Friday, May 27, 2011
Onion Domes and Faux Finishes
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Today we spent our time walking around Munich taking in the sights and more importantly the food of the city. Munich is often symbolized by the two onion dome tours of Frauenkirche but there is much more to this modern, quaint city.
We awoke this morning pretty late and made our way over to Marienplatz to catch the chiming of the clock tower and the Glockenspiel figures that "joust" daily. I tried to get a video and once I edit it I'll upload it here, it was pretty cute. The clock tower is on the new city hall that appears to be really old. Actually that's a recurring theme in Munich as most of the city was flattened by the war but they decided to try and restore the city rather than level it and try to completely rebuild it.
From Marienplatz we went into St. Peter's Church whic was very beautiful. We then headed to the market area where there is basically a farmers market set up. It was really crowded as it was Saturday afternoon. We ate the German take on a gyro and then I got some fresh strawberries from one of the vendors, they were incredibly tasty.
From the market we headed to St. Anslem's which is a very small little church with BIG character. The church was built by two architect brothers and is basically the design studio of churches. Other church leaders could come and see this church and pick the parts they wanted to add to the construction of their own churches. It was very busy, alright, it was downright gawdy. It was everything that is wrong with church design! The only cool aspect was the way the ceiling was painted to appear curved even though it was really flat.
Anyway, the next stop was Frauenkirche where we toured the interior and then took a ride up to the top of one of it's spires, the highest spot in the city and a great place for pictures!
After the church we headed to the Residenz. This is where the Bavarian royalty lived until the after the first world war. We took two different tours here, the first was of the treasury which is all of the fancy pretty stuff that was given to the royal family. Lot's of pretty sparkly things in here! Next up was a tour of the 90 or so rooms that make up the museum which is only about half of the Residenz. Again, much was destroyed during the war but they are still working to restore it. It was quite incredible. There was one room that stood out called the reliquery, full of religious relics. They uad what they claimed was John the Baptists skull! A lot of the "relics" were body parts or bone in really ornate cases. Sort of creepy but also cool!
In one of the many dining rooms the ceiling was painted to appear taller than it really was, at first it looks goofy but if you stand in the very middle of the room it totally works! It feels like Disney's Haunted Mansion when the room stretches out. Very cool but also a little weird.
On leaving the Residenz I realized that what I thought was a stone facade was fake, it was a flat wall faux painted to look like it had depth, I did not like this fact, it seemed so fake!
After the Residenz we walked over to the Hof Garten, a little park with lots of people lounging. We took a break for a bit and enjoyed the sunshine before we were off again. This time we were in search of gelato and internet access since the wifi in our hostel refused to work. We found Eis and a Starbucks with 2 hours of internet for the price of a small iced coffee.
Next stop on our tour of Munich was dinner at the Haufbrohaus. The Haufbrahaus is said to be really touristy but that was fine with us, the band played traditional polka music and everyone sits at long tables with strangers who become friends pretty quick. The beer comes in huge 1 liter mugs, they were ridiculously huge! Even more ridiculous were the people at our table on their 3rd or 4th beer. I have no idea where they put it all! It was good fun eating spätzle and a pretzel singing along with the band.
Since we were only in Munich a short time there were a lot of places that we wanted to try so we left the Hofbrahaus and went over to an upstairs yodel bar where a guy plays according and sings. Everyone was dressed traditionally and the atmosphere was great. Unfortunately it was too crowded for us to get a seat and there was a group of men there for a bachelor party who were being overly friendly even after we told them we were married. So, we left there a little earlier than we really wanted to and headed to our last stop. Der Pschor where it was much more subdued and they served traditional apple strudel and I had the apple fritters which were absutely amazing! I want to go back just for the strudel!
We were exhausted by this time and knew that we uad a long day ahead of us in the morning so we headed back to the hostel for our last night in a dorm room.