It’s been almost two months since I’ve returned from my year in Germany. Since that time, I’ve already been to Belgium and back. So today’s post will be about my last month in Germany where I spent much of my time in Munich.

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Tunix behind the Glyptothek.

Ah, Munich. Germans say that Munich in the summer is just wonderful. And they’re right. It’s warm, it’s full of Biergartens, and open-air festivals. I happened upon a two-day beer and music festival around the corner from my work, right behind the Glyptothek museum. I found it by following the sounds of live jazz-funk streaming through the air. This was my kind of festival. Called Tunix, it was put together by locals. Nice and intimate, the way I like my evenings after a long day of work in the library. Like a lot of towns in Germany–both large and small–Munich has a plethora of parks for walking, running, relaxing. Munich’s parks may be just a bit bigger than some, complete with a Chinese pagoda.

Chinese pagoda at the Chinesischer Turm, English Garden, Munich.
Chinese pagoda at the Chinesischer Turm, English Garden, Munich.

Okay, so the Chinesischer Turm is a beer garden located in the English Garden (I see now that this could be a little confusing). You can’t see it in the photo, but there’s a live oompah band playing inside the pagoda. For a Chinese person such as myself, it was a bit of a culture clash that was a bit surreal, but it somehow worked in Munich.

My days would be spent at the library or collections and when I’ve had too much, I’d go to the park and have my halb Maß (1/2 liter) beer and pretzel. Summer days in Munich kind of demand it.

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Hofgarten, Munich.

The size of the pretzels are typically normal-sized, unless you buy it from a Biergarten. Then they are sized bigger-than-your-head. Which was fine, too. Maybe don’t have a pretzel every time you go to the Biergarten.

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At Paulaner Biergarten, with a pretzel bigger than my head!

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Speaking of Biergartens, my friend and I hiked up a mountain to find the Andechs Monastery, whose Benedictine monks of St. Boniface still brew their own beer. It was tiring but worthwhile. I think we were walking so slowly that a person in an electric wheelchair passed us up on the trail, LOL. So basically, we did a pilgrimage for beer. The Benedictine monastery was completed in 1455, but the pilgrimage (for religious and beer reasons, presumably) has been in existence since the 12th century. Good stuff. I liked the beer so much that I dragged home a heavy 1/2 Maß glass mug in my suitcase.

Andechs Monastery
Andechs Monastery
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View from our hike to Andechs Monastery.
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Big hunk of meat, potato salad, and pretzel from Andechs.

We also checked out Tollwood, a festival that occurs twice per year, summer and winter. It was really big, full of different foods and crafts. I was most impressed by the whale sculpture, which was entirely constructed from PLASTIC BOTTLES and presents a statement about environmental awareness.

Tollwood!
Tollwood!

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There was choco-gyro, a strange (to me) presentation of savory food in sweet form, and burritos, which I longed for always while in Germany.

We watched the European Cup match between Germany and Belgium while drinking a 1/2 Maß of Andechs beer. It’s a sad state of affairs when I’m thinking about crafting my own German beer in the U.S. Haha, no that won’t ever happen, but the German bread… that’s another story and for a future post. Tschüss for now!

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