Finally there has been acouple days this week with no rain so I was free to explore the city and get a feel for what the summer life in München is really like. Its amazing how alittle sun and warmer weather completely changes the atmosphere of a place. As I walked through the old karlplatz (inner city) I was amazed by just how alive and vibrant the atmosphere is here, not just because of the sheer number of people, but all the festivals, live music, and performances going on make the city center a hub for Bayerisch culture and celebration. If you make it to Marienplatz (nearby square) around 12pm or 5pm you can also see the glockenspiel play. This always draws large amounts of tourists and there are almost always some really cool street performances going on nearby.
When you get tired of the pavement, buildings and crowded downtown, you can walk ten minutes to the Englishergarten the central park of München. It never ceases to amaze me just how large the parks are in Germany, the Englishergarten is so large that you can be inside it and not see any buildings whatsoever (it’s in the middle of the city). Another plus is that the river Isar (eisbock) goes through the park. In this there are places for surfing, swimming, or just lazing down the river in an inter tube. I could not believe the beauty of this park when I went to visit it on a sunny warm day. There are massive fields of sunbathers, people playing volleyball, Fußball, or throwing Frisbee’s. Music is played everywhere, and whenever you get too hot, you’re always welcome to jump into the Isar and let it carry you to a different part of the park. Also, if you work up an appetite, there is a biergarten in the middle of the park that can seat over 7000 people and always has great traditional Bayerisch food and drink.
This weekend we made use of the good weather and made a trip out to Chiemsee one of the lakes around München. From this lake you get a clear view of the alps and have ample opportunity for enjoying good food, boat rides on the lake, and gorgeous scenery. It is only an hour outside the city via train so I would recommend this to anyone as a day trip with friends, its well worth the 7 euro train ticket for the day.
Class things, so I am still the only American that I know of here in the München CDC which has been awesome for getting to know people from other cultures and practicing my German. The classes also have gotten very difficult, we have covered (in theory) all of the grammatical structures of German and have a good base vocabulary so now we are learning how to same things in a more academic or educated manner. This has caused endless amounts of frustration, because I am able to say most of what I would ever want to, but now I have to relearn how to say something in a different way so that I can sound more formal. Naturally the formal way of saying something is much more complicated than the casual way. It also requires verb noun combinations that make almost no sense if literally translated to English, so this has proved difficult. I am continually asking “why is this verb needed here” or “why is this noun here”. The difference between what is said is minute also, for example, it could be the difference between saying “can I ask you a question” and “may I pose a question to you”.
Pro-Tip of the week! This will save you endless amounts of embarrassment!
-When jumping in the Isar make sure that your swim suit is tied very tightly, the river is actually very quick and will take your shorts if you are fighting the current, and although it is perfectly legal to be naked in the Englischer garten (there is always a section of naked people) I am guessing that most prefer not to join them. Until next time!