Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day at the park

One of Munich's simple pleasures is a Sunday afternoon (particularly one with good weather). When I initially came to Germany I wasn't sure about everything besides neighborhood cafes and restaurants being closed every Sunday. It's something that I have grown to love. Life slows and leisurely afternoons at the park are a perfect way to end a weekend with friends and family.

The parks here are a beautiful thing. I never grow tired of seeing the dogs run about, the parents playing with their children, teens flirting, and the old men playing chess with crates of beer near by. Another interesting fixture at the park is ping pong. Many parks have permanent ping pong tables, which gave me a good laugh when I first came. I always bring a book, but inevitably end up people watching and adding dialogue to what I think they would be saying.

Warmer weather also calls for working out - not because I am one of the nude sunbathers that also frequents the parks, but because I bike to the beer gardens and the maß (1 litre) of beer gets heavy. That is undoubtedly what I would miss the most if we were to move from Munich. Here even the dogs are not forgotten. The labels underneath denote different kinds of beer, although the bowls are filled with water.

What's fascinating about the beer gardens is that they are not unruly and full of drunkards (that's reserved for Oktoberfest), but it's a lot of community camaraderie. Tables are shared with strangers who may strike up a conversation, but it's very enjoyable and lends to the special spirit of Munich.

Our park and beer garden of choice today was at the Michaelibad in the Ostpark. What I like about this park is that it's a cultural meshing with a lot of diversity.

Upon entering there was a faint sound of beating drums, which I told Stefan could have been my heart pounding since I'm so out of shape. Fortunately it wasn't. We rounded the corner and saw a large group of Middle Eastern men dancing and enjoying their afternoon. My other favorite sight was a group of tiny Asian boys, suited up in jerseys of their favorite soccer teams, that were trying to keep up with a man that was running them up and down the hills.

I love Michaelibad's ponds and beautiful flowers. I'm happy that Spring has finally arrived!

1 comment:

Troy said...

Hey Emily,
Glad you liked the Michaelibad beer garden. We went there two weeks ago, and thought it would be a fantastic location - sitting right on the lake, stage in the middle for live music, play area just next to the beer garden for the kids. Also without all the tourists. I think it's a great Munich find.