After we visited Prague our plan was to head south to see Carolin’s aunt and sister in Munich. We rented another car and posted up a little outside of Munich at Caro’s sister’s house. But before we made it to the house, we were meeting Cathrin at a medieval jousting tournament. Yes that’s right, a jousting tournament. We pulled up to this endless grass field with probably over a thousand other cars. Most of the time this village has permanent structures and a beer garden. There’s also a castle, and an arena for training horses. During this time of year there are traditional renaissance tents set up where the workers stay in. For 3 weeks, once a year a menagerie of medieval enthusiasts come together to put on a jousting show, followed by an array of medieval/ renaissance activities. Once the show ended we walked around the village and checked out some of the goods for sale. You can buy swords, crossbows, jewelry, horns to drink beer out of, armor, etc. it’s actually more of a renaissance fair that follows the show. There’s different stages set up for different performers. Whether it’s a juggling act, or a hardcore gothic medieval punk band or a fire dance, they have it all. Caro and I really didn’t know what to expect when we showed up but it was a really interesting and vivid experience to say the least. Afterwards, we set out down the road to Cats house and crashed there for the night. The next day we set out to visit a store called the globe trotter. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s very familiar to an REI store back in the states mixed with Bass Pro Shops. Just for the record, anybody who knows me also knows that I spend days in these stores. I pretty much geek out on everything related to camping and/or gadgets I’ll probably never use outdoors. So with that being said we set aside a couple hours so we could explore the rain simulator station to try out different jackets and such, the high altitude training chamber, the 30 by 30 pool to kayak in, and the room with ice blocks as big as a Great Dane to try out negative temperature clothing. Actually we just tried some shoes on but they do have all those things there and it is a very cool store.
After the globe trotter we visited the standing wave in downtown Munich. It’s called the Eisbach river and it hosts a world renowned standing wave that brings in a pretty hefty crowd during the summer months. Last year Carolin and I saw the wave but we didn’t have our own gear to try it out. This time we did so we gave it a shot and it was not easy at all. It’s actually unlike anything I’ve ever done. I would go so far to say its a different sport from surfing all together. Nonetheless, it was super fun to surf in landlocked Munich and I’ll definitely go back and give it a try. Which is exactly what I did two days later. Our friend Steve, from France we stayed with hooked us up with with his buddy who basically pioneered river surfing in Germany. He showed me a few things and gave me some really good pointers on how to look at the river differently from an actual ocean wave and how to approach it. We had a blast surfing there and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Munich.
We also visited the Pinakothek der Moderne (modern art museum) with Cathrin and Carolin’s aunt Monica. We spent most of the day there checking out all kinds of different pieces. There was an interesting exhibit that had some of the first computers from the early 80’s and certain advances in technology during that time. It was fun going to the museum with Cat and Monica because they’re both so knowledgable about the art in the museum. It was also great to drive around with them because they would point out certain buildings and explain the history behind them. I personally felt like we got a little more out of the city when we where with them.
Munich is a fascinating city with a lot to offer. We only spent a few days there but with Caro’s family living there, it’s only a matter of time before we’re back. Time to push on towards Belgium and Great Britain.