Picture of the Week

9 July 2018

Week 26: Munich in June

Filed under: — Administrator @ 11:26

June has been an unusually busy month in terms of travelling for work, and so I spent part of the last week of the month in Munich, working on some joint activities with the European Patent Office which is based there. No complaints–Munich is a wonderful city, especially in the summer with the long days, just perfect for enjoying a Maß in a Biergarten–if it is not raining, of course…

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I start with two cat pictures from home, though. This orange kitty appears in this spot, on the wall of our front yard, almost every morning when I am leaving for work, or in the afternoon when I am coming back. He clearly believes that there is food to be had, and he is not wrong:
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He remains very shy and runs away as soon as I am within 3-4 meters of him. The only reason I was able to get this close-up was because I was leaning out the window with a long lens mounted on the camera:
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On Wednesday I flew to Munich for my meetings at the EPO Thursday and Friday. I took the S-Bahn from the airport to Rosenheimer Platz, the closest station to my hotel. Inside the station was an exhibit window set up by a nearby bookshop. The text at the bottom reads “Racism and nationalism inevitably lead to war”. Bavaria, the state of which Munich is the capital, is a conservative place, but clearly there are progressive pockets, especially in the big city:
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Near my hotel, I saw this anti-Erdogan sticker. With 3 million Turks in Germany, the Turkish election campaign was fought there too:
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After settling in at the hotel, I made my way to the centre to enjoy the good weather. I took a bus to Rindermarkt (cattle market), near the main square Marienplatz; no cattle is traded these days, but there is a fountain to mark the place where such trading did take place in the Middle Ages:
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The steps of the fountain are a popular place to hang out:
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On Wednesday afternoon, Germany played South Korea in the World Cup. The match ended while I was on the train from the airport to the city, with a shock defeat for the Germans, and an unprecedented exit from the World Cup already at the group stage. I set out to document the impact on the people. First, the morning papers, full of confidence that Die Mannschaft would get the job done:
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Then, during the afternoon, I saw serious-looking people like this city worker, I suppose checking the details of the disaster on his phone:
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Since the weather was nice, I decided to visit the English Garden, a large park near the university which I had visited once before, in rainy and drizzly weather. I took the metro to the Universität station. This is Professor Huber Platz, part of the campus of Ludwig Maximilians University, on the edge of the park:
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The university bookstore:
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Conference on oppression of lesbians in the 20th century:
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I made my way to the English Garden. The park was full of people enjoying the nice weather:
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It truly is a wonderful oasis in the middle of the big city, kind of like Central Park in New York. It covers 3.7 square km, making it the largest urban park in Europe, and has around 75 km of various footpaths:
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There are also numerous playgrounds:
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But I was looking for this kind of oasis:
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This particular beer garden also has coffee–the sign promises “udder-fresh” milk from Carmen the cow:
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But that is not why one goes to a beer garden. I had a Maß (the standard beer size in Munich, a 1-litre glass). People at the neighbouring table were engaged in what was undoubtedly a deep analysis of the afternoon’s defeat to Korea:
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Another beer garden in the English Garden, at the foot of the Chinese Tower, originally built in the 1790s, burned down during a bombing raid in 1944, later rebuilt:
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Later in the evening, I was back at Marienplatz. This is Munich’s old city hall, from the 15th century:
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I walked to the neighbouring square, Viktualienmarkt. As the name implies, during the day this is Munich’s main outdoor food market. In the evening, it is just a large beer garden:
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At the centre of Viktualienmarkt stands this monument to beer and to the Bavarian Purity Law:
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On Thursday morning the nice weather was gone, replaced by drizzly rain. But that did not stop me from taking pictures during the short walk from my hotel to the EPO. The owner of this car likes stickers, apparently:
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I spent most of the day, as well as Friday morning, with these three people–Giovanna from the EPO Academy, Yann, Chief Economist of the EPO, and Ilja, an economist working with Yann. On Thursday we were jointed by six academics who were presenting their progress on research projects that are being funded by the EPO and which its Scientific Committee (on which I also participate) had selected in 2017:
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My hosts had thoughtfully arranged lunch in a traditional Bavarian restaurant, about 10 minutes walk from the office; they could not control the weather of course, but at least the EPO has plenty of spare umbrellas:
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The restaurant:
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Remnants of dashed hopes:
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Back at the EPO. It is a large building (the EPO has 7,000 employees, most of them at the Munich HQ, with smaller offices in Berlin, Vienna and The Hague). There is a fair amount of interesting art around the building, but I am always attracted to these two terracotta warriors, a gift to the EPO from China’s patent office:
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Just outside the main entrance stands a large abstract metal sculpture which I often use to take selfies like this one:
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Thursday night I had dinner with the EPO colleagues, and afterwards I lingered a bit on the rainy Marienplatz, taking advantage of the lights and the reflections:
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I spent Friday morning at the EPO, and then it was time to head for the airport. While walking to the bus stop where I would take the bus to the Marienplatz S-Bahn station, I noticed this nice drawing in a doorway:
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And an offer to be saved:
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Marienplatz is pedestrian only, so the bus stop is at nearby Rindermarkt, where I photographed this young woman using public art as backrest while having her lunch:
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And my last Munich image from this trip, showing the old and the new mixing in this prosperous city, here on Rosenstrasse:
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