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Monday, November 21, 2016

A Palatial Adventure in Munich

(NOTE: We're trying to see different things on this trip to Munich than we did on our last trip. You might want to check out our previous trip to Bavaria to see some of the big sites we won't be covering on this trip as well)

Previously on The World on Wheels...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

My wife said she had two requirements on this year's European adventure, neither of which I have met yet. First, she wants to go to a German yarn shop. Second, she wants to see a palace.

We were able to meet the first goal when I found a few yarn shops near Marienplatz in Munich. The second goal requires that we go to a different platz...this time Odeonplatz, just a few blocks away from Mary's Plaza.

The trains of the Munich U-Bahn are a bit lusher than Berlin's. The newer trains even have sexy, curved, blond wood seats to stretch out on. Seems a shame to only take it a couple of stops away from our hotel to the Odeonplatz station.

Watch the Video!

A big memorial to King Ludwig dominates the plaza when we exit. Before World War II but after the Nazi's rise to power, a memorial to fallen Nazi soldiers was here and guards were there to enforce everybody walking by would have to give the Nazi salute.

Not everybody was inclined to do this.

Behind the memorial is an alley where those who found it repugnant would walk through to avoid the guards in Odeonplatz. A strip of gold cobblestones down the middle of the pavement pays tribute to those avoiders.

One more block and around the corner we arrive at the wheelchair accessible entrance to the Residenz Munich, the city palace of the royal family. There is a lot of construction going on here. In fact, we'd see a lot of construction work taking place in this area during this trip.

While we can get into the palace courtyard, there is about a half dozen steps into the gift shop that also serves as the ticket counter for tours.  Tim and Letty wait outside while I go in.

We're told that a guide will meet us outside to escort us in. Soon, a gentleman appears and takes us inside. He asks me something in German that I don't understand. I ask in German is he speaks English and get a negative answer but through some back and forth with my limited German skills and his non-existent English skills, I get that he's asking if Tim can walk a little bit.

"Nein," I answer.

I can see why he asks when we have to shoehorn Tim and his chair into a very tiny elevator. It was quite a feat to get him in and I was concerned we'd never get him back out. We managed, though.

We follow our leader through several halls where we finally find ourselves in a large room that holds part of the royal silverware collection.

A lady meets us and starts to tell us what to do in German. I explain that, while I can speak a little German, I can't follow everything she's telling us.

"In Germany, we speak German," she tells me in perfect but a bit arrogant English.

"Guten morgen dann. Ist das deustch genung für dich?" I reply, a bit annoyed (translation: "Good morning then. Is that German enough for you?"


I explain to her I'm trying to learn German as much as I can but as a non-native, English speaker I'm not up to her level yet. Finally, she relents a little bit and tells us which way we can go to navigate the palace.

On our own, now, we wander through, finding the king's outstanding collection of clocks.

Room after room, filled with priceless antiques and artworks open up to us as we go along.

Some of the artworks, especially in the ceilings, were destroyed in the war with only a blank spot to replace them.

We see several rooms where the kings, queens, and other royals would meet with subjects.

There are a few music rooms.

Bedrooms for every occasion, royal, or visitor abound.

Finally, we see the giant ballroom where the king would sit on his own balcony to survey the proceedings.

Tim sits up there today as stairs prevent him from going onto the ballroom floor itself.

Dozens of busts and statues from ancient Rome and Greece line the walls.  The king was a bit of a collector.

Tour done, we go to exit the way we came in but it is now blocked by construction work. The man working the ticket counter is not empathetic to our plight.

"Go that way."

"There's loose gravel and two steps at the end."

"You will manage it. That is your only way out," he says and walks away.

Yeah, I'm not loving the attitude of some of these palace workers.

We do get out and manage to work our way over to the Augustiner Keller biergarten where the friendly faces, giant beers, and great food do wonders to put us back in the mood again.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

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