Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running late

There are a lot of things to do in München and if you include the greater Bavarian state, the list is extremely long. If you were to ask me what are the top 10 things that I recommend you see and do while in Munich, I honestly couldn't shorten the list enough. Fortunately, we have a book that does it for us..!

Some things we have already done, some things we cannot do due to the season or other reasons but most are fantastic ideas.

One reoccurring suggestion is that you check out the Rathaus Glockenspiel. Essentially, it is a very old, giant cuckoo clock that sits high atop the council building in the centre of münchen. It has 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures and every day at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer, it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century.

This means, every day at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer, huge masses of tourists stand at the base of the glockenspiel with their arms raised in the air pointing their cameras at it.

The other day, I was fortunate to be there at midday to witness this congregation of tourists. From around 11.30am, huge amounts of people gather and look for the best vantage point. Some are lucky enough to get a seat at adjacent cafes but this requires major forethought. As the clock hit 12, everybody held up their cameras in anticipation... but nothing happened.

Over the next ten minutes, more and more arms began to tire and cameras were lowered. Then at 12.10pm, the glockenspiel suddenly came to life. Everybody cheered.

Bells chimed for around ten minutes. It seemed to go on forever. It took so long in fact, that many tourists gave up on holding up their cameras and left. After 15min, I too had had enough and left the scene. By the end of the chiming, the tourists had cleared out, obviously a little disappointed and everything was back to normal. No doubt though, it will all happen again at 5pm.

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