For about a third of the year, Munich is cold. Freezing cold. Perhaps it is because I have never seen proper snow but I cannot fathom living in those conditions. In fact, I imagine that I would simply stay at home and keep warm. If there is snow everywhere and you can’t drive around or ride a bike, why would anyone bother going to work? Hibernate during winter, then go back to work in Spring.
It is now Summer here in Munich and from what I have seen, I think people must work through Winter so that they can take the entire Summer off!! We have been fortunate enough to have some spectacular weather over the last few days and there are people outside everywhere. From sunrise at about 5am until the sun goes down again at about 9.30pm, people are outside enjoying the fine weather. So many, that it has made me believe that no one must work in Summer.
During a 4hr ride, I pass a constant stream of people on bikes. Families, couples, groups or individuals, all just cruising along. There isn’t one point where I cannot see someone else on a bike.
Down at the Isar river, the crowds are insane. Every pebble ‘beach’ is covered with people all swimming and getting a dose of vitamin D. Move further upstream and the sun bakers all get a little bit more liberal and strut around naked. The water in the Isar is pretty cold...
Further upstream and huge wooden rafts float down the Isar. Not tiny, dingy sized rafts but ones made from several trees that hold around thirty people. They have their own toilet, brass band, BBQ and bar. It is more like a floating pub than a raft. They drift down the Isar at walking speed as those on board sit back in their summer gear and enjoy beer and a BBQ.
In the city, the parks are equally congested as people search for their piece of green space. On the hot days, even the fountains get a workout as people walk around in them to cool their feet off. Last night, at 9.30pm I even saw joggers running laps through a cemetery that had become a place of recreation. It is strange to use the term ‘unused cemetery’ but this one had become a park and people were taking full advantage of it.
So for the next few months, as the sun continues to shine and everything stays green, people are getting out and enjoying themselves. I do wonder though, does anyone here go to work? Do they just shut up shop when the weather is nice out? From many other things I have seen here in Munich, it would not surprise me if it was a law that you must obey.