Alternative Routes in Life

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“And now, dear Mr. Worthing, I will not intrude any longer into a house of sorrow. I would merely beg you not to be too much bowed down by grief. What seem to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. This seems to me a blessing of an extremely obvious kind.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

I probably didn’t sound too happy in a previous post about my new route to school, but this is going to be a much more cheery one about it, because the blessing of this change finally revealed itself to me. :’)

I used an online Route Planner application to craft a route from my apartment to school – one which included most of my favourite locations around town and one which amounted to a whopping 12km. I tried this route out on the second day of school (after a very disappointing first day of riding to school, because there weren’t very many interesting sights to keep my adrenaline pumping AND there was one point where I actually found myself in the middle of a rather eerily silent part of the Englischer Garten’s forest), and ended up taking an average of 45-50 minutes from my apartment to school, and another 45-50 minutes from school back to my apartment.

In essence, if I continued with this route for the rest of the semester, I’d be effectively be clocking in 24km and 100 minutes on my bike everyday. I’ve simply fallen in love with cycling ever since moving here, and I can’t imagine a better start to my day – heart pumping forcefully and enjoying the good glow of health as my face revealed the fresh rosy colour of pink of youth. 😊🌺

One of the days in the past week, I left home a little earlier so that I had the opportunities to make a couple of stops along the way to document the amazing sights which I was whizzing past daily on my bike.

Thought I’d let You all have a look at my daily sights too! :’) Enjoy!!


1. The Maximilianeum

(a little bit of renovation going on; seen in the picture below…)

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The Maximilianeum, a palatial building in Munich, was built as the home of a gifted students’ foundation and has also housed the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament) since 1949.

The principal was King Maximilian II of Bavaria, who started the project in 1857. The leading architect was Friedrich Bürklein. The building is situated on the bank of river Isar before the Maximilian Bridge and marks the eastern end of the Maximilianstrasse, one of Munich’s royal avenues which is framed by neo-Gothic palaces influenced by the English Perpendicular style. Due to statical problems the construction was only completed in 1874 and the facade of the Maximilianeum which was originally planned also in neo-Gothic style had to be altered in renaissance style under the influence of Gottfried Semper. The facade was decorated with arches, columns, mosaics and niches filled with busts. The building was extended on its back for new parliament offices, several modern wings were added in 1958, 1964, 1992 and again in 2012.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilianeum

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Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maximilianeum_-_Frontseite_-_Panorama.jpg

“At a certain point, I just put the building and the art impulse together. I decided that building was a legitimate way to make sculpture.” ― Martin Puryear

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Source: https://www.lichtblick.de/medien/news/2011/01/24/hamburger-energie-für-bayerns-parlamentarier

It’s an absolutely grand architectural structure accomplishment and cycling past such a building leaves me in awe every single time without fail. Right below the trees around the Maximilianeum is where the cycling track lies and let me tell You something: cycling on winding roads under a dense canopy of trees is a feeling I find very difficult to replicate. With the air – fresh and cool – gently blowing in Your face, hearing the light rustle of leaves in the forest while fighting against the slight incline and greeting fellow cyclists with a friendly smile or even a “Good Day!”, I can only describe this stretch as pretty soul-awakening.

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Source: http://www.kartonmodell-forum.de/forum/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=76

Sorry for the spam of this magnificent building hahaha I may be a little obsessed with it – it’s superbly regal!! 😻

Psssssst! It’s been a week and renovation works are done! Have a look!

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2. Die Maximiliansbrücke (The Maximilian Bridge)

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Second, here is the bridge which leads up to the grand architectural masterpiece (it’s in the background)!

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It was built over the Isar, which at 295 km in length, is the fourth largest river in Bavaria. I’ve included a picture of it below. 🙂

Die Brücke wurde in den Jahren 1857–1863 als Verlängerung der Maximilianstraße zum Maximilianeum nach Plänen von Arnold Zenetti errichtet.

Die Brückenbreite von 22 m bietet Platz für den beidseitigen Verkehr von Trambahnen, Kraftfahrzeugen, Radfahrern und Fußgängern.

Die Innere Maximiliansbrücke überspannt mit den drei ursprünglichen Bögen aus Ziegelmauerwerk eine Länge von 42 m.

Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximiliansbrücke

Translation:

The bridge, which was designed by Arnold Zenetti, was built between 1857 and 1863 as an extension of Maximilianstraße to Maximilianeum.

The bridge has a width of 22m and can accommodate the movement of trams, cars, cyclists and pedestrians in opposite directions.

Three original arches of brick masonry spans across the inner portion of the Maximilian bridge. It has a length of 42m.

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I actually saw some people wading around the water here the other day hahaha I’m not too sure if it is allowed!


3. Weißenburger Platz

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Der Weißenburger Platz ist ein Platz im Münchner „Franzosenviertel“ im Stadtteil Haidhausen. In der Mitte des konzentrisch angelegten Platzes befindet sich der „Glaspalastbrunnen“, den 1853 August von Voit entwarf. Dieser befand sich zunächst im Glaspalast im Alten Botanischen Garten – daher der Name. Im ausgehenden 19. Jahrhundert wurde der Brunnen an den Orleansplatz umgezogen. Als der dort befindliche Ostbahnhof umgebaut wurde, musste der Glaspalastbrunnen weichen und wurde auf den nahe gelegenen Weißenburger Platz versetzt. Nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit ist das Wasserspiel des Brunnens beleuchtet.

Um den Glaspalastbrunnen herum sind Blumenbeete angelegt, die mehrfach im Jahr bepflanzt werden. Eingerahmt wird diese kreisförmige Grünanlage von einer Baumreihe unter der sich Bänke befinden sowie von einer ringförmigen Straße, die teilweise Fußgängerzone ist. Fünf Straßenzüge laufen auf den Weißenburger Platz sternförmig zu: von beiden Seiten jeweils die Metzstraße und die Weißenburger Straße sowie die Lothringer Straße, in der sich in der Nähe des Platzes die städtische Kunstgalerie Lothringer13 befindet. In den Gebäuden, die den Weißenburger Platz finden sich unterschiedliche Geschäfte, Gastronomie sowie eine Apotheke und ein Ärztehaus.

Seit 1976 findet auf dem Weißenburger Platz ein Weihnachtsmarkt statt, der über die Jahre stetig gewachsen ist. Inzwischen wird der Weißenburger Platz mit über 60 Ständen für den Weihnachtsmarkt überbaut, der jährlich von Ende November bis Weihnachten stattfindet.

Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weißenburger_Platz

Translation: 

The Weißenburger Platz is a square in Munich’s “French Quarter”, in the Haidhausen district. The “Glass Palace Fountain”, which was designed in 1853 by August von Voit, is located in the centre of the concentric-scale square. This was initially in the Glass Palace in the Old Botanical Garden, hence the name. In the late 19th century, the fountain was moved to the Orleans Place. As the East train station located there had been rebuilt, the Glass Palace fountain had to give way and was transferred to the nearby Weißenburger Platz. After dark, the water feature of the fountain will illuminated (really really beautiful!!!).

The flowerbeds positioned around the Glass Palace fountains are repeatedly planted in the year. This circular park is framed by a row of trees, shophouses, grocery stores, a pharmacy, restaurants/ cafés and pedestrian zones. Five streets lead to the Weißenburger Platz in a star configuration, respectively Metzstraße, Weißenburgerstraße and Lothringerstraße. There is also a municipal art gallery, Lothringer13, in the in the vicinity.

Ever since 1976, a Christmas market would take place at Weißenburger Platz during the Christmas period (end of November until Christmas) and it has been growing steadily over the years (meanwhile hosting a whopping number of 60 stalls).

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After parking my bike, I proceeded to doing a little solo tour of the area. I dropped by the area with grocery stores, one of which was a completely organic one! I find it a huge blessing that fully organic (or even fully vegan) grocery stores exist around here. :’) Another thing which I find particularly endearing in Europe is that they clearly label the vegan products around here.

P.s. The “Vegan” labels are the green slips of paper shows in the picture above. 🙂

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I then chanced upon a a fruit/ veg shop along the walkway. It looks like a pop-up store but it is actually permanent! They are alllll over Europe and goshhhh I just love them so much – their locations are pretty much random, but they are always right where You need them.

I was feeling a little hungry so I bought a bunch of 🍌 5 bananas 🍌 from the very sweet lady manning the shop. I walked away with a huge grin on my face, feeling like a little kid all over again as I peeled the first banana and began filling my tummy up with the yellow delicious-ness. 🙈

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I sat myself down on one of the benches which surrounded the gorgeous fountain in the middle of the Weißenburger Platz and began munching on more bananas as I did a little bit of people-watching and simply enjoyed the warmth of the amber light filtering through the foliage.

Moments later, a lady walked over with a baby cot and lo and behold, an absolutely adorable black pug was resting in it!!! The inner child in my squealed 😋 and as she sat down beside on the same bench, we greeted each other and a conversation on her pug ensued. It was such a lovely pause along my journey home that day after school.

(Ah yes! Sorry if the fact that I said “after school” confuses You. All of these pictures are a collation of a pictures I took BEFORE and AFTER school! I spread out the whole picture-taking session into two to make sure I wouldn’t be late for school hahaha.)

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4. A beautiful Church along Steinstraße

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I find it rather respectable that in the midst of literally anything and everything being modernised, Europeans make an extra effort to ensure the retaining of culture in the architectures around town. :’)


5. Colourful Townhouses

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And look at the flower pots hung so sweetly right outside of some of the windows. I find that this adds such an endearing, and might I add warm, touch to the whole scene. 🌹


6. Odeonsplatz

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The Odeonsplatz is a large square in central Munich (very near to Marienplatz!) which was developed in the early 19th century by Leo von Klenze and is located at the southern end of the Ludwigstraße.

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The Odeonsplatz has traditionally been an important site of parades and public events, including funeral processions (most recently for Franz Josef Strauss in 1988), victory parades (most recently for the Bavarian troops who took part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871), which proceeded down the Ludwigstraße to the Feldherrnhalle, with the VIP rostrum usually being located at the statue of Ludwig I. The annual parade to the Oktoberfest still follows this route.

According to many historians, this traditional function was the reason for the Nazi march on the Feldherrnhalle on 9 November 1923 in the course of the Beer Hall Putsch, which ended in a gunfight in which four state police officers and 16 Nazis were killed. During the Third Reich, the annual memorial march passed through the square and continued to the Königsplatz, where the Nazi fallen had been interred. A memorial was erected for them to the east of the Feldherrnhalle, which all passersby were required to honour with the Hitler salute; this was demolished in 1945 and the four police officers remembered with a plaque in the pavement and in 2010 with one on the wall of the Residenz.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odeonsplatz

I walked into the dome-like structure and was pleasantly surprised with a middle-aged man producing delightful tunes at the grand piano positioned by one of the pillars inside the structure. Have a listen (in the video)! 🙂

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“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” ― Frank Gehry

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Beyond the flower gardens surrounding the dome, walkways such as this one surround the park. Isn’t the symmetry gorgeous? :’)

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I can imagine that the railings have Treble Clefs on them to celebrate the music coming from inside the dome-like structure. I can’t help but think about what a thoughtful detail it adds to the already beautiful landscape.

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7. Regierung Von Oberbayern

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This is another building which is included under the group of parliament buildings. I’m not sure if You can see it clearly but do You see the teal green structures on the top of the building? They are actually statues of very respectable governmental figures from the past. I found it pretty amusing hahaha. 🙂

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I couldn’t get over the fact at how beautiful the details of this structure were. :’) The tiling, the carving, and the symm – wait for it – etry. SYMMETRY is such a wonderful thing!! I love how ordered and neat it makes everything look.

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8. The Walking Man

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THIS CAUGHT ME OFF GUARD! Hahaha it was H U G E!!! It towers over everything in its surrounding with an insane 17 metres.

This is one of Munich’s most famous landmarks. It is called “The Walking Man” and it will soon be 10 years old. The statue was commissioned by Munich Reinsurance in 1995 and it currently stands outside their offices on Leopoldstraße.

Fun fact: If this giant figure were actually walking it would have circled the Earth 21½ times by now.

This sculpture was made in sections at the La Paloma factory in Sun Valley, California. The sections were then transported to Munich where workers spent five weeks bringing the parts together. The sculpture has a steel inner structure and a fibreglass outer shell. In fact, there is a steel staircase inside the upper body of the figure which allowed us to assemble the final sections of the sculpture from the inside. Before the interior of the sculpture was completely sealed off, a metal time capsule was placed inside the sculpture with written statements from both the workers who built the sculpture, as well as the workers at Munich Re.

Source: https://www.borofsky.com/index.php?album=walkingmunich (<< this link has some pretty cool images of the entire building process!!)

The Walking Man was created by the American artist Jonathan Barofsky. Barofsky has exhibited numerous other giant walking figures all over the world including Berlin, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Tokyo, Seoul, and New York.

Curiously, Barofsky also spent 7 years of his life counting. Yes, counting. Sequentially, from one towards infinity. He wrote down the numbers in series across pieces of paper. The 1976 exhibit was a tall stack of sheets with the numbers 1 to 3,227,146. Apparently he still spends a few hours a week counting. Art, or compulsive disorder? In my opinion: Art. Art makes us think and wonder about the human behaviour, and this does just that.


9. Quirky Offers at the Supermarket

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Look at these pumpkins!! They were mostly around the size of the palm of my hands! I don’t usually call pumpkins “adorable” but… “adorable” they sure were.  🎃

Oh and that ‘purple-coloured bush’ at the top right-hand corner of the picture? That’s actually an artichoke flower!! I find it pretty amazing how we have the option to buy artichokes as a whole (including its flower) here! :’)

I’ll be sure to share more quirky offers with You all in the future if I chance upon any again, hehe these are so enjoyable to document!

At the end of the day, if there’s one thing that I hope You’d take away from this post, it’s that changes may not always signify a bad thing. :’) Alternatives in life may translate to something pretty special. 

Blessed Sunday! Xx

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