Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Seifenkisten Rennen at the Auer Dult

'Hier ist der Welt noch in Ordnung' is a German phrase I've come to know and love. The literal translation is 'Here the world is still in order'. My husband usually says it whenever we drive through a charming little village in the Bavarian countryside. I think it to myself a lot living in Munich.

The things the make the world "in Ordnung"(to my mind, anyway) include a spirit of community, simple pleasures that don't involved the distractions of modern life and a keeping of the old traditions.

The annual Seifenkistenrennen (soapbox race)  that takes place during the Mai Dult at Mariahilfsplatz is one such occasion. It's a soapbox race that includes kids, parents, neighborhood old folks, as well as business establishments and local authorities. The participants all race with their own, hand built soap boxes. There are age divisions and an MC.

As I watch everyone cheer and clap for their friends and neighbors as they race down the hill, while I eat handmade potato chips from a paper cone and sip coke through a straw, I feel like I'm in a Munich version of the Andy Griffith Show.

These quaint pleasures within a large city are what makes Munich so special to me. In Ordnung indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wandern Mit Dem MVV #24 - Die Wolfratshauser Aussichtsrunde

I have a little book called 'Wandern mit dem MVV'. It's pocket size and the concept is simple. It's a series of numbered scenic walks you can take in the surrounding areas of Munich starting at an S-Bahn station.

I've had the idea to go on all 40 walks listed in the book for awhile, the plan being this will become an occasional but regular series on this her blog. The inaugural walk took place in March of this year.

I went with a friend and we decided to do #24 which is about a 12km circle around Wolfratshausen.

The walk starts at the Icking S-Bahn station. It took us around 3 hours, with a pause in the middle for a Brezn and and some Obatzda.

The walk was pretty great. There were stunning vistas high above the Isar, as well as paths that led off the road practically through peoples back yards. The one above sported an impressive collection of bird feeders.

We also learned that the term 'findling' refers to a large rock. At least we assume it does. The guide instructed us to turn left at the 'findling' and ultimately the rock above was the only thing there that it could've been. No idea if these are naturally occurring or not.

Wolfratshausen is full of old country charm, and apparently used to be a big center of commerce along the Isar.

Here's the spot where they assemble those big rafts that go down the Isar carrying oompah bands and merrymakers.


Money Shot: The Ickinger Wehr.

As you can see the walk was gorgeous, and this was in early March. I imagine it must be spectacular when spring is in full throttle. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


When you live in the Au, Schwabing can sometimes seem like it's in another galaxy. I don't get up there much, so I'm always at a loss when thinking of where to meet someone when I find myself north of Prinzregentenstrasse equator.

Fortunately a friend suggested Seerose. It's a little Trattoria at the end of Feilitzschtrasse practically bordering the English garden.

Hip, hidden and 'indie' this place is not. It's owned by the same people that own Theresa, Freebird, Kaisergarten and similar establishments around town. But the food is decent, the decor is charming and the prices are reasonable. For these reasons it's gained a place on my roster, and pops into mind whenever I'm headed northward.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


After living here so long it's hard to discern what habits and rituals I've developed that are a direct result of residing in a certain place. I now realize that the I have absorbed the internal alarm setting, which goes off about mid-march to get my balcony flowers going.

It's hard to ignore, every supermarket, drugstore and garden supply shop suddenly rolls out sidewalk stands full of planting soil, little pots of herbs and flowers.

I like this annual ritual, and it's mixing of the urbane and the natural.

I've probably mentioned before on this blog that one of the things I disliked about growing up in L.A. was the lack of seasons. Acknowledging and celebrating spring by getting on my knees, filling pots with potting soil and watching seedlings grow is a habit I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I'm sure this wouldn't have become a part of me if I hadn't moved here.