PHOTO: A Rainy Meander In Munich
After the trials and tribulations associated with my short fight with food poisoning in Berlin and Budapest, I was looking forward to better health in Munich so I could actually enjoy a bit of my trip. It seemed luck wasn’t going to be on my side though, as the weather was pretty atrocious for the majority of my time there. One day was entirely rained out and the rest of the my stay remained overcast and drizzly, making touring a bit uncomfortable and photography difficult.
Still I tried my best to get out and enjoy the city and see some of the sights. Unlike Berlin, Munich definitely struck me as having a more “Germanic” feel. Where as historic buildings and German cultural flair wasn’t as easy to find in Berlin, Munich seemed to have something in those categories around every corner. Overall the city struck me as much cozier and “homey”.
Despite the rain, Munchners were out and about in droves. I’d expect nothing less from a people known so much for their efficiency and work ethic. Much like Tokyo the standard issue uniform seemed to be varying shades of black and grey. I’m not sure if the rainy weather was impacting moods so heavily in Munich, but bright colors were few and far between.
Much like the people, the buildings in Munich seemed quite serious and dark. While modern additions seemed to favor heavy use of beige building materials with glass accents, the historic buildings proudly stood dressed mimicking the citizens dashing about below.
Which isn’t to say Munich lacks vibrancy. You have to look a little longer while out wandering, but the hunt makes it all the more surprising and pleasant when you run across something more lively.
After wandering about in the rain for much of the trip, I decided to finally spend sometime indoors. I spent a day wandering through Munich’s Residenz and Cuvillies Theater, both of which were amazingly beautiful and full of rich colors and culture. I’m not usually a big fan of museums but the Residenz really enthralled me. While it had its fare share of display cases feature little odds and ends with boring signage detailing the history of German royal combs and what not, the majority of the sights inside this treasure trove were the architecture and building itself. Wandering from room to room looking at the preserved furniture and architectural detail in each room through the centuries was a fascinating and moving adventure.
And while the Cuvillies Theater has little to offer other than a quick step in to view the stage and seats, the view itself was quite possibly the most enchanting of my entire trip to Munich. The deep red and golden fixtures lit up with stage lights remains the one image I carry in my head when I think of Munich. I was lucky enough to visit toward the end of the day when no other visitors were present, so I simply stood at the foot of the stage and gazed out at the beautiful scene. I can’t imagine being an actor or musician performing on that stage. How difficult it must be to not be upstaged by the venue!
At the end of my trip I was disappointed that both the weather and my health kept me from really making the most of my time in Munich. It struck me as a fascinating city with a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. Sadly I only really scratched the surface of a single neighborhood while I was there. It’s on my list of cities I’d love to return to and explore a bit further sometime in the future.