Sunday, 6 September 2009
Some of Munich's Finest - Part One
As promised, here is a write-up about some of Munich's best beer gardens. On our first full day in Munich we purchased a 3-Day Partner-Tageskarte. For the princely sum of 21 Euro's, my son and I enjoyed 3 day's unlimited travel over the inner-ring of Munich's extensive public transport network. This gave us the use of trains (both above and below ground), buses and trams, and we made full use of it.
On the Friday we travelled out to Thalkirchen, where the city's zoo is situated. Ignoring the zoo's undoubted animal attractions, we then caught a bus to a stop called Campingplatz, which as its name suggests is a large camping and caravan park. From Campingplatz is was a short walk through the woods, along the banks of the Isar River to our destination that lunchtime, Hinterbruehl. This attractive guest-house and beer- garden has the look of an Alpine lodge, yet is still well within the city limits. It began life as a a stop-over for loggers, floating their logs downstream from the forested areas outside Munich, to the saw-mills closer to the city centre. Nowadays, city folk have replaced the loggers, but the original forested atmosphere still remains.
We walked up the steps, and made our way to the self-service area, and found ourselves a table over-looking the river. We had the place virtually to ourselves for much of the time, but it was nice just sitting there enjoying the rural tranquility and the Hacker-Pschorr beer. An interesting snippet in the BDG2M, informs readers that Hinterlbruehl was a favourite meeting place for the likes of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, both before and during WWII, it being close to Munich, yet tucked away and secluded enough to be a place where business could be conducted away from prying eyes. This somewhat ghoulish fact aside, Hinterbruehl proved to be the ideal lunchtime spot on this our first day in the Bavarian capital.
Our next port of call was at the opposite end of the city, but easily accessible by U6 underground from Thalkirchen. We journeyed to Studentenstadt, which as its name suggests is where much of the city's university accommodation is situated. A short bus-ride, followed by a short walk, brought us to Sankt Emmerans Muehle, a former paper-mill that is now a high-class restaurant and beer-garden. We would never have found this attractive and secluded establishment without the aid of the BSG2M, and the guide also informed us that this was, and still is the place to see and be seen. The guest book includes the likes of Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, ABBA and Tina Turner. Boris Becker is reputed to have paused for refreshment here, as did former top Bavarian politician, Franz Joseph Strauss, after whom Munich's international airport is named.
Despite its illustrious guest-list, Sankt Emmerans Muehle is still a place that is affordable to lesser mortals, and it was here that we used the first of our Buy-One-Get-One-Free, "Five Beer Club" tokens from the back of the guide We sat a table under a sun-shade, enjoying a litre each of Spatenbraeu, over-looking country meadows, watching the cyclists making their way along the path that passes the side of the pub. The umbrella came in handy shortly after when the heavens opened during a thunderstorm!
We waited until the storm had passed, before walking back to the bus-stop and making our way back into Munich. We alighted at Munchener Freiheit, and made our way back through Munich's excellent open-air park, the Englischer Garten, before catching a tram back to our hotel. Strolling through the park we passed two more excellent beer-gardens, Seehaus and Chinesischer Turm, but having by this time drank our fill, didn't stop
Later that evening we walked the short distance up to Stiglmaier Platz, and had a few more beers, plus a bite to eat, at the Loewenbraeu Keller. We sampled both the Helles and the Dunkel, before calling it a day. It had been a good introduction to some of Munich's finest beer gardens, and there would be more to come over the following days!