Sunday, September 7, 2014

Morning Market and the Glockenspiel

Munich's Maypole.
The first real day in Munchen/Munich.  (I probably should drop the whole "Munchen" affectation, given that I am too lazy to properly spell it with umlauts.  If you're omitting the umlauts, what's the point?)

This was the morning to take care of a few agenda items.  For the B-I-L, it was to get a pickled herring sandwich.  For me, it was to see the Glockenspiel in action.  So it was off to the downtown market, which is very close to Marienplatz, with New Town Hall, with the Glockenspiel.

It was a busy Saturday morning in downtown Munich:

Street action above the Marienplatz U-bahn station
The market is a short walk from the U-bahn station.  Incidentally, "U-bahn" is your German term for subway or metro.  "U" for underground, "bahn" for railroad.

Crowded at the market
The crowds were out, with vendors selling fruits and vegetables, meat and game, mustards, and a whole lot of good German eating.  But there also was the pickled herring.

The B-I-L proudly displaying his picked herring
I am not one to judge.  And I have made major travel detours to get to foods that I crave.  So the fact that the B-I-L's #1 item on his Munich to-do list was to eat this sandwich is something I do not judge.  More than that, it's something I can appreciate.  Except for the fact that we're talking pickled herring.

Strong flavored fish soaked and pickled in brine  Topped with pickles, cucumbers, soaked and pickled and brine.  Put on a roll with onions.  It's Germany so I'm positive the roll was good.

Anyway, B-I-L says the pickled herring sandwich was delicious.  Perhaps even worth the trip.  While we were seated at the long tables at the marketplace so the B-I-L could enjoy his fine sandwich dining experience which could not be replicated at home, we were told by a woman from Austria who was sitting at our table and could only speak German that we -- us! -- should learn to speak German if we are traveling to Germany.  Can you imagine!  This women travelled to another country and could not even speak English!

(Aside:  the woman was joking with our friend who guiding us around when she said this.  And the level of English language proficiency in Munich is sky-high, comparable to a U.S. city.)

Sandwich then eating, agenda item for B-I-L checked off, it was time to check off my agenda item for Munich: the Glockenspiel.

New Town Hall with the Glockenspiel about halfway up the tower
The Glockenspiel plays at 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m.  We missed the 5:00 p.m. performance the day before.  We were not going to miss the noon performance today.  And neither were others!

Glockenspiel-anticipating hordes at Marienplatz
Crowd watches and listens to an accordionist in giddy anticipation
Then, at the stroke of noon, the bells chime, the music roars, and the statues come to life.

Glockenspiel in action. (Well, not "action" as it's a still photo, but it's a still photo of an action sequence.)
More Glockenspiel action
State of the art animatronics from the early 20th Century.  Actually, it was mildly disappointing to read that it was from 1908.  I thought it was more of a peer of the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Prague, which dates back to 1410, with "animatronic" figures being added as early as the mid 1600's.  Actually, the Glockenspiel was impressive, and still very impressive for its time, but it got me to appreciate the Prague Astronomical Clock even more.

So the item that I got to put on the Munchen to-do list got done.  I will go back to being a passenger for the Munich part of the journey.

One last look at the Glockenspiel, behind some Cherubs of the Marian Column

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