Mittwoch, 2. Juni 2010

Munich Gardens




Strolling along a gravel path through mature trees and over brooks, one can hear traditional Bavarian music coming from a Biergarten behind the trees in the summertime. If you follow the music, you'll find yourself under an Oriental tower, where the locals sit and enjoy massive mugs of beer. A walk through the Englischer Garten is a good way to spend a Sunday in Munich, when most of the stores are closed. It's also a good place for people-watching, especially on the weekends. Some people ride horses along the many trails, and there are frequently soccer games being played. There's one point near a waterfall where surfers practice, despite the fact that it's dangerous and against the park rules. One good way of reaching the Englisher Garten is by the subway station Odeonsplatz. This route leads through the Hofgarten, a formal garden next to the Residenz Palace, laid out with fountains and paths which are bordered with flowers.


The Nympenburg Palace also has extensive garden surroundings. A flock of swans lives on the Nymphenburg Canal leading up to the palace, and the walk from the palace to the summer home which is included in the tour goes through a formal garden with fountains. The Munich Botanic Garden is right next door to Nymphenburg Palace. Although many of the displays are in greenhouses, the greenhouses sometimes give the impression of being in the wilderness with tall palm trees and ferns. Walking through the Palm House is like walking through a rain forest. The sunlit Victoria House mostly consists of a pond with water lilies, and the Water Plant House also has a large assortment of water plants on display, most of them sharing a large pond with goldfish and trout, and some of them in aquariums. The rainforest gives way to greenhouses which resemble a desert environment, one of which features large cactuses from the Americas, another features native African plants. The remaining greenhouses contain flowering plants, one of which is devoted to orchids, with the necessary humidity being provided by a pond filled with turtles. Unfortunately, there's a problem with people sneaking their unwanted pet turtles into this pond. Outside of the greenhouses, the Munich Botanic Garden offers a large expanse of well-tended forests and fields, complete with an assortment of flowers in season. When I visited in May, the tulip season was just ending and it was shortly before the rose season.


Public parks and gardens offer a bit of the countryside in the middle of the city, and can be reached without traveling too far. Nature offers a peacefulness which is often hard to find in an urban environment. These gardens offer a relaxing environment while being inexpensive or even free.

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