Category: Munich 1

Munich – return after 20 years (1/2).

op_me Inspired by James Bond films where our hero turns up at the airport and says “get me the next flight to …” I was inspired to see Europe and went Interailing.Most of the places on the trip, I’ve visited a few times since, but once place that left a mark and didn’t get any attention was Munich.So I rustled up a few friends and off we went.
I absolutely love Germans. Across the whole of Europe, they’re easily my favourite nationality.I’m fascinated by their sense of organisation and it always amuses me when German friends get annoyed by being stereotyped as hyper efficient.On arrival at the airport, this virtual booth promises to answer your question.I thought the picture on the screen of the smartly dressed tourist assistant was designed to catch my eye and then I’d need to type a question on the keyboard.  booth1
 booth2 But no.We press the button and a real person appears in hi definition 1080p video, speaking perfect English.We asked for details of our train, what time and where. She answered all our questions, wished us good evening and we headed off towards the town.
Our hotel had been chosen by Glenn.It was superb and the service excellent.Only problem with nice hotels, is that the cost of the room, is only the beginning. The price of everything else goes up as well.In this case, beer was £6 per pint.We headed out and I was delighted to find the famous Augustiner (listed in my guidebook) just across the road (more about that later).  lads
 underground  Next morning, after the best breakfast I’ve eaten in years (they must have kidnapped someone from England to make the scrambled eggs that good !) we head out for the day.The Munich underground, wasn’t as modern as I’d expected although the carriages arrived exactly on time.
Our first stop was Olympia park.It was the place that totally inspired me on my previous visit to Munich. Back then, it was 20 years old, and now 40.It was insightful to see, as back home there had been numerous discussions about London’s Olympic facilities, and what would happen to them once the Olympics were over.  op_pool
 op_lake Considered revolutionary for its time, it included large sweeping canopies of acrylic glass stabilized by steel cables.The lake in this picture was frozen but in the summer, people canoe in it.
 The view of Olympia hill.A man made hill that overlooks the stadium (the landscaping of the site, cost 20 times what the actual facilities cost).  op_hill
 op_hilltop1 A view from the top of the hill.A plaque says that the hill isn’t naturally occurring.It was constructed from bomb destroyed homes in Dresden.
For 33 years, Bayern Munich played regularly in the Olympic stadium.In 2005 they moved to the Allianz Arena, which they share with TSV 1860 Munich.  op_hilltop2
 tower  The swimming pool and behind it the Olympia tower, 291m high.It was closed to the public on this visit, but previously I’d stood on the viewing platform with Dave, Lee & Caz.
Our next sight was the must see BMW welde (BMW world). Not to be confused with the BMW museum, it features displays and things for children.One thing I’d love to try. You can buy a custom BMW and pick it up from here and drive it home (wherever that is in the world!). They will actually organise your trip home, hotel reservations, restaurant bookings the lot.  bmw_welt
 bcar One of the attractions.A bubble car is driven up and down every hours by an immaculately dressed blond women, chauffeuring young children around in it.
Through the window, the BMW worldwide headquarters.7000 people work in this building mostly working on new innovations and ideas.Before leaving, we were lucky enough to have a tour of the BMW factory and got to see some of the ideas brought to life.The bowl to the right of it is the BMW museum which we’d visit next.  bmw_mus
 bmw_walkway The BMW museum was both spectacular and immaculate.Glenn commented that he had been in hospitals that were dirtier.
Inside they had classic cars, racing cars, motorbikes and aeroplanes.  bmw_car1
 bmw_plneng  Dan and Glenn looking at a section on engines.
Specific things are featured (however subtly) on every BMW model, be it a sports car or a 4×4.One example, is the twin “kidney grills” on the front.I’ve seen them a hundred times, but never really noticed before.  bmw_desdetails
 bmw_clay  A massive section on car design featured several concept cars and most interestingly, this clay car.They don’t wast money designing the new shape of a car, casting it in metal and then putting it in a wind tunnel.Its much quicker and cheaper to do it with clay and put that in the wind tunnel.
I was convinced the bar across the road from ours was the “proper” Augustiner (said to be the best beer hall in the city).Many ale houses masqueraded as the Augustiner and I was taken in.This is the actual one in the centre of town.  aug1
 aug3 On the inside, its bigger than a cinema and packed to the rafters.
The imposter, near our hotel.Although I felt dirty and used, I quite liked the place, so we continued to drink here on the way back to our hotel each day.  aug2