Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Munich: Are you ready for some football!?!

Munich will soon host the World Cup. Before it goes completely sports fan crazy here are some pictures of Munich during normal days. Enjoy!

Munich is young and lively with many of the things that make a European city great. Historic buildings, art museums, shopping, festivals are everywhere.

Many Munchens ride bikes throughout the city and towns. If you live in the city center you don't bother with a car. You just bike around.

Munchens shop at the many local outdoor markets. The cheese was wonderful but the most popular places served brews. At one farmer's market they had a stand for beer and shots of something. People lined up at 9am.

Beer gardens are also popular and packed in Munich. The Germans smoke too much and a non-smoking area is non-existent.

Marianplatz is a popular meeting place in Munich.

The Socialists had a May Day rally at Marianplatz where the speakers hurtled insults at capitalists, Americans, President Bush and extolled the virtues of Germany's extensive welfare state. Good plan. The new Chancellor Merkal is popular though. She comes from the old Socialist East Germany but ran as a conservative. Where's old tough guy Gerhardt Schroeder these days? He took a job with a Russian oil and gas company. Guess the Socialists know how to make a living as fat cats too? Socialism was never about helping the masses, it is always about power for its leaders.

This young couple seemed to like the rally. Jobs are hard to find but the welfare system covers many people's need to not work.

But I think this is more the state of mind of Germany's youth. Open container drinking is allowed in Munich so you see many happy, drunk Germans wandering around the city.

For the most part, Munchens are friendly, gentle people. Pets are popular. They get to ride on the U or S trains with their owners.

This man had a pet bird that seemed to like pecking his head.

The city of Munich has many lion statues around the city. Each lion is painted with different colors. It reminded me of the rock guitars in Cleveland.

Children were everywhere in Munich. This young man zips around the Odeonplatz with his scooter

It's about 60 degrees today but this German mom makes sure her little one is bundled up. That's got to be hot in that little suit.

Here's a little one with a shopping bag.

The U makes it easy to get around Munich. I love this system but we found it strange that there are no ticket gates. You buy a ticket but no one is there to take your ticket. There are small boxes where you can stick your ticket in and it "clicks" it. So why bother buying a ticket? A Munchen explained to me that Germans are very law-abiding and always buy tickets. O.K. I got to say that's a great compliment but we never saw anyone buying tickets or getting clicked in the little boxes. We stood at the box to get our ticket clicked while everyone whizzed past us. It made us feel like dumb tourists.

Another way to buzz about Munich is in Smart Cars. These little wonders are very cool two-seaters. They will be coming to the United States soon.

Copyright 2006 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.


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