Germanophone Tourism (Part One) – Munich, Rosenheim and Salzburg

From the 15th-23rd of July, I joined up with a group from my church in Edinburgh to visit and help out with sister churches in Munich, Rosenheim and Erlangen (only some of the group went there, and I was not among them). It was an interesting and fruitful time, full of leafleting, meeting many many new and lovely people, and using my non-existent German all round. For more details on that time, feel free to talk to me, but in the interests of keeping to the theme of my blog so far, I’ll keep this post, which concerns this period of time, to the time I had to look at things rather than the time I had walking around and dropping leaflets for an event about forgiveness from a guy whose sister was killed in a terrorist attack into the roughest and most Islamic area of Munich. So here goes: a little tour around Munich, Rosenheim, and my full day off in Salzburg, Austria.

Munich

The monumental Frauenkirche, capable of holding up to 20,000 people and, at 109 metres, among the tallest buildings in the city since all new buildings over 99m were banned in 2004, complete with arrestingly enormous crucifix
The monumental Frauenkirche, capable of holding up to 20,000 people and, at 109 metres, among the tallest buildings in the city since all new buildings over 99m were banned in 2004, complete with arrestingly enormous crucifix
The fancy cenotaph of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor from 1294-1347 (I feel so privileged. I do like the name of the designer: Hans Krumpper)
The fancy cenotaph of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor from 1294-1347 (I feel so privileged. I do like the name of the designer: Hans Krumpper)
Munich’s historic town hall, the New Rathaus
Munich’s historic town hall, the New Rathaus
The Hofbrauhaus of Oktoberfest fame, taken slightly blurry to simulate the viewing most visitors experience
The Hofbrauhaus of Oktoberfest fame, taken slightly blurry to simulate the viewing most visitors experience
Monumental arches in front of an enormous long square where Nazi rallies were held
Monumental arches in front of an enormous long square where Nazi rallies were held
Surfing in the middle of the city!
Surfing in the middle of the city!

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Bonus: Random look inside a German liquor store turned up a pretty ludicrous number of beers and a surprisingly wide variety of accompanying snacks, along with some hilariously large bottles
Bonus: Random look inside a German liquor store turned up a pretty ludicrous number of beers and a surprisingly wide variety of accompanying snacks, along with some hilariously large bottles
Bonus: The German law-abiding spirit embodied: having busted this bollard out of the ground (I can only conclude) by hitting it with their car or some other heavy vehicle, they have carefully picked it up and placed it by the wall so that unwary passers-by might not be inconvenienced
Bonus: The German law-abiding spirit embodied: having busted this bollard out of the ground (I can only conclude) by hitting it with their car or some other heavy vehicle, they have carefully picked it up and placed it by the wall so that unwary passers-by might not be inconvenienced
Bonus: an albino snail
Bonus: an albino snail
Bonus: the news screens that run on the opposite side from the U-Bahn platform so that you have something to watch while waiting around
Bonus: the news screens that run on the opposite side from the U-Bahn platform so that you have something to watch while waiting around
Final bonus: a Bavarian sunset
Final bonus: a Bavarian sunset

Rosenheim and nearby

City centre
City centre

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Relaxing in some well-manicured parkland while a fair of some kind goes on #hotdogsorlegs
Relaxing in some well-manicured parkland while a fair of some kind goes on #hotdogsorlegs

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Gorgeous trip out to a nearby national park in the afternoon - these ‘lakes’ and ‘waterfalls’ are actually created by a system of artificial steps that help limit flooding straight off the Alps when it rains
Gorgeous trip out to a nearby national park in the afternoon – these ‘lakes’ and ‘waterfalls’ are actually created by a system of artificial steps that help limit flooding straight off the Alps when it rains

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Food bonus: Ordering currywurst and not understanding the guy when he spoke to me in German and said there wasn’t any curry sauce and would I like to have it anyway, and a much more solid and delicious meal of pork, mushroom sauce, pasta and veggies
Food bonus: Ordering currywurst and not understanding the guy when he spoke to me in German and said there wasn’t any curry sauce and would I like to have it anyway, and a much more solid and delicious meal of pork, mushroom sauce, pasta and veggies
Church bonus: THEY HAVE A BALL PIT! WHERE IS OUR BALL PIT?
Church bonus: THEY HAVE A BALL PIT! WHERE IS OUR BALL PIT?
Accommodation bonus: being taken in for the night by a lovely old couple from the church who put us up in their quintessential alpine house and discussed all kinds of things till kingdom come
Accommodation bonus: being taken in for the night by a lovely old couple from the church who put us up in their quintessential alpine house and discussed all kinds of things till kingdom come

Salzburg

Virgin Mary hanging out over someone’s window, a reminder that not all German-speaking countries became Protestant in the Reformation
Virgin Mary hanging out over someone’s window, a reminder that not all German-speaking countries became Protestant in the Reformation

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Schlöss Mirabell, built by one of the generations of very powerful prince-bishops of Salzburg for his mistress, and now used as a courthouse. Apparently also involved the Sound of Music but I have no idea
Schlöss Mirabell, built by one of the generations of very powerful prince-bishops of Salzburg for his mistress, and now used as a courthouse. Apparently also involved the Sound of Music but I have no idea
A very long banner detailing the family tree of every mythical character of Greece, Rome and any other connected group, for some reason displayed along a bower in the Mirabell garden
A very long banner detailing the family tree of every mythical character of Greece, Rome and any other connected group, for some reason displayed along a bower in the Mirabell garden
Selfies with a rather discourteous dwarf in the Mirabell’s garden of dwarves
Selfies with a rather discourteous dwarf in the Mirabell’s garden of dwarves
Going somewhat off road along the medieval wall, with a hobo camp set up inside one of the old sentry towers
Going somewhat off road along the medieval wall, with a hobo camp set up inside one of the old sentry towers
A classic view over the old town from a forested precipice
A classic view over the old town from a forested precipice
Snazzy street art on a pedestrian tunnel
Snazzy street art on a pedestrian tunnel

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Sneaky visit to a photography gallery, a nice place to sit down and leaf through some art books while feeling both wealthy and pretentious
Sneaky visit to a photography gallery, a nice place to sit down and leaf through some art books while feeling both wealthy and pretentious

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My favourite shop in the world (operates year-round!)
My favourite shop in the world (operates year-round!)
Weirdly communistic mural on this pub in the centre
Weirdly communistic mural on this pub in the centre
A sneaky peek inside Europe’s largest amber shop (for those who have been following my exploits extremely closely, you will have seen how much I enjoyed the little bits of German and Austrian amber sculpture in the Pitti Palace of Florence
A sneaky peek inside Europe’s largest amber shop (for those who have been following my exploits extremely closely, you will have seen how much I enjoyed the little bits of German and Austrian amber sculpture in the Pitti Palace of Florence, so obviously I had to go in!)
Looking up at the castle JUST as my phone died. This is actually a really cool castle, well-situated in the medieval period and very much a unified display of the prince-bishop period, and with a wide variety of different museums that expand the scope without threatening coherency, including a free audio tour through the upper defences, a walk through the princely apartments, and a marionette museum from the 20th century. For €8 I would happily recommend this for anyone - certainly over the palace, if you’re like I was and sick of Renaissance and Baroque art by this point in your trip
Looking up at the castle JUST as my phone died. This is actually a really cool castle, well-situated in the medieval period and very much a unified display of the prince-bishop period, and with a wide variety of different museums that expand the scope without threatening coherency, including a free audio tour through the upper defences, a walk through the princely apartments, and a marionette museum from the 20th century. For €8 I would happily recommend this for anyone – certainly over the palace, if you’re like I was and sick of Renaissance and Baroque art by this point in your trip

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