Munich is a one-of-a-kind. And I am not saying that only because I have been living here for over 10 years now, but because it is simply the truth.
While Germany has many exciting places to see and visit, Munich MUST be on everybody´s bucketlist when planning a trip to “Old Europe”. Its prime location close to the Alps, Italy, Switzerland and Austria makes it not only a hotspot during Winter for skiing, it´s also a fantastic place to spend a couple of days at during Summer and Fall. Particularly Autumn is a very romantic season to visit. When the leaves change their shades, the countless parks and recreational areas in the downtown area turn into a festival of colors.
Just a few weeks ago, I was grounded for two weeks with a heavy cold at home. And while I wasn´t able to do any sort of activities or sports during this time, I had to satiate my enormous urge for movement in a different way. And what could be more activating yet calming than to spend the day out in Nature?
The combination of fresh air and warm Autumn sun (we were blessed this year with probably one of the most amazing and mildest Falls I can recall) cheer up any sick and miserable mind, so after I had stayed a few days home in bed, it was more than time to get out there and soak up that beauty waiting just outside my apartment door.
Like the shores of river Isar that flows just through downtown Munich. With several bridges to cross sides along the watercourse, this area makes you absolutely forget that you are strolling through a city center recreational area. The more you walk up the river, the less populated it gets. This is where I regularly run my errands. It´s also a popular spot to walk your dog, lie in the sun or even take a swim during Summer. And it is BBQ heaven for all of us. But maybe I like to come here as often as possible because it´s simply beautiful, especially on days like this! And, you´ll find one of my favourite Biergarten up here: Zum Flaucher!
Another spot I cannot do without at any time of the year is Englischer Garten. This downtown park covers more than 1.4 square miles and is (most people don´t know that) one of the world´s largest urban public parks. The areal is even bigger than the famous Central Park in New York! It is considered the “green lung” of Munich. And it surely is.
Divided into two half (the northern one being quieter, more idyllic and natural-seeming, the southern one a hotspot for locals and visitors with lots of well-kept open areas, hills, monuments and stretches), Englischer Garten is a true gem. As Munich has not too many high buildings in its skyline, you truly feel anywhere but walking the paths of a city center park. Lots of benches, meadows and even Biergartens (Chinesicher Turm in the Southern half, Seehaus im Englischen Garten in the Norther half) invite to sit down and recharge.
I personally like to lay in the grass and watch he clouds pass. Every time I do so, I feel the energy flowing. It´s spiritual.
But if you are looking for something more exciting and entertaining, how does surfing sound to you? Yes, you heard right! The Eisbach wave is world-famous and has attracted millions and millions of spectators and surfers from around the world. And it is fun, if only to stand on the side and watch these guys flipping from one side to the other and show each other who is the unparalleled master on the board.
A short walk from here lies Munich´s oldest park, the Hofgarten, which dates back to the 16th century.
This is one of my favourite spots during Summer for reading or simply having a coffee on the lawn. The small dome in the center is often used for classical concerts throughout the day and makes it therefore a relaxed spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets only a stone´s throw away.
So you see, tons of opportunities to breakaway from the bedroom and fight those depriving and depressing thoughts that illnesses can cause from time to time. And at the end of the day and with all that fresh air in my lungs, I might not have healed nor convalesced instantly, but I surely have gained a little more strength and definitely a deeper connection to the power and beauty of nature.
Come visit my home! And experience the fineness and soul of the largest village in the world yourself. And after you have walked the paths that I have walked today, maybe you will understand why Munich´s heart is beating all around…