Three Surprising Sights in Munich

We’re wrapping up our Germany trip in Bavaria, and I’m getting a kick out of the unusual sights you can’t see at home. Surprises, in other words. The novelty of exploring new places.

Munich is a lovely and interesting city. More businesslike than Berlin, but with many quaint markets and clocks, including the famous Glockenspiel with its rotating “play” of storybook characters that spin three times per day.

A magnificent Gothic government building with a tall bell tower. The bell tower has a clock, and below the clock are open doors with figurines (men, knights, horses) that spin around and put on a show three times per day as the bells ring.

In the category of “surprising to my North American eyes”, we saw river surfers in a large city park, found the Devil’s preserved footprint in a cathedral, and learned that in Germany tobacco comes with photos of corpses and people coughing up blood.

A male surfer in a black wetsuit expertly rides a river wave beneath a canopy of green trees.

A marble floor with alternating gray and red squares has one brass square with a large black depressed shoe print in the center. Canisters of Tobacco with full color photos of dead and/or ill people on the package.

It’s always interesting how norms vary between cultures. Yesterday I saw a naked woman hanging out in the nudist-friendly area of a public park (this would be considered quite wild at home, not to mention illegal) but 16 year-olds can drink beer here, and there’s nary a gun in sight.

We’ve done enough traveling that I find these differences interesting rather than good or bad. Although every we visit Europe I come away with the feeling that we Americans criminalize a lot of things unnecessarily.

We’ve reached the point in our trip where it’s time to squeeze in our last bit of sightseeing before heading home. Seattle awaits!

But first, castles.