Maybe you know (well, probably not) that each one of us PhD student involved in the Foie Gras project has to spend some months doing research in one or more of the other Institutions involved in the Consortium. That is why right after my Christmas holiday I did not go back to Prague, where I am doing my PhD, but instead I took a flight to Munich.
Now, hands up who knows Munich? Be aware that knowing only it is the city where the most famous Oktoberfest takes place does not count.
Before leaving for my adventure in Germany (well, in Bavaria actually, which is really not considered Germany by the bavarians) my knowledge about my host-to-be city was very limited. I knew about the very good beer you can find there (but I don’t like beer), the Allianz Arena and its football team Bayern München (but I strongly support Juventus FC, sorry) and about the pretzel bread (which I actually love). That was it. No expectation, no disappointments. And that was exactly the case. In fact Munich turned out a very good surprise.
First of all, there is one of the world’s largest urban public park, the Englischer Garten (English Garden).
The name refers to the british style of the 19th century and this place is, believe me, a green oasis very close to the city center. Every day you can see people running, having a walk, cycling or even horseback riding. There is a pot with swans, there are artificial rivers where you can also surf, (yes you can surf in the city of Munich, even in January) and many other sport facilities. In summer young people spend there their time, having a bath in the river, playing guitar and singing and of course enjoying one beer (actually more than one) in one of the Biergarten (Beer garden) you can find in the English Garden.
The English Garden, January 2018
Surfers at the English Garden, January 2018
Second, if you like art, there are many museums and art galleries where you can spend your free time, more than 80 in total. And the other good news is that on Sundays the price of many of them is just 1 euro. The most famous museum in Munich is the Munich Residenz, which was the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings from 1508 to 1918. Definitely a place to visit.
If you are a fan of paintings, you cannot miss out the pictures galleries. There is the Alte Pinakothek (The Old Picture Gallery) where you can find more than 800 masterpieces of art 14th to 18th centuries. Then the Neue Pinakothek (The New Picture Gallery) where you can view many paintings of the 19th century, including pieces of famous artists like Manet, Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne. The last, the Pinakothek der Moderne (The Picture Gallery of modern art), which is a museum for art, graphics, architecture and design of 20th and 21th centuries. If you are still not satisfied, in close proximity to Pinakothek museums you can find the Museum Brandhorst, with its more than 1000 pieces of works from the second half of the 20th century to nowadays.
The Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh, Neue Pinakothek
Italy and Germany, Friedrich Overbeck, Neue Pinakothek
Third, if you visit Munich you cannot avoid to be captured by its intrinsic beauty. There are many beautiful buildings all over the town, like the New and the Old Town Hall in Marienplatz, the most famous square of the city; The Residenz Palace, which I mentioned before; The National Theatre, situated close to Marienplatz and many others buildings that make your walks very enjoyable.
Blu sky in Munich, March 2018
Marienplatz, March 2018
Finally, I cannot avoid to write few lines about the national Bavarian treasure, which is not situated in some cave, but you can easily find everywhere. Of course I am talking about the beer. During spring and summer days you can enjoy your beer in one the many Beer Garden spread all around. In the traditional ones they still do not sell any food, so you are welcome to bring your own food with you. In winter, if you want to have a beer after work, you can go to one of the many beer halls you can find almost everywhere. The most famous is the Hofbräuhaus, but I was told it is a very touristic place, so it is not really the best place if you want to experience the real bavarian atmosphere. Up to you to find a traditional one.
Beer Hall, February 2018
If you had in mind to visit the bavarian capital, just do it, I am sure you will not regret it.
And, of course, Ein prosit!
See you soon.
Gabriella is from Roseto degli Abruzzi, a small town on the east coast of Italy. She is currently working on a project on omega-3 fatty acids under the supervision of Dr. Martin Rossmeisl at the Institute of Physiology (IPHYS) of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague, Czech Republic.