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Day 18 – 4 June (Thursday)

sunny

It is a holiday in Munich today – “Feast of Corpus Christie” day – it celebrates the belief in the body and blood of Christ as being a really present in the Eucharist (Holy Communion). Andrew suggested we hire bikes for the day. Bill and I were in total agreement. We walked into the city which was very quiet car-wise – but busy people-wise and bike-wise. We had coffee and pastry on the way in – it was very pleasant sitting out in the street and enjoying the coffee – although Andrew did not enjoy his. He thinks I am lacking in discrimination about coffee and I think his standards are too high.
We picked up hire bikes at 9.30am and set off for the English Gardens – so called because the park is based on a design which was popular in Britain back in the 1800s (probably in the time of Pride and Prejudice). This is a large park (very much like Hyde Park in London – but I think a bit better actually – I have to reluctantly admit this). It is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is filled with deciduous trees and open grassy areas and also has man-made streams running through it. The Lsar River runs along one side of it which adds to its charm.
We came first to a stream that has been shaped in such a way as to create a permanent wave of about one meter. Surf board riders queue up to ride the wave – we really enjoyed watching them. Some fell in almost straightaway but others had great staying power. The protocol is that no matter how good you are you should never stay on for more than a minute or so.
We then cycled through the gardens – this was delightful. The trees are in full leaf and the grass is rich green. As the day wore on more and more people came into the park and with them more and more bikes. There are paths criss crossing all through the park and everywhere there were cyclists and people walking. There are two beer gardens in the park – they are located in the shade of trees and are very popular. We thoroughly enjoyed riding around in the park. It was a perfect sunny day – maybe a bit warm in the sun but beautiful in the shade. Groups of people picnic in the grassy areas. This bike riding was most relaxing.
We sat in one of the beer gardens for lunch. It was thronging with people and to add to the atmosphere a brass band was playing. We shared a meal of pork knuckle, sauerkraut and baked potatoes – very German.
We then rode up to the BMW museum and its main display place. This was a great ride along the wide roadways of Munich. On most of the main roads there is a dedicated bikeway beside the footpath. The one thing I had to remember is “stay on the right” – in Australia it is “stay on the left” – you know what I am like about left and right – but I managed. We then rode through Olympic Park (the 1972 Olympics were held here and became infamous due to a terrorist group taking Israeli athletes hostage – the end result was the hostages where all killed – I remember the occasion very well). Crowds of people and bikes were enjoying the park.
We then rode on to Nymphenburg Palace which dates from the 1660s. It is surrounded by very extensive gardens. It was a very interesting place - a place worth visiting.
We then rode back into Munich and had dinner at the same place as yesterday. I had the same (when you are on a good thing – stick to it). Andrew and Bill tried a pork and dumpling dish – they thought it was OK but a bit on the heavy side.
We then rode down to the river. There were crowds of young people lounging along the shore of the river, riding bikes or just walking around – it was peak hour traffic – but the traffic was bikes and people. Evidently the good weather had drawn the residents of Munich out of their houses to enjoy the outdoors.
We then returned the bikes – it was about 6.30pm – and walked home. I was exhausted – but I thoroughly enjoyed the day and also enjoyed cycling in the city of Munich.

Posted by Tomheasley 21:44 Archived in Germany

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