I’m learning that, for life here in Munich, it’s best to check the events calendar in advance and possibly even make reservations for weekend events. The trip downtown from where I live via public transport is complicated by subway track construction (we have to take a detour on a bus instead of riding straight in). BTW, no one drives into Munich! Plus the city gets so crowded on weekends, especially in the good weather we’ve been having.
But last weekend we got lucky. On Saturday morning my husband and I checked online and discovered it was Munich’s birthday and they were having a Stadtgründungsfest (“City Founding Party”). Going strong after 856 years, wow! We had no idea. Are we bad citizens?
In honor of the anniversary, the city was putting on a street fair so we made the trek early. We have learned to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds. If we plan so that we’re done by noon we can still manage to walk around fairly freely. After that, it’s shoulder to shoulder and no fun.
We arrived by subway at the Odeonsplatz stop, which was one end of the street fair. The other end was the famous Marienplatz where the Glockenspiel resides, about half a mile away – an easy walk on this mild, sunny day.
The Munich city walls were torn down in the 1800s. To build Odeonsplatz they tore down a 500-year-old city gate. Odeonsplatz then became the grand entrance to the city.
We emerged from the subway to see the square populated by beer tables and umbrellas with small wooden stalls around the perimeter. The stalls were occupied by modern-day handworkers and artisans, such as metalworkers, contractors and roofers.
fun that the first song the band played was “Happy Birthday” – even if
the singer’s German accent made it sound more like “Hippy Bus-day.”
There were so many signs prohibiting photos at the booths, so I eventually gave up. Munich is famous for this. But I can report there were many, many, many beautiful, wonderful things to see!
The copper lion statues flanking the entrance to the palace I mentioned before bear copper shields. The small lion heads on the copper shields are considered good luck if you rub them, so they are very shiny. James and I made sure we accumulated some luck as we passed by:
You aren’t supposed to take pictures in there, but I managed one standing in the doorway:
I’d been wanting to visit Dallmayr for a long time, but it was always so crowded. Today it wasn’t bad, so we went in.
Oh my! What a store! They have a gourmet coffee department, of course, and a gourmet tea counter, a gourmet candy counter, a gourmet vegetable counter, a gourmet deli counter, even a gourmet fresh meat department with rib-eye beef from Nebraska! They have sushi, wine, smoked meats, olive oil, vinegar, salt, spices, I can’t even tell you!
Upstairs they have a fancy cafe-bistro and next door is an upscale restaurant. Above the cafe is the kitchen where they make lots of the goodies downstairs. I believe the coffee is roasted off site these days.
One thing that’s missing is a secret underground tunnel just for me to go from Dallmayr directly to Kustermann, the gourmet kitchen shop a couple of blocks away. Maybe they have stalled construction due to Roman artifacts!
We continued to Marienplatz. Along the street was a department store selling the garb:
FYI, the Lederhosen on the mannequin costs 679 Euros (about $950), not including the shirt, sweater, hat, socks or shoes. Across the street is the Rolex store – just across from the Prada shop!
By the time we got to Marienplatz it was getting really crowded. There was a stage set up next to the Glockenspiel and stilted young ladies in costumery were blowing bubbles and dancing to the music being played.
Next a group of dancers took the stage as we were making our way through the crowd to the next subway station:
We encountered a large beer stein made out of balloons accompanied by an energetic girl cutting up with the crowd. Her “traditional” Dirndl was also made out of balloons!
After we left the center of town we took the train to the main station and then walked a few blocks to the Augustiner Keller Biergarten. But that’s another blog post. You’ll just have to wait to see the pictures of the yummy food we had there to restore ourselves!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: