Methodical & Manic Munich

Munchner are a well ordered people. They stand in the cold, awaiting a traffic light, when no car is in sight. Similar to Japan, bicycles lean against buildings, unlocked…awaiting their rightful owners. There appears to be a proper approach to most social situations and you may be chided if you don’t comply. Julia was scolded — we’re talking a finger waving scolding — for petting a dog without asking first.

But I realize now that they can keep this calm, obedient air all year because they become manic on New Years Eve.

We had read to watch the fireworks from Marienplatz or from the bridges of the parliament building. What I didn’t realize is that there is no official show in this part of town. Instead, hundreds of individuals put on their own show from a large stockpile of TNT hazards.

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Kyle and I ventured to the bridge in front of the Parliament building. We were surrounded by people carrying two primary party supplies: 1) bottles of champagne and 2) fireworks. Dangerous combination.

German Grandpa, who earlier in the day waited patiently at the light while scowling at you for speaking too loudly, was now taking a swig of champagne before launching a rocket dangerously close to your face. Prost!

At one point, a thick fog overtook the street…oh wait, that was smoke. A couple of ambulances and police cars crawled across the bridge from time to time, darting firework volleys.

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I’d heard that Munich streets glitter on New Years Day with the broken glass from smashed champagne bottles. I’m happy to report that this wasn’t my experience…in fact, I saw a few independent gentlemen making the rounds, picking up solid glass bottles, presumably to make a tidy sum from deposits. Ahh, the methodical Munchner is back, and the manic Munchner secreted away for another 364 days.

We loved the people of Munich and feel grateful to have welcomed in the new year with them. There is just so much to appreciate about this city.

The Architecture!

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The Art!

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A River Runs Through It!

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After an exuberant evening, we spent our New Years Day with a sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp. More on that and the dark history of Munich in the next post.