February 5, 2012

On a Sunday: Why is it so cold?.. it is winter...

Good morning, it is minus 17 grads on a sunny winter Sunday and today I am going to be brave and I am going for a walk in the park. It is around 10am and the bells in Frauenkirche are ringing.

The streets are deserted, no cars, no people. Crossing the Viktualienmarkt, I notice that the fountains have not been protected against the ice with wood planks. However and surprisingly the water is running…

I keep walking just to reach Marienplazt, where I see the first two police officers and a couple of tourists taking photos. Going forward along Dienerstrasse I keep finding more and more police cars and vans. What is happening?

Ah! I remember now: the MSC (the Munich Security Conference) takes place this weekend at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, probably the most expensive and luxurious hotel in Munich. This Conference is considered the most relevant event for Security Policy in the world. And therefore, high profile politicians and experts attend it every year. 

This weekend Munich is welcoming the former Australian Prime Minister and current Foreign Affairs Minister: Kevin Rudd and the US Secretary of State: Hilary Clinton, amongst others. As a consequence, it is hardly surprising that the city is invaded by police forces.

I arrive at Odeonsplatz, which is beautiful at this early morning hour, all covered in white snow and again deserted (apart from the police vans, I count 4). At Odeonsplatz I find the first arch gate to the Hoftgarten, one of the main parks in the city centre, built in the 17th century and host of the Regional Government of Bavaria. Still no sight of people and of course the Bier Garten is closed.

I move forward towards the Bavarian Staatskanzlei, the highest authority of the regional government of Bavaria. Before its destruction during the WWII, the Army Museum was located in that very spot. The planning for a new representative building of the regional government started in the 80´s and in 1993 the current building was opened.

I pass by the White Rose Memorial, which honors a non-violent student group of the University of Munich, known for their protests and campaigns against the Nazism. Their group members were arrested and beheaded in 1943. 

I move forward to the Englisher Garten, which some people claim it is the largest urban park in the world. I am unsure if this is 100% true, but I have checked and it is definitely larger than the Hyde Park in London and the Central Park in New York.

When I reach the Japanese Tea House, I spot a few more brave people jogging or walking their dogs. Impressive! I take my hat off to them! I keep walking, now it is the time, when the park is almost deserted and all covered in snow, it is gorgeous! I want to go further but the cold is starting to affect me and I think that my courage is coming to an end. It is time to head back home to sit cozy under a warm blanket with a hot tea and enjoy the feeling of the home heating.

Bye for now.

Related posts:
Biking in Munich
Barbecue and sunbathing
The River Isar I and II
Welcome to Valley Street
It is culture time!
Oktoberfest and more