Not to harp on it or anything, but walking around in 17º weather – sunny or not – takes a bit of the edge off one’s ability to commit fully to tourism.
It has an even more devastating effect on one’s ability to take photographs, particularly outdoors. We had the very clever idea that sacrificing a pair of gloves to the archival cause was worth it, so an early-morning bris was performed at a local shop, enabling me to keep the better part of my right hand covered.
It worked – to a point. That point was reached fairly early on, thus many pictures were taken inside buildings such as churches – though these particular churches are not devotees of central heating. Observe several of the more notable edifices in this bastion of Catholicism, which are mainly committed to the theme of destroying the monstrosity of Protestantism. All suffered damage during the war.
Arriving at central Marienplatz, we were just in time this morning to see a performance of the glockenspiel,which tells the story of a noble wedding that took place on this square in 1568. Statuary on the central column focuses again on the Bavarian obsession with defeating evil Protestantism.
We had to take frequent stops to deal with the weather. We hustled through the 800-year-old Viktualienmarket with its colorful maypole, which has been busy trading produce since Munich was on the salt road. It led us to Café Frischhut, where we devoured their specialty, Schmaltznudel. This scrumptious deep-fried dough, which one sprinkles generously with sugar, gave us the strength to carry on. We crossed the street to Eataly, a trip to Italy no matter in what city you find it.
Our next spurt of walking took us by Munich’s new synagogue, which is understandably foreboding. We also saw some lovely corners of the city, including the interior of a very chic shop. (Why window shop when you can borrow someone else’s heat for a few minutes?) June and I bought leg warmers at a less chic shop, and promptly put them on right then and there. No pictures, to protect the innocent, but another layer of warmth was essential. We also saw the informal Michael Jackson memorial, perpetuated by fans across from his favorite Munich hotel. Sigh.
The Schmaltznudel having worn off, we headed again to that most famous of beer halls, the Hofbräuhaus. It was a lot less crazy than it had been on Saturday, so we were able to find a table and enjoy an afternoon snack of cheese and pork products. A liter of beer washed a lot of it down, accompanied by the ever-present oompah band.
Last night’s dinner, in case you were wondering, was Italian, with nicely done pasta dishes, followed by a pear crumble. Can’t have schnitzel for every meal – I guess.