Munich, Germany was the first destination on our European trip and what a place. On this gray rainy day, the city seemed extremely somber. Being a Sunday, all the shops were closed and the city was extremely quite. Silence and quietness are something that seems prevalent in Germany. The people seem to enjoy their silence. Not in a rude or snobbish way, they just appear to be a more silent people who keep many thoughts to themselves. As if they contemplate each word or sentence that comes from there mouth, they seem to keep most words inside as if to spare us if any of the words are not entirely worth hearing; in total opposition to many people I know in the US who talk simply so silence is never heard. It is a calm and almost serene silence but the grey sky brings a sadness to this great city.
The first thing we saw was the city hall building which was more akin to a giant gothic cathedral rather than a government building. It was magnificent, reaching high into the drizzly skies the peaks and spires seemed as if they would tear the sky open.
Decorated in flags and red flowers this building was a worthy monument to stand as the center of attention for the entire city. The large clock tower it its grandeur also has a somewhat childish side and is basically a giant cuckoo clock. Within the green part of the tower are all manner of figurines that upon every hour come to life as the towers ring and music plays and dance and twirl for all to see. Among a rather massive crowd we watched these figures twirl about as the rain started to fall very softly. We went into a cafe right across from the clock tower, high above where we were almost level with the dancing figures. There we had cake. Along with silence, the German people really seem to enjoy their cake. In Germany, it felt like all we ate was cake. For breakfast there was cake, and of course yogurt with cereal on top, for lunch there was more cake, and for dinner there was even more cake. Do not get me wrong, the cake was delicious and there is nothing wrong with massive quantities of cake, I just thought it was an interesting observation to share. In this cafe we had some extremely traditionally German cakes; a warm apple strudel (which technically isn’t cake but i think it still counts) and an interesting fruit cake that is basically a yellow sponge cake with fruit like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries on top coated in a jello like substance. It was very good and really nice to try some authentically German cuisine because as my friend tells me the rest of German cuisine mainly consists of meat and potatoes, which I also found to be very true. However they are very good meat and potatoes.
I seem to always wind up talking about food, even when there is a beautiful city that still desires attention. Walking through the streets of Munich we passed numerous shop windows filled with tinker toys and tons of little knick-knacks of every kind.
Besides these funny little shops, the architecture is quite amazing. There seem to be clock towers and church spires all around us. Everywhere I look I see some beautiful building in the distance or right next to me.
In a city square of sorts we came upon a structure that at one point was the stand for one of Hitler’s very first speeches to the German people.
It seems like everywhere I go there is so much history hiding in the cracks of the sidewalk and behind building walls. This city is full of life that we barely scratched the surface of in our very short time in the city. With our short ime we were able to go inside one church. It was one of the first things I spotted in Munich, the tall watch tower with the teal dome resting on the top caught my eye from quite a while away from the city’s center.
Nestled within the city streets, this giant resides as if it does not stand tall above all the other buildings. If the towers were not magnificent enough, the inside was astounding as well. With a ceiling framed with window crosshatching, this church had the most amazing ceilings I have ever seen.
In such a large cathedral t is hard not to feel small and insignificant in this house of God. It really was beautiful though, with high arching ceilings, and giant stain glass windows the silence of Germany seemed to be filled with a different sound.
Munich feels full of life that thrives in a contemplative and silent manner. It was amazing to feel the splendor of this city as the first of many amazing cities to come that are all astoundingly different. This place though has the feeling of an antique portrait of a time where life was grand and the people are kind, if not a little strange.
Notice the man in the bottom left hand corner and you will know what I mean.