München and Maria

If there was ever a beautiful, wealthy European city, rich with history and chock full of impossibly well groomed citizens driving big, shiny, expensive cars, it is Bavaria’s capital, Munich. And it was to Munich we went yesterday to catch the pure voiced Maria Mena in concert. SG took a day off work so we could spend the day frolicking in the city, before winding our way to the über cool warehouse-turned-live-music-space, Kesselhaus. And frolic we did, once we found a park which involved SG doing his bizarre, German, curb mounting trick. Where I come from, mounting a curb is to be avoided at all costs and/or an indication of your ineptitude as a parker. SG mounts curbs like it’s no one’s business and makes it part of each park. And he is not alone in this. Perhaps it’s a European thing.

With the weather crisp and sunny, we started in the English Garden. I was after coffee and a lakeside nap. We ended up at the Chinese Tower eating plates of meat and drinking steins of beer. SG tore into an actual pig’s leg and I went for the classic schnitzel (apparently not so classic a choice in Bavaria when one is faced with the choice between a pig’s leg and schnitzel, but I am not quite Bavarian enough for the pig’s leg.) Yet another photo of me waving a huge beer glass around (which actually contained a shandy) was snapped for the archives and I swapped my bacon-heavy, limp sauerkraut with an ice cream. Just in case I hadn’t ingested enough fat for one day.

Tragically, the pig leg isn't in focus.

The English Garden was full of people basking in Spring’s rays, a classic example of the mass rush to open spaces that blue skies and lemony light produce. We found a not-too-damp spot by the stream and revelled in the cool sunlight along with half of München. I got Spring Enjoyment Envy when I noted a few clever couples with picnic blankets and bottles of wine. Next time I will not be caught out by a sparkling stream without them.

From there it was a simple stroll through the city. We stopped at the famous Hofbräuhaus for an apfelschorle and spezi (Schwip Schwap or Mezzo Mix or just cola and Fanta mixed together for us non-Germans) nothing stronger because SG was driving and we had already partaken in a hearty beer in the English Garden. Then it was a coffee overlooking Marienplatz and the utterly imposing New Town Hall, where people watching has never been better.

And then it was time for Maria, my favourite Norwegian songbird. Kesselhaus is about 10 kilometres out of the city and appears to be some sort of renovated warehouse. It is an excellent live music venue with great sound and 4 € plastic cups of white wine. Can’t have everything. Here, along with a classically German crowd – reserved and enthusiastic simultaneously – we were wooed by Maria’s sparkling music, the icing on a cake of a day.

And now for some more photos …