Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Munich Transrapid Politics

I am always interested in seeing how public transport projects are considered in politics. Munich is debating whether to build a magnetically levitated train (called the Transrapid) from the city's main train station to the airport. The project is very controversial since it will cost a great deal of money, which many argue could be better spent on other forms of public transport that would be more useful to more people.

Here are some photos from the political campaign. The Green Party is against the project arguing that the money could be better spent. The left photo says the train will go "from zero to 400 kph in 2 billion Euros", the right says "I am 10,000 buses".

The bottom photo shows a Lyndon Larouche party demonstration in favor of the project (note the Transrapid hat).

Munich Subway

Munich was a stop on my first trip to Europe (1982) and the city's transport system, especially the U-Bahn, really impressed me. I am still impressed after all these years. It's clean, well-designed, safe, efficient, and reliable.

I remember thinking in 1982 that people have enough hassles, they need a transport system that works, and Munich's fits the bill. This is a photo of one of their new U-Bahn trains, extremely well designed!

Munich Weisswurst

Here's a photo of the traditional Munich morning - before 11 am - snack: white sausage (veal), sweet mustard (Suss Senf), pretzel (Bretzl), and, naturally, a beer (although they usually drink Weissbier rather than a Helles shown in the photo). From Der Pschorr restaurant in the Munich.

Viktualienmarkt - Munich Germany

Munich's Viktualienmarkt has always been one of my favorite places. It's a food market in the center of Munich. Our Goethe Institute German class was about a ten-minute walk away so we ate lunch here almost every day.

There are stands where you can buy produce, meat, wine, bread and many other staples. In the center there are tables (photo) where you can sit to eat your picnic or buy prepared food from one of the stands. You should buy a drink (beer!) from one of the stands, but you don't need to buy food.

Our favorite stand served "Bio" food including sausage, hamburgers (pork), fried potatoes, sauerkraut, rolls (Semmel), pretzels (Bretzl) and bio beer. The "Bio" label is similar to US organic. This stand had its own tables directly outside. Here's a photo of the hamburgers, potatoes and Weissbier.

Der Pschorr - Munich Germany

My favorite restaurant in Munich turned out to be the Der Pschorr in the Schrannenhalle at the East end of the Viktualienmarkt in the center of Munich. They had traditional Bavarian and German foods, but very well cooked and not heavy.

In several visits we enjoyed a great cold meat plate (9 Euros), a sublime Coc-au-Vin (12.50 Euros) and an excellent veal goulash with dumplings made from pretzel dough (14 Euros) - see photo.

The beer was from wooden kegs and tasted fantastic. The beer in Munich really seemed to taste better, maybe there is something in the air?

Goethe Institute Munich

My two-week super intensive German class (full days) at the Goethe Institute in Munich was excellent. I have previously taken three separate one-month long courses at the Berlin Goethe Institute (half-day). The courses are quite different, the half-day courses include a full culture program which to my mind is the best part of the Goethe Institute program. The super-intensive 2 week program is more focussed and, well, intense.

Architectural Tours Website

I just discovered an organization of firms that give architectural tours of different cities. The tours are given by architects or architectural historians in the city. The individual websites for each city are quite nice.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I am visiting Munich for the next two weeks. I will go to a German class and, I hope improve my grammar etc.

I arrived here on Sunday night, I made a big mistake on the train from Vienna to Munich ... I did not have dinner in the dining car. The train came from Budapest and had real Budweiser beer and Hungarian specialties, unfortunately the only things around the apartment where I am staying are from a gas station store (cold pizza) ... although they had about 50 different kinds of beer! To be fair, it's a Sunday night ... but still ...