Wanderlust war bereits ein mittelhochdeutsches Wort und beschreibt die Lust am Wandern, den steten inneren Antrieb, sich zu Fuß die Natur und die Welt fern der Heimat zu erschließen // A middle-high German word describing the joy of wandering, the constant urge to walk through nature and the world far from home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Very Bavarian Easter // Munich

         Two weekends ago (gosh I know this is late-coming) we celebrated Easter in true German fashion--taking both Friday AND Monday off--and in true Bavarian fashion as well--hitching a fast train to Munich with few plans and just enough money for a few beers and the usual morning pastry (not together, don't worry). We stayed with Katherine's friend Eva, a friend of hers who had studied a year abroad in the U.S. at her high school in Ohio. It was so lovely to have a friendly face all weekend--particularly a native who could help us around Munich the no-hassle way, with no mistaken trains or navigation errors, hostel mix-ups or steep restaurant bills. We wandered around the city our first afternoon with Eva as our guide, here are some shots:

Walking to the English Garden.

The Isar River.

English Garden!

The park on a sunny day, wishing I had made room for my frisbee in my bag.

The English Beer Garden seen from across the water;
 Lent comes to a close and Munich celebrates!

Oh Bavaria.

A change from our familiar street accordion players, but lovely.

The government seat in Bavaria, old and new.

Treble clef fence posts, clever Munich.

Munich is very, very Catholic.

The Germans always understood architectural intimidation quite well. The Bavarian lions.

Inside (a) Cathedral.

The "new" city hall.

        Our next day we set off on a pilgrimage to Andechs, a small monastery in the hills outside of Munich, known for its beauty and its beer (a 12% brew, fair warning). We took the S-Bahn to the far reaches of the Munich rails, and in the village of Herrsching began the hour-or-so hike up the hill to the cloister. I felt like Robin Hood.


We had many fellow pilgrims.

Countryside near Andechs.

The monastery in the distance.


A beautiful view from the top.

A beer and a big 'ole Pretzel, how very German.

       We rounded out the weekend with a relaxed holiday celebration in a nearby village with Eva's family. She jokes that where she comes from there are more cows than people, and I think, after seeing it, she is probably right--and I felt so at home. We grilled out with her family and friends in their garden, hunted for Easter candy, and then attended a traditional Bavarian Easter Dance. I, unfortunately, have no pictures from this last event. I can say, however, that the Lederhosen/Dirndl stereotype is no stereotype--it exists, but only in Bavaria. It is entirely possible, I have learned, to see a man in traditional leather Lederhosen and a feather cap wandering around beer gardens with a young blonde in Ralph Lauren. I was stunned. Here is google image shot, for those who need a mental picture (no dirndl pictures, unfortunately googling dirndls only invites computer viruses):