The Romantic Road is a tourist route through some very pretty parts of Southern Germany and while the road is not romantic most of the spots along the way are. Just to be clear they use the term romantic to mean old style and traditional rather than a place for lovers!). Our first stop was the delightful Harburg Castle which looks a castle should and is in a picture perfect landscape.
Just when you think things can’t get any cuter you arrive at Rothenburg. Firstly I was hooked on the wrought iron shop and hotel signs – these were some of my favorites.
When it came to the town I often felt I could be in Epcot Florida or really in Germany. It is almost too cute for its own good but it is also hard not to keep taking pictures. See what I mean?
It is also the place to come for Xmas markets and even in July the Xmas shop was doing a roaring trade – it is huge and easy to get lost in. Even I loved it and succumbed to a typical German toy purchase – a teddy bear (the small one of course, although I was tempted….).
Next stop: Vienna
And now for the very new and the extremely old. Lebanbachaus has a varied collection of contemporary art with some artists more well known to me than others.
I was bowled over the the Glypothotek which was started by Ludwig 1 as he liked collecting old things. Not only is the collection of Greek statues superb it is also housed in a brilliantly designed and lit environment. Biggest positive surprise of all the museums I visited in Munich.Stunning works.
More from the Glyothotek. I love the funerary mast of the young man below. It almost looks like a photograph and I thought the drunk old woman was excellent too.
Then on to the Stadt Museum and the Judisches museum. The former was ok with some interesting thoughts on what makes Munich Munich; the latter was small and next to the new modern synagogue that I couldn’t get access to. It was mostly about Jewish customs but also had an exhibit by a Jewish artist with a whole variety of cartoons many of which I found amusing as they show how similar we all are in the end.
Finally a visit to the Museum Brandhorst – another contemporary art museum whose collection was quite challenging in a not very endearing way except for the fabulous giant Cy Twombly exhibits which I totally fell in love with.
Nuremberg is an easy day trip from Munich – 90 minutes each way on the train. Almost 90% of this city was flattened by American bombers at the end of the war so there has been a lot of rebuilding. As you will see they have very much tried to keep the original style in place (some facades were sandbagged to keep them safe during the bombing) but much of the interior were wiped out.
So on the one hand I think this is a pretty picture perfect place (notwithstanding the heavy history it also holds as the place where most of the Nazi rallies took place) but on the other I know it is all a lot newer than it looks – hence a kind of Disneyesque feel to it.
The sculpture at the bottom is called the Ship of Fools and aims to show many of men’s vices – hence it is a somewhat menacing.
I have not only been drinking beer and checking out the locale while in Munich. In fact I was pleased to discover there are a lot of museums – most of them helpfully housed in one area with impressive collections of renaissance, modern and contemporary art in impressive buildings.
I will cover the group of three Pinakothek museums in this blog. The Alte was created by Ludwig 1 who was a big collector (of both German and other artists) and was then followed by the Neue (19th century) and then the Pinakothek Modern (20th century). Also getting a mention are the Treasury and the Cuvillies Theater – both are part of the Residenz that I saw on my second visit as it is all too big to do in one go.
The Alte Pinakothek.
I liked the somewhat lascivious young lady in blue and also the obviously smart lady in white and blue (she is reading Isaac Newton in the background). The one at top right is an unusually bright Botticelli and the one below one of the four great Murillo paintings in the collection.
Museums here are mostly visited by locals but none have been crowded – maybe everyone is drinking beer instead. That suited me fine as did the distinct lack of selfie sticks and the really good audio guides that come free with tickets.
The Neue Pinakothek
Van Gogh and Manet and Slevogt and Steiner. Love the look in the eye of the lady in white. All knowing!
Pinakothek Moderne – Warhol, Picasso, Schlemer and an interesting building.
The Treasury at the Residenz – no expense spared on these crowns!
The spectacular Cuvillies theater that used to be privately owned by the Wittelback dynasty.
Also very happy to have my friend Sue and then my friends Andrew and Sylvie over so that we could enjoy Munich together.
A brief overnight visit to this lovely little town which I last visited when I was 9 years old. Just one hour on the train from Munich and not much has changed which is what makes is special. Lovely scenery, painted buildings, walking trails, lakes and hotel. Good chill time.
I am really enjoying being in Munich. It has a spirit of Bon Viveur and bonhomie (in spite of their dire World Cup outcome to which they comment “Well there is always beer to console us”.) I cannot even begin to explain how important beer is to Bavarians – it just as – especially imbibed in a beer garden with lots of old and new friends and some bratwurst and sauerkraut.
The old Town has retained its charm and is fully pedestrianised. The new Town Hall which looks much older than the old town hall (when they built the new one the fashion was to make things look older) dominates the central point of Marienplatz and it is worth being there to see the figures on the glockenspiel appear and dance around at 11am, noon and 5pm.
You can see the glockenspiel play below
Some river surfing
As you’d expect there are many churches in what is mainly a Catholic area of Germany but unlike in Spain or Portugal they are far less glitzy and gold covered. Most of the drama is created to carvings – stone and wood – which are spectacular and a speciality of the region.
I enjoyed having my friend Sue to stay last weekend. We saw a lot including the Englischer Garten (and its river surfing inhabitants – what the?), the modern art museum and Schloss Nymphenberg. We also imbibed beers and the delicious local delicacy of port knuckle which has heaps of cracking which we both love – absolutely no sharing of that as far as we were concerned!
More friends arriving this weekend so more eating is on the cards. Oh well….
It’s not just about the sausages and pork – just look at all the fresh fruit and vegetables at the Victuallen Markt in the centre of town – food to buy and also plenty to eat.
This Schloss – built by Ludwig 1 (not the mad one) is just 5km from Munich so easy to get to. It consists of vast grounds which are open to everyone without cost and then the Palace (including King Ludwig’s Gallery of Beauties) plus a few smaller pavilions given as gifts to other members of the Royal family and a very nice coach and sleigh museum.
These are the grounds and the main Palace, followed by the interiors (sumptious as ever) and some of the Royal coaches and sleighs and just a few of the “Beauties”. There are some distinct advantages to being royal!