The final leg of our German expedition ended in the city of Munich. We were all new to the city and didn’t know what to expect. We had hired a car from Nuremberg and had to drop it off at a garage. The tram system in Munich confused the sat nav and we had to circle the station area a few times before finally sighting the small entrance to an underground car park. Not easy in the Munich traffic but my son, Andrew, did very well.
The heatwave in Munich was in full force during our stay and we spent a lot of the first day finding shade whilst walking the city. Everything to see was in walking distance but there weren’t too many seats available to rest in the shade. Shopping and eating finished we returned to the hotel for some rest. I looked up a local Milonga and took the metro to find it. It was located in an area we had been shopping in so was easy to find. However, the heat meant there was very little happening and the owner suggested I return to the Hofgarten, near the center for an outdoor dance. I turned up in the dark with the faint drift of tango music through the gardens and a throng of people by the bandstand.
However, it was dark, dusty, hot and the music incredibly quiet. It was tricky finding out who was waiting for a dance and who was just looking on. After stumbling around and getting my dance shoes very dusty I asked a lady for a dance. She was not sure about the event but put on her shoes and we danced around the floor. We could only hear the music when we danced near to the speaker so we agreed that it was not working and left the floor. What a shame but I did have a dance in Munich.
The next day I left the others to go sketching in the English Garden. It was baking from the start but I found some surfers who were making the most of the fast flowing waters that run through the city.
English Garden Surfers, Munich
I then walked past a couple of museums, thinking they can provide toilets, lunch and shade later on. Returning to the garden I sat down beside a spur of the river and noticed a familiar scene around me. It reminded me of a picture by Seurat, Bathers at Asnieres. So I had to quickly sketch it down.
English Garden, Munich
Of course the people kept moving around but I was pleased with the result. So was a young local girl. Whilst sitting in the shade a young girl of around 10 came up to my shoulder and watched me paint. We was very confident and signaled to see the rest of my sketchbook and then continued to watch me until I’d finished. She spoke no English but at the end I received the single word – Zuper! Normally I get a bit tetchy with people who get too close but she was really interested in the process and I didn’t mind.
I moved on to a wider view of the park and some more shade. I took out my larger sketchbook and decided on a very ‘green’ view’ with a temple in the distance. The river was attracting large numbers of sun worshipers, all flocking to the bank of the fast flowing river. The park does attract some naturists who cycle to the park, fully disrobe and sunbathe besides their bike. A few like to parade or ‘exercise’ but mostly they are looking for a relaxing time in the sun.
It was hot, uncomfortable sitting on the ground and there were too many trees to paint for my liking, so its not my best work, I moved on. Needing the loo, a drink and some shade I walked to the nearest Museum. I ended up at the Bavarian National Museum, which is delightful (and cool). It had an interesting restaurant but a little too upmarket for my lunchtime needs so I walked through the museum rooms looking of inspiration. I needed an interesting subject, with good light, and a place to sit. I found the spot opposite a very large and beautiful carving of the Archangel Raphael. Missing his wings he wore an odd hat and long flowing robes. The carving was delicate but the robes were in huge swathes of wood. I’ve tried finding a photo of the statue but failed, for comparisons purposes. Both one of the guards and I liked the end result.
With the holiday now over we flew back to Heathrow. On both flights the German airports were atrocious. Berlin and Munich airports get your acts together! It was a great holiday, huge amount seen and to remember. Patchy art but lovely dancing.