After all that driving on the Autobahn we had to make a visit to the BMW museum. Our hotel was located very close to the Hauptbahnhof so it was easy to ride the transit system to the BMW Museum. It was an interesting complex as they have recently added a building for new owners who come to claim their new BMW. We got a great look at BMW from the early beginnings through to today’s latest innovations. Of particular interest was the new 123d diesel engine that develops 204 hp in a 4 cylinder engine while achieving 54 mpg and emitting only 138 g/kg of CO2 emissions. I know this sounds a little geekish, but everyone looks at diesel engines and point to the black smoke coming out of them. If we can achieve a lower carbon footprint with our vehicles, we can start doing our part for the planet. Now, kick the soap box aside, these cars are hot!
Sitting in them is wonderful and one can only what it would be like to drive the autobahn in such a vehicle. Now the Peugeot Partner (aka Pope mobile) is fun, but it’s not exactly a finely tuned sports car. During the visit we found the perfect car for Andrew’s first vehicle. It only has 3 wheels and it has limited passenger space. Later we were disheartened to discover that BMW is no longer making their version of the Vespa motor scooter that comes complete with safety belt.
From the BMW Museum it was a short ride on the subway to the English Garden. This large park located near the center of Munchen is one of the largest parks a major city, anywhere in the world. The park was designed by an American late in the 19th century and it is just beautiful. It was a Sunday and everyone appeared to be out with their family to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. We happened upon another one of the city’s beer gardens and found some lunch and refreshment while a band played traditional Bavarian music from the elevated Bandstand.
At the south end of the park the water flowing into the park from the main river generates a standing wave, just below the traffic bridge. There were 6-8 surfers launching themselves from the sides of the river and then trying to ride the wave for as long as they could. The gap between the two sides couldn’t have been more than 50 feet, so the surfers had be be very talented to launch their board, jump onto their board and then ride for as long as possible. Some less talented people were jumping into the river a little further downstream and then floating with the fast moving water as it meandered throughout the park.
From the English Garden park we walked in to the center of town to see Marian Platz and catch the glochenspiel captivating hundreds of on-lookers at the top of the hour.
This is one of those great places to people watch. We started fun trying to guess the nationality of someone before we could hear them speak. We’d get the occasional one right, but usually we would be very wrong.
When dinner time rolled around we paid a visit to the legendary Hoffbrauhaus just a few blocks from Marian Platz. The Hoffbrauhaus is geared for tourists and as a result there are very few locals and mostly just a lot of tourists. It’s entertaining watching people come in for the experience of a typical Bavarian beer garden, buying a 1 litre mug of beer and then heading out after only a few mouthfuls.
Unfortunately our waiter was not as relaxed as the fellow we had at the Augustiner-Keller beer garden last night, so we didn’t have as much fun at the Hofbrauhaus. I think we’ll be heading back to the Augustiner-Keller tomorrow night for our last night in Munchen.
After Andrew was finished his mug he took a short break before we headed home.