Engländer im Englischen Garten.

Monday the 10th September 2012

If you’ve ever been to Munich you’ll know what I mean. The best way to describe Munich is like a Lego city. In the Lego city the Lego people are happy, there’s the odd criminal dressed in black and white carrying a bag of swag but he’s about to be caught anyway because of the surplus of public services. Polizei zip about in their BMW E91N’s with their sirens blaring but you wonder if they’re actually just going to grab an early lunch. Fire-engines drive around putting out pretend fires because there’s nothing else to do.  Every citizen of Lego City enjoys the different activities on offer. Some of them even fly helicopters in the painted blue sky.

As a lego man, I also enjoyed some of the activities on offer. The weekend was spent luxuriating in the sun with friends and colleagues in the Englischer Garten. Located right in the heart of Munich it is a stone’s throw from the two universities LMU and TUM and easily accessible by U-Bahn. This is where the happy citizens of Munich come to relax and drink beer in the various Biergarten on warm afternoons and during the weekends.

Horse-riding, surfing and of course Maß-drinking are just some of the activites on offer, not to mention the copius amounts of swimming. This is where the analogy ends. What we were about to see was not Lego, not Playmobil and certainly not Duplo. I’m not sure I’ll be participating in the FKK (Frei Körper Kultur) in which essentially the grottiest old men and saggiest old women lose all dignity and completely strip down. They’re on one side of the river, they’re naked and they are loving life. Good for them. I think it’s something you have to be old to get full enjoyment out of. I suppose at least German OAP’s aren’t afraid to show a bit of skin. People of all ages can enjoy the sunshine.

Babes lined the riverside as we strolled up the bank to find a place to sit. It’s busy but not over-crowded. We found ourselves somewhere to sit and like kids in a theme park we decided to head of straight away to the fast-flowing water located a 5 minute meander upstream. From here you could swing into the rapids from a rope attached to a tree. We swam downstream and managed to successfully negotiate a waterfall where a sign read: “Achtung! Baden verboten. Lebensgefahr.” This really was fun for all the ages.

The highlight of the afternoon was a topless woman flinging herself into the stream and floating down head-first, buoyancy aids up. As English gentlemen, we weren’t sure whether to be impressed with her bravery or shocked at her impropriety. A bit bewildered, we looked on with amazement, but no-one else seemed to find this out of the ordinary. As far as the Bavarians were concerned…alles war in Ordnung.

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