Munich Travel Blog› entry 20 of 48 › view all entries
So during my 3 days in Munich, I saw more naked people than I have in my whole life. There's this English Garden in the middle of the city that's bigger than Hyde or Central Park, and several fields are reserved for "free body culture", meaning they're clothing optional. It's pretty incredible to turn a corner in the middle of a city and see hundreds and hundreds of naked folks playing frisbee, laying out, and generally doing whatever they want. I imagine it'd be itchy, but you'd get a great tan.
Besides the naked fields, there was also a naked old man in my hostel room. Very strange. People I've met in hostels have generally been in their early to mid-twenties, so the fact he was staying there was already unusual. In fact, there were two older men in my room the first night in Munich. One looked to be in his late 50s and had literally walked across Spain, and the other was the naked dude who looked to be in his 70s.
I stayed in a 6-bed mixed dorm while I was there, and three of my roommates were some of my favorite ever. One was an Argentinian engineer/professor who was super well spoken and brought a lomo camera his filmmaker brother had leant him for the trip, one a super friendly and genuine guy from Ohio who was taking a break before heading back to the corporate world, and the other a hilarious 6' 5" 23-year old Iowan studying in Cork. Only the Argentinian bore witness to the naked old man. The others missed him by one night.
This is how we found he was naked (for convenience's sake, I'll refer to old walk-across-spain man as "Spain" and old naked man as "Naked":
So Spain came in as I was unpacking and started telling Naked (who we didn't know was naked at the time) that he was sleeping in his bed. Naked didn't speak English, so much confusion ensued. After seemingly unable to get his point across, Spain went downstairs to get a new set of sheets and Naked decided he should move to the other top bunk, getting out of bed to do so. That was when we witnessed his nakedness in its full glory.
Not only did we find that Naked liked to sleep naked, but it turned out he was so comfortable with his nakedness that he didn't mind walking around, leaning on the bunk with sheets in hand, making his bed, and climbing the ladder to the top bunk buck nekkid in a full room of people. Based on his sunburn, I suspect he was in the English Garden earlier. Anyway it was really really hilarious. I wasn't exactly sure what to do so I sorta just half turned away while he slowly resettled himself in the new bunk. Nobody else reacted, so I thought I might've been the only one to think it was weird until the Argentinian freaked out about it over breakfast the next morning. We bonded over the situation's absurdness, and took pleasure in describing it in great detail to our new roommate from Ohio haha.Anyway, I also did many other things other than observe naked people in Munich. For example, I:
*Took the S-Bahn to Marienplatz at the city center and checked out the Glockinspiel Tower, Viktualenmarkt (I looove outdoor food markets and visit them whenever possible), walked around the Residenz and several other Munich landmarks.
*Drank beer at the Chinese Pagoda beer garden, one of four famous ones in The English Garden. There you can buy pretzels, all kinds of ribs and grilled meats, and of course beer. People eat and drink at a big sea of wooden picnic tables, and I hear in the summertime they also play music.
*Visited an exhibit of Gursky's photography at some modern art museum, which was amazing, much more impressive than I thought it'd be
*Visited Dachau memorial at the original concentration camp site. Went with a guided tour because it seemed like the best way to understand what went on there. The place was totally terrifying but I'm glad it's there as a reminder
*Ate some delicious roast pork with fried skin at the original Paulaner brewhaus
*Hung out for a while with the Argentinian and checked out some of his pictures, which were really entertaining. In one, he'd gone to the soccer stadium and taken a bunch of timed pictures of himself kicking a pretend ball, with the intention of photoshopping a ball in later hahaa. I thought he was much older but turned out he was only 28. You can really tell when some one is genuinely a nice person. Quite a decent fellow, truly
*Visited several unidentified churches and the Deutsches Museum, which is the largest science and technology museum in Europe -- not that interesting to me, but they had some really cool planes and helicopters and such
*Ate fried calf's tongue and pork sausages with sauerkraut. Drank beer in the most famous (and touristy) of beer halls the Hofbrauhaus, where my roommates and I met two other kids from Berkeley
*Watched a group of casual opera singers practicing on the sidewalk in a parkI don't remember much else of what I did, but I know that I'd like to come back. After 3 short days, I headed off to Vienna by train, missing the original one I'd reserved and accidentally leaving behind a grey dress I'd just purchased and my white longish-sleeve undershirt in my rush. The dress wasn't a major loss, but I definitely missed the white shirt in the following months, particularly as it was hard to find another as thin-but-warm as the original. Ah well, small loss for a big experience : ) And next for Vienna . . .