pulls you along

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There are quite a few famous historical buildings in Bamberg, but I often find myself drawn back to the area of town called Stephansberg – particularly the Concordia Straße pictured above.

It’s quaint. The cobblestone road is incredibly inviting, and it’s almost as if it pulls you along from one adorable little terraced house to the next. Beautiful, eh?

fighting dragons

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dragon on a wall in Landsberg am Lech

Because I blogged relatively rarely over the holidays, I have a backlog of photos that I haven’t bothered putting here. There are a lot of dragons on walls and in paintings that I’ve been running into lately.

The one above was in Landsberg am Lech, which is a little village west-southwest of Munich. Because of the drudgery of getting everything set up in the new flat, I’m equating my daily struggle with fighting dragons.

It’s certainly dramatic. I get that.

Even though these tasks aren’t insurmountable, the sorting of them is momentarily daunting. I look at the competing websites that offer a DSL connection and they look indistinguishable to my eyes. I call the service number and they’re quite good at throwing numbers around…numbers that then swirl through my head, as I try to comprehend what exactly it is that I need.

But in the meantime, I’ve got only my phone connecting me to the web. Aside from a few moments in the café, I’m without internet. Last night, I read a book and actually went to sleep at a reasonable hour.

My hope is that even when I’m completely connected again, I’ll remember to turn all these devices off periodically. Just me and a cup of tea and my thoughts.

Dragons be damned.

gone holidaying in Tutzing

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Where the mail arrives in Tutzing

Realised today that there’s nothing holding me in Munich. Everybody’s off for Christmas, so my obligation is to get back by the second week of the New Year. Until then, I might just wander a bit.

I’ve begun to consider living farther afield, and Tutzing is a town I’ve always enjoyed visiting. It’s probably not the easiest commute, but at this point finding a flat back in the big city is proving to be more trouble than it’s worth.

So, above is where the mail arrives here in Tutzing. I’ll take more photos of the town and surroundings in the coming days. It’s on the banks of Lake Starnberg, which is one of the prettiest places in Bavaria. Here’s a photo of the church in town:

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And here’s a photo of me being sour in the snow:

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Grey beard!

so blue I’ve got the greens (searching for a flat in Munich)

'A Hund ist er scho...'
I’m sure this guy’s got a place to lay his head…somewhere in Munich those dogs have little Dachshund beds…

 

'A Hund ist er scho...'
‘A Hund ist er scho…’

Not sure where I first heard that line, but I think it was a singer one night in San Antonio at Jim Cullum’s place down on the Riverwalk. I’ve always loved the imagery.

Most of you think the the Blues are bad, but you ain’t seen the Greens

To be candid, I’m mostly cheerful in my day-to-day life and not much gets me down. Really. Part of me wants to say that I’ve been too busy to blog, but if I’m really forthright…I don’t want to complain.

My thoughts over the last few months have been entirely related to real estate, and after a while it gets rather dull to talk to such a person. A person such as myself in this situation. Anyone who’s looked for a flat in this town has sympathy to spare when they hear what I’m up to. It’s simply not easy. Not at all.

Ostensibly, there are not enough places to live, and  companies are relocating their people to Munich all the time. As if no-one’s told them that there’s no available flats in the Bavarian capital. Please, tell your people to tell the domestic and international firms sending their employees to Munich to cease and desist. Don’t just cease. Please desist, as well.

Here’s the thing, though. People not only move to this town every damned day, but they find places to live. It’s true.

There are more places than you might think. There are landlords and property managers begging for good tenants. There are investment properties sitting empty, because  the right person to live there simply hasn’t been found. That gives me pause, ya know?

So, rather than avoiding my blog because I simply don’t want to moan and complain all the time, I’ve decided to talk about my search for a flat in detail. I’ll leave the best and worst of it here on my Miscellaneous Blog (what was formerly called a

). What’ll likely happen is that I’ll find something temporary, that allows Ella and Louis to live with me once again (they’ve been at the Hundepension for nearly three weeks), and that’ll buy me time to find the ideal place.

One with a garden. Or one looking out on the mountains. Or simply one that doesn’t eat most of my savings. We’ll see. Wish me luck.

goodbye Oktoberfest

the rides

I’ve abandoned Munich, so I had to say goodbye to the Oktoberfest. Here are a few photos I took. Whatchya think?

‘Here the bear is loose…’
‘Wine is poetry in a bottle…in wine is the truth’.
Altes Brauhaus
The ‘Krinoline’…since 1924.
Apparently these crepes are ‘saugut’.
Your blogger trying to pretend to be ‘saugut’.
Alpina Bahn
Herzerlhaus
I know plenty of Irish people who’d never do such a thing…I refuse to perpetuate this stereotype.
shooting
pig on a spit
Der Widder…
Finally, a beer tent.

walking into history

This was an exciting day for me. My friend Nick was in Berlin when The Wall came down, and I’ve always been envious of that experience. I’ve been near historical events, but I’m not sure I want to be anywhere near the tanks or the stress that seem to be involved in real historical moments.

However, today was the twenty-second anniversary of that event. The Reunification of Germany. One of the most momentous things that’s happened in our lifetime. I don’t care how old you are.

Each year, the celebration for the event goes to a different capital of a German federal state and this year? Horst Seehofer, the Minister President of Bavaria, is the head of the Bundesrat, which is one house of the federal government, and his state’s capital is my adopted hometown.

Munich – that’s right.

So, I got up early. Walked my dogs to the event and spent nearly the whole day there. With a few healthy breaks, I might add. Here’s my walk toward the festivities with a bit about said festivities.

Elvira Straße round the corner from where I live

Then I turned the corner into Nymphenburger Straße, which is the old King’s Road that the royals took to their summer castle. What might that castle be called? Nymphenburger Schloß, of course.

 

 

 

 

 

colours in the trees and the Bianchi shop up the street

Ella and Louis love every day equally, but I like to kid myself that they were sensitive to my excitement.

‘Can you smell that?’ Ella asks her brother. ‘It’s the whiff of Reunification.’

Something I didn’t see nearly as often here as I do today – the German flag. Thanks to football and some sort of national healing, the co-perpetrators of the Second World War can finally say they’re proud of their country without being accused of being Fascists.

The Black, Red and Gold of the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany

Please don’t ask me what this building was originally used for, but now it’s part of the Technische Üniversität.

reminds me of Hamburg, not Munich

Love ivy on a wall, and while these green and then later red leaves aren’t actually ivy, they crawl up the wall in the same way. It’s one of my favourite sights in autumn.

nice, eh?

Now, we’ve finally arrived at the party. Here’s the Theatinerkirche on the Odeonsplatz:

beautiful day, eh?

Every party in Bavaria demands at least one Dachshund. This one had two.

‘A Hund ist er scho…’

There’s so much more to tell you about this day, but it’s late. It’ll have to wait for another day.

Next year’s festivities? Up the road in Stuttgart.

3 October 2013? Wanna go?

 

 

from above the Oktoberfest

Bavaria and her lion

Isn’t she gaww-juss? My girl Bavaria. I like ’em big, you know. And her lion? I could let her stick around for the lion alone.

My band and I went to the Oktoberfest yesterday morning, but my hounds Ella and Louis insisted on accompanying us, so we knew we wouldn’t be actually going down to the Wies’n. Instead, our plan was to stay up above on the hill with the Bavaria statue whose photo you see above.

So, how does the world’s biggest folk festival look from up there? Let me show you.

Frauenkirche and Löwenbräu

That’s Munich’s Frauenkirche with her two Turms (towers) on the left, and then the Löwenbräu Festzelt on the right.

A huge Maß of Paulaner in the distance

A lot of Munich’s architecture is inspired by the Greeks. Take for example these columns on the hill above the Wies’n. I’ll talk more about that in a later post, but I just liked this photo because it’s got the two images juxtaposed.

all the owners of the tents listed in one place

These guys make a killing every year. The turnover in each tent would astound you. It’s a massive economic surge to the city of Munich. The locals complain about how the Volksfest seems more for tourists every year, but they cannot deny the financial benefit to not just the people who make beer, but to the entire local tourism industry and limitless other local businesses.

St Paul’s from the European Patent Office

If you read/look at more of my Oktoberfest posts, you’ll see that I’m obsessed with this church. I could take photos of it every single day. More soon…

Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental

Oktoberfest's Black Economy-Flat Rental

My colleague Michael Owens‘ piece on Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental got me thinking.

Since I’ve decided to blog incessantly about the world’s largest Volksfest over the next few weeks, this is a great segue into the economy of the ordeal. Especially the Black Economy, or the untaxed income, is something that you might expect at any event of this magnitude.

Hookers are bussed in for the extra ‘demand’ during the more than two weeks of bacchanalia, and as Michael writes many people take their holidays and rent out their flats for a bit of extra dosh

Endstation Floh-zirkus

Entrance to the Oktoberfest…or one of them

Here’s where we last were, but that was early morning. This is a Volksfest, or was originally intended as one, so the families and people more interested in the folk part of the fest come in the daytime. The mayhem mostly happens after dark, so I thought I’d show you a bit of that.

Once again, I’d like to show the bits and bobs of the Wies’n that might otherwise get overlooked. For example, I’m planning to interview some of the workers. They’ve got stories to tell, I assure you.

But first a bit about the food at this little event. Most people associate the Oktoberfest with drink, but the food is as integral a part of the whole ordeal as anything else. For many locals, an outing to the Wies’n isn’t complete until you’ve had a Händl and a Maß Bier (a whole chicken and a litre of beer). Last year, there were some loonies who had a pet chicken that they paraded around the grounds of the festival, and they said that this one chicken’s life had been spared. Animal rights and all, yeah? Sort of wrong place at the wrong time if you ask me, but who’s asking me?

One of the things I like is the Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick) at Fischer Vroni, but even better than that is an Ochsensemmel (ox meat cooked to where it’s falling off the bone and served on a roll with a garlic sauce). It’s something I always have at least once each year. Here’s the way to the Ochsensemmel dealer:

waiting in line at the Ochsenbraterei

Then there’s one of the oldest amusements at the Oktoberfest. It’s a carousel that’s been around forever, but I’ll find out more specifics when I’ve asked more questions. Until then, here’s a few of my favourite shots of the old curiosity:

light shining round the horse on the carousel 

And you know I like the pigs, so here’s one you can ride:

 

pig on the carousel

And right next to the carousel is one of the things many people walk by again and again but never bother exploring. Let me show you first and see if you know what it is:

Floh-zirkus! That’s a right. a flea circus!

Here’s a shot from straight on:

You know you wanna go in there, don’t you?

Here’s what it says on the plaque there on the right:

Wonder what all this means…

I’ll provide the translation after I see what you think it means. Leave a comment if you think you know what this says…actually, leave a comment regardless.

Otherwise, what would you like to see more of in my Oktoberfest posts? People? Drunkenness?

My suspicion is that you like oddities. I’ll try to find more of those.