Movement in Munich
When you visit Munich, you expect to see beer and pretzels, Dirndls and Lederhosen, fest tents and beer gardens. Of course, Munich has all of that. But leave the heavily congested tourist areas and you’ll find the unexpected as well. It is in these areas less traveled by tourists that you’ll find some of my favorite spots in Munich. Take the tram out of the city center to the Hirschgarten recreation area and eat at the Königlicher Hirschgarten – the world’s largest beer garden. Or visit the winding peaceful trails centrally located in Tierpark Hellabrunn. Or why not visit my favorite place in Munich? The wide expanse of green space known as the English Garden.
It is in the English Garden that you will find the most unexpected thing of all.
We were on the way to the Chinescher Turm Biergarten when we were distracted by movement near the Himmelreich Bridge. What we came across there was probably the last thing I imagined I’d find in Bavaria. But there it was. Oddly juxtaposed against the background of a beautiful fall in Bavarian, with trees in vivid oranges, reds, and yellows bathed in the golden light of early evening, was a man in a wetsuit. He was carrying a surfboard. There in the middle of Munich, we had stumbled across surfers. Dozens of them. Yes, Munich has a thriving surfer population, you’ll find them lining the banks of the Eisbach canal in wetsuits, waiting for their chance to master the manmade waves.
We stopped to watch the expert movement of these unique athletes. The manmade river is not particularly wide, and with crowds of observers and surfers crushing in on all sides it appears even smaller. The movements of the surfers are sure and quick as they deftly maneuver back and forth, from side to side, until they lose their balance and the next individual quickly moves from the bank into the water.
Although surfers have put their skills to the test here since the early 70’s, it has only been legal since 2010. Because of the quick turns and rapid current, only experienced surfers should attempt to cross the banks.
If you are looking for something a little unusual to do in Munich, head over and watch the surfers in the English Garden.
This week, the travel theme at Where’s my Backpack? is Move. Stop by and see what moves other travelers!