to the mountain town of Tegernsee, which looked like a quaint collection of alpine gingerbread houses in Google Images.

Before I made my way to the train, I decided to walk over to Marienplatz (where the walking tour a few days ago had been). Today would be my only opportunity to see the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, a tourist attraction of world renown. The glockenspiel is an old cuckoo-clock dating back to 1908 that chimes with one of a few different tunes at 11:00AM every day. The tune is accompanied by a delightful two-part story containing 32 life-sized figures that twist and turn.

And as everyone in Munich knows, you haven't seen the whole show unless you wait around (for the 12-15 minute duration of the show) to see the golden rooster make his cock-a-doodle-do at the end. And so I did!

After watching the Glockenspiel do its thing, I wandered over to the Victualsmarket to get my traditional German breakfast: a pretzel, mustard, two weißwurst sausages, and a hefty stein of weißbier. I was really hungry because I had been focusing on getting to the clock in time, and was really excited to eat my food. I sat at a picnic table outside in the biergarten in the victualsmarket and pondered how I would go about eating my weißwurst.

As my friend from Munich told me, one is not meant to consume the casing around the sausages. There are thousands of ways to get the inner meat out and into one's mouth, and he suggested I try to most popular method: sucking the meat out through a cut hole on one end. I decided that I would go a more dignified route and make a lengthwise cut, splitting the sausage and scraping the meat out with my knife. It worked quite well!


Panorama of the victualsmarket from where I was sitting.

The food was very good, including the beer (which was probably more than I usually drink in one sitting, and definitely more than I've ever had before 12:00PM). I drained the last bit of my beer as I chatted a little with a British couple who had sat down to share my table, and then was off with a renewed (beer-fueled) energy to climb the Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) for the best view in the city. I had actually climbed this church last time I was in Munich, and I was excited to do it again. Here are some more photos of my walk through the victualsmarket on my way to the church:

I was probably a little less careful than I normally would have been (thanks, beer) and hip-checked a few people as I passed them on the stairs. So much for polite Canadian tourists! Below is a time-lapse I took as I climbed.

The view was breathtaking.

After that, I purchased some fun postcards to write in Tegernsee, and a traditional apfelstrudel (apple strudel cake) from the bakery in the square, and then was off into the U-Bahn to transfer to the BOB (Bayerische OberlandBahn) train that would take me to Tegernsee.

This was tooooooo good.

Tegernsee was a suggestion from my friend who had lived in Munich for some time. It's not too far out of Munich (only about an hour by train), and boasts beautiful mountain views. I was also intrigued by the fact that the annual Mountain Film Festival was happening on the day I would be there! I had taken some time before my trip to find a film in English of course.

I bought my BOB ticket (about CAD$30 return trip) and waited for the train. What I didn't realize was this: the three BOB lines all share the same first five or six stops out of Munich, and start off all connected together until their final shared station. Here, they separate and go their own ways. So you have to make sure you enter the train in the right part, which I definitely did NOT. The conductor explained this all to me in German, which I didn't really understand until we got to this last shared stop. Immediately I knew that this was an issue that other people had also had trouble with, because I ended up following the suit of lots of other passengers getting out and run down the line to their appropriate portion of the train. I ran too, and laughed to myself. It was hilarious.

The train station.

The rest of the ride became extremely beautiful as the train added more distance between itself and Munich. Check out this video that I took out the window. It looks like a Ghibli film.

As the train pulled into Tegernsee, I felt like I was in another world. It is drop-dead gorgeous. Words cannot even explain. Just look at the pictures.

The town is surrounded by lots of mountains and a beautiful glistening lake along one side. All down the shoreline, there were wooden benches to lie on and relax. I took a little rest and removed a bunch of my layers, because the sun was shining and the weather was excellent. I sat and took in my surroundings, and marvelled at where I was for a few moments.

After that, I was off to my first stop of the day - the Olaf Gulbransson Museum. I had seen some pictures of his work online, mostly interesting gesture drawings and stuff like that. I thought it would be a nice little half hour of time. As I arrived at the entrance and showed my student ID for a discounted admission, the woman at the desk asked if I was a student of art or design. I said yes, and she told me that admission was free for me! How amazing! And that wasn't even the half of the amazingness inside.

There was a special exhibition going on - the works of Henning Wagenbreth. I had never heard of him, but as soon as the elevator doors opened, his work slapped me in the face with a shock of colour.

The other works in the museum were also lovely. Only two small one-room-buildings connected underground, the museum was a very nice size to wander through for about an hour.

One of the rooms had these viewing doors, to show you where the focus of the work is meant to be. I liked them for their sheer function and the fact that I had never seen this kind of thing before.

As I left the museum, I considered the rest of my day as I gazed down the hill toward the water. There was a minigolf course between the museum and the shore, which I thought was rather interesting.

At this point I decided not to attempt to climb a small mountain, as had been my original goal for the town of Tegernsee, because there was simply so much to do. Especially as I only had a couple of hours until the film I had chosen would play, I felt I should stay close to town. So I looked out over the water for a few moments, and then wandered over to an old cemetery that I had walked by earlier in the day. I always seem to be attracted to cemeteries, they are just so much more beautiful in Europe than they are in Canada.

There was a rock climbing...thing and some other items of interest along the dock for the film festival.

From the cemetery I wandered over to a supermarket to see what the people of Tegernsee like to eat.

Pretty produce.

Big beers!!

After that, I began to walk toward the theater to get my film ticket. There were booths and stalls lining the street as I walked, including a lovely live band.

Vintage buttons and pins!

I want to live here.

This door is so lovely!

Olive mustard. I could eat this with a spoon.

I tried a bunch of jams, olives, cheese and mustards (Germans love their “senf” - German for mustard), and ended up buying a little jar of homemade olivensenf (olive mustard) to bring home. Then I bought my ticket for the film, and wandered the streets for another 20 minutes or so until the theater opened.

I was seeing a movie called Drawing the Tiger, which was actually directed by an American, who to my surprise, was present in the theater for the screening. She introduced the movie in English (which was then translated into German for everyone else), and it began. To my disappointment, the film, which was advertised as Nepalese and English with German subtitles, only included about two lines of English. I honestly don't even know why they classified it as an English movie. So, I sat through it and read what I could of the German subtitles. The filming was beautiful anyway.

After the film, there was a Q&A in which I gleaned some more information about what I had seen. I still wanted to chat with the director, so I made sure to steer away from the subject of the movie and asked her where she was from. She told me that she was from Seattle, which is only of my favourite places that I have visited. I told her I was from Toronto, and she divulged that the film had debuted at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (just down the street from me!), which makes sense since the documentary is a Canadian film format.

This was the front of the theater after I left. Already dark out!

I had planned to see another, shorter movie, but it was getting rather cold and dark out by this time. I checked on the train times and noticed that if I stayed for this second movie, my trip back to Munich would take an extra hour. So I made my choice to get on the train back to the city instead. Not a terrible loss, as I had seen a lot of Tegernsee indeed!

I had miscalculated how much money to take with me for the day, so I planned to go back to my AirBnB to grab some more, and an extra sweater. I would grab some dinner and write my postcards (since I had been to caught up in the excitement of Tegernsee to write them there). I considered eating at Bazi's, but accidentally walked into Beverley Kills bar next door by mistake which was fun. It was very loud and decidedly not a take-out window for boxed Bavarian dinners, which was what I was looking for.

Bazi's looked good, but I opted to take the U-Bahn toward Hauptbahnhof to check out the Augustiner Keller restaurant that was on my list of things to see. Hauptbahnhof is kind of like Union Station in Toronto, the epicenter of transit in the city. There were some cool art installations similar to the Contact Festival in Toronto, and lots of little kiosks and places to eat.

The Augustiner Keller is your average Bavarian beerhall. I got a beer and a plate of schnitzel and potato salad, and they gave me two pots of mustard to try with my schnitzel which was wonderful. The mustards in Germany are amazing. I wrote my postcards (all eight of them) and reflected on my day in Tegernsee. I actually stayed until I was the last one there, around midnight.

I was attempting to be out late with the young people, but sleep was creeping up on me from all the things I had done that day. So I called it a night and took the U-Bahn back to Sendlinger Tor. As I was walking to the AirBnB, two tourists stopped me and asked if I knew where Beverley Kills bar was, which I thought was particularly hilarious.

I saw some lovely 3D printed jewelry (or it looked like it, anyway) which gave me some ideas for things to make here in Toronto.

And that pretty much wraps up day four of my trip. Stay tuned for my final day, in which I take in more museums than is probably healthy for one person, and get yelled at by a rabbi in a beautiful Orthodox Synagogue. It was quite a time. Until then!

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