06
Jan
09

New Years in Munich

I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve in Munich, Germany at the Hofbrauhaus and then the Marienplatz/ town center at midnight.

I can only describe it as being in Times Square…. with the added element of fireworks being shot at you from all angles.  Sure, you could spend New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop in Times Square, OR you can spend it in the Marienplatz dodging firecrackers, bottle rockets and small artillery shells lit off by a bunch of drunk people (oh, and you also have to dodge the empty champagne bottles thrown by said drunk people).  In the pictures, it looks like the place is empty.  But, in reality, people are crammed around the edges of the plaza.  If you dare enter the center, you become a certain target.  It is sort of like those guys that drive the golf cart ball-collectors at driving ranges== Who doesn’t aim at them??

The general target, if not the crowds of people, was the clock tower.  Sure, it has survived wars, plagues and hundreds of years of human history, but the crowd somehow thought they could blow it up with cheap Chinese imported fireworks.

The air was hazy and thick with sulfur smoke which only got worse as the evening went on.  At midnight, you could barely make out the church bells over the constant explosions and bangs of the fireworks.  There wasn’t really a countdown, but everyone knew it was midnight.  This is something that would never happen in the US.  After the first bottle rocket, police would have shut it down and the fireworks would be confiscated.  Sure, you can get away with it in your backyard, but imagine hundreds of people lighting off fireworks outside one of our national monuments…. It would never happen.

Definitely the best New Year’s experience I have ever had.  Here are some photos from the night and a couple of other random ones.  Many more to come when I get back from Belize:

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Prost!! Beers with strangers (soon to be friends after a few more beers) at the famous Hofbrauhaus

Strangest. Band. Ever. At the Hofbrauhaus.  I don't know how I feel about a German cover band dressed in lederhosen singing "It's Raining Men"

Strangest. Band. Ever. At the Hofbrauhaus. I don't know how I feel about a German cover band dressed in lederhosen singing "It's Raining Men"

Well, since the German’s know how to party, everything was closed on New Year’s Day.  So, Chelsea and I walked around the city for a day and came across these surfers.  What is wrong with the following pictures?

A) Surfers in a downtown Urban environment

B) There is no ocean for hundred of miles

C) The blocks of ice

D) Snow on the ground

If you answered all of the above, you are right!  This is a popular surf spot in downtown Munich on the edge of the Englischer Garten.  The way the water flows creates a swell in the river perfect for surfing.  The 20 degree weather and snow on the ground didn’t stop these two surfers.  I just wish I had brought my own surfboard:

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Many, many more photos to come, I promise.

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1 Response to “New Years in Munich”


  1. 1 Fabio
    January 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hi John,
    i’m Fabio, one of the italian guys wspent sometimes together in HofBrauHaus…i don’t remember exactly how many “prost” we did that night…but it’s not important
    I read your post about New Year’s Eve in Munich.
    It is very funny to know the difference between US New Year’s Eve and Munich (and a little bit european ) New Year’s Eve…the countdown…fireworks would be confiscated…and so on.
    New Year’s Eve in Munich was very funny!

    I see some of your photos…and i like them!

    I will be in US( Las Vegas ) for work on February and i will try to do some nice photos like yours…i hope 🙂

    Have a nice year!
    Fabio


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