A couple of weeks back I spent a long weekend in Munich because it was the big - no, I'm not telling - birthday of one of my oldest friends and that of course asked for a big celebration. Flying out there on the Thursday meant we had a little time together to chat and enjoy the sunshine before the big party, to wander around the city and enjoy the first iced coffee of the year.
This wasn't my first visit to Munich, so I didn't really feel compelled (though it's strangely tempting) to take more shots of the same landmarks and buildings. I had also, for the first time, decided to leave my big, bulky camera at home. My shoulder has taken a lot of strain schlepping that thing around cities and events and I just had to give it a rest. Instead, I decided to rely on my iPhone only for this trip. I had bought a lens for it, but we didn't really get on, so it went back to the shop... Shooting with my phone only was rather different and I'm not sure I really like it. Sure, it's quick to whip out of my bag, point and shoot, but I missed certain aspects like manually changing the aperture and with it the depth of field for example. Yes, I can set the focus on the phone, but the effect still isn't quite the same as what I'm used to. Not all images are as good (quality-wise) as I would have wanted them to be, but I guess that's a risk I took when deciding to leave my camera at home.
Anyway, back to Munich: if somebody was to put that metaphorical gun to my head telling me I had to move back to Germany, then Munich would be the city I'd choose. The architecture, parks, proximity to the mountains (though I'd miss the sea...) and most of all the people. There's a hearty friendliness and chattiness to the people there that is somewhat different to other places in Germany and I love their varied and personal dress sense. The north of Germany seems far more uniform when it comes to clothing and whilst the people in Hamburg are wonderfully elegant in an understated way, there's a real flamboyance to the way (some, not all, obviously) people in Munich dress which in turn makes it really interesting to watch.
Sunshine, al fresco lunch, a visit to the Viktualienmarkt (the market in the city centre) as well as my favourite wood shop (yes, I came back with more spoons, a knife and an olive spoon), some relaxing in the park and a meeting over a glass of wine with fabulous blog mate Igor made me go into full-on holiday mode and giddy with joy.
The party for my friend's birthday was held at a small venue outside the city centre. As Bavarian style, history and architecture go, this might not be the most ostentatious (they do like their bling a bit), but it was certainly the cutest and possibly most romantic. Because this house is where, in the 19th century, King Ludwig I met on a regular basis with his lover, the dancer Lola Montez - hence the name Lola Montez House. Wonderful wooden decor, down-to-earth and romantic decorations and great service made this an absolutely wonderful venue for the party. We ate, drank, chatted and danced until the early hours. I'm not going to go into detail about the next morning, let's just say I had a fabulous time and kinda paid the price.
Next I took the train for a five hour journey to the north of Germany, though of that in another post. For now, I hope you like this little escape to Bavaria.