Germany, land of engineering excellence, great cars, historic cities, good wine, tons of photographic opportunities, and reluctantly I have to say, disappointing coffee.
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Munich Rathaus, city hall, in Marienplatz.. One of the largest Gothic buildings I’ve seen.
Arrived in Munich by train, about 40 minutes late. Not that it mattered much to us, but it’s interesting for me at least to find that the German reputation for efficiency and service is not all to be believed. The trains we’ve been on have a comparatively low level of facility, ie mostly no wifi, no extras, bottles of water etc, and then late on this last trip. You can see it’s all adding up.
Did our usual city wander by afternoon then out for a cheap meal, and a short stroll after dark.
Architectural variation adds to the city’s interest too. This building, sits adjacent to the massive Gothic Rathaus, city hall in Marienplatz.
A city with good mix wide streets and narrow lanes often curving creating the disconnectedness in the city.
People relax late in day while children play on a water feature without water at one end of Marienplatz.
Our hotel has absolutely crap wifi service. The worst we’ve experienced anywhere on tour. It is handy location-wise albeit interestingly in “Little Arabia”. Walking distance to station and central city points of interest.
The hookah boys, set up for a puff opposite our hotel entrance, Munich.
We arrived outside Rathaus simultaneously with a raucous group of chanting, drum playing, placard carrying protesters. Couldn’t decerne the cause, but they were certainly enthusiastic about it.
Took the train to Dachau this morning. Spent several hours at the concentration camp memorial. What an experience. Man, what those poor buggers had to put up with at the mercy of the Nazi’s is beyond comprehension. We have all gotten to believe this anyway, but seeing this memorial, a really well presented museum with tons of imagery and information boards was a really moving experience. Overwhelming. Could only take about a third of it in. That was enough. Another city walk tonight. Munich is another really interesting city, historically, architecturally and culturally.
Dachau bunker building on right side of yard with barracks on left. The whole concentration camp museum covers an amazing area but no where near large enough to house with any level of humanity the number that Nazis forced in.. This is just a small part of it. At times there were over 60,000 here at one time.
Long depressing hallway or corridor between the row of cells in one of horrific bunker buildings.
Though inspection opening in bunker cell door.
The corridor again from cell number 30.
Corridor and and cell interior through inspection opening in door from corridor of bunker block
Memorial sculpture in grounds of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial museum. Feels more than a little grotesque to me.
The BMW Museum is a worthwhile experience for any visitor to Munich. About 15 minutes from central station and you arrive at the BMW plant, museum and BMW Welt (World). The cars, company history and the marvelous architecture will ensure you find this an interesting outing regardless of your auto enthusiasm.
Arriving at these peak tourist attractions is a hectic experience. Usually 2 or 4 buses seem to have heard we’ll be there and arrive simultaneously disgorging the thousands (or so it seems) tourists all jostling for prime position with their forest of selfie-sticks waving in the breeze. Yuk!
Some of the amazing modern architecture of BMW Welt, Munich.
Architecture of BMW Museum, Museum with surrounding reflections.
the architecture and cars are equally impressive. Sorry no photos of cars, but you know what they look like.
Public transport is never much fun. Undergrounds less so, however when you come across an exception, it is a pleasant surprise that takes the edge of the less desirable aspects of undergrounds etc. The Marienplatz station Munich.
Last day in Munich. Rained all night, still drizzling when we arise. Being Sunday everything closed, except McDonalds. So that’s our breakfast venue.
Then we walk in the drizzle to the Pinakothek der Moderne, What a wonderful gallery. Art, installations and the interior architecture defy the what from the spartan outside concrete block construction. Then the afternoon is filled with a walk through the English Gardens. What a feature to have in middle of city. Rivers, creeks, trees, fields and of course people. As rain stops becomes quite pleasant, though still overcast and cold. High today 14. Have had up to 26 over the last week.
Pinakothek der Moderne, art installation, Audi car. This pace is filled with tremendous installations, design products, modern and masters art works. This installation is on a wall about 4 meters high.
Runner in red on one of the many tracks around and through the English Gardens, Munich.
So, once again we training, Munich to Stuttgart. Once on and settled very relaxed way to travel.
Scenery changes from urban/industrial on outskirts of Munich to attractive rural and back to industrial as we approach Stuttgart about 2 hours later.
Once into hotel we head off for a walk around city, and back for the evening drinks in our room. The usual cheap as hell bottle of wine and cheeze and crackers. the latter have to be cleaned up on the night we buy them due to the fact that most accommodation in this part of the world provides neither fridges nor tea and coffee making facilities in your room. At this time I’m in for another disappointment. The hotel, Novum Boulevard in city centre, bills as it’s top benefit free high speed wifi. Well, its the worst. Thought the last place set the record for that, bugger me, no this one leaves it for dead. I give up after an hour. At almost 10.00 pm I manage to successfully logon. Then it takes over 10 minutes to upload this web page to the stage above this paragraph. Sure as hell makes me want to revert to snail mail. Could have bloody near walked home with the message in the time wasted on this, and the hotel doesn’t want to know. Claim no one else has complained.. agggah.
Neon signage of retro styled art-house movie theatre in the street behind.
Stuttgart has a city population of about 600,000 and a wider metropolitan number about 6 mill. Of course its the home of Mercedes, Porsche, to name the obvious. Weather deteriorates and limits our activities to wandering the city streets.
Mercury standing proudly in one of the city squares surrounded by buildings displaying an array of traditional architectural styles.
Alte Schloss, old castle. we’re in the courtyard of this castle which origins date back to 10th century.
And on last day venturing by train to the Mercedes Museum.
The Mercedes Museum, a 16,000 square metre building.
Worth the effort. Weather a little inclement, windy, cool and odd spot of rain. Mercedes have integrated a history lesson into the evolution of their brand. Well done, though we both think the BMW experience was more embracing.
Following the Merc Museum we head for the train again and on a bit to visit a town we’ve heard was unscathed by the WW2 bombing and thus retains much of its original atmosphere and buildings. It’s a really pretty place, Esslingen.
So Stuttgart ends our 2017 European tour. We fly out at 7.45 tomorrow, means getting to airport at about 5.45. Asking hotel reception for a 4.30 wake up call elicits an incredulous response, but our request is eventually accepted.
We leave the land of biergartens, pretzels and crap coffee with enough photos to keep us busy for next six months. In case you are wondering the wifi hasn’t improved either. For a country thats an engineering world leader, produces some of the best autos money can buy we are left wondering why they haven’t put the same energy into the little things like useful wifi, decent coffee, trains with facilities that match those in other countries we’ve travelled.
Check this out guys, here’s another surprise that greeted me in our last hotel room. Which one of you were they expecting?
Otherwise, been really enjoyable, lots to see, lots more in fact than we’ve gotten to, and lots to learn. The history, as you surely know is amazing for us little antipodeans.
So for now it’s auf wiedersehen,
Window reflections on building in Marienstrasse, Stuttgart.
Stuttgart night street with large retail brands noen signage and building scene