Monday, May 19, 2014

Munich's English Garden

After finishing our Rick Steves walk, we were as close as we would ever be to Munich's famous English Garden (Englischer Garten). We still had time and some daylight, so we continued north from the royal square on our way to the largest and most famous urban park on the Continent.

We only visited a portion of the whole park in our hour-plus walking visit. The park is larger than New York's Central Park, with only a fraction of the drug addicts! 

The first and most noticeable feature (for me) was the network of streams flowing through the park. Fascinatingly, the streams are all artificial, supplied by underground pumps. I saw a number of what I assumed were the famed Bavarian Trout in these streams, but after finding out they weren't indigenous streams, decided they were probably farm-raised stocked brown trout. Several ponds and small lakes collect water at the termini of the streams, possibly for recollection and recirculation by the pumps? Those clever German engineers!

On a small island in one of the ponds sits a Japanese Teahouse, built in honor of the 1972 Munich Olympics. A traditional Japanese garden occupies the rest of the island around the teahouse.

Obligatory Cory-Looking-at-the-Water Shot English Garden, Munich
Obligatory Cory-Looking-at-the-Water Shot

More Water and the Japanese Teahouse English Garden, Munich
More Water and the Japanese Teahouse

We were looking for two things specifically, in no particular order.

  1. The Chinese Tower
  2. The beer garden near the Chinese Tower

In our search for the center of the park, we passed a Greek-inspired temple, the Monopteros. It was built on the site of an old wooden temple to Apollo that sat on the spot. If we had more time and daylight, we might have popped in. As it was, we were on another quest for beer, so onward we went.

The Monopteros

As we walked, we couldn't help but be enchanted by the beautiful, clear, cold, trout-filled water of the streams all over the park. It goes without saying the these human-made streams were crossed with artful bridges and waterfalls. Heck, if you have a chance to build a stream, wouldn't you take every advantage to make it attractive?

Small Waterfall English Garden Munich
Small Waterfall

More Water at English Garden Munich
More Water

The most striking sight on the streams is the surfers. Yes, surfers. Just downstream of the powerful pumps supplying the stream, a permanent wave is formed by the rushing water. Local surfers in insulating wetsuits catch the pipeline (is that the correct phrase?) and ride the wave as long as they can. When they inevitably wipe out (I'm pretty sure that's the scientific way to say it) they are washed downstream to a climb-out zone for another try. Emily got a good close up shot of the surfers waiting in line for a chance to dive into the chilly water.

Surfers at English Garden Munich

Now for that beer and food. We made it to the center of the park! Where's that beer garden? What!? Closed? NOOOO!

We arrived just as they were making final pours and closing up the service windows. We could see the last few stragglers finishing their food (cheap and delicious sausages) and big liters of beer at the tables, but alas, we couldn't avail ourselves of a single drop.

Dejected, we left the center of the park without even taking a picture of the Chinese Tower on our way to the exit. We were losing daylight and didn't want to be in even this inviting park when the sun went down. 

Back in town, we found a little pub/eatery called Jodlerwirt (Yodeling Innkeeper) and had a nice wheat beer and sausage. Yes sausage... beautiful sausage.

After finally getting our food and beer, we took another little night jaunt through town before visiting yet another beer hall. Don't worry, we let some time pass between the pub and the beer hall!

...A little bit...

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