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Aug 2015

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Just a little way west of Munich's old centre is the neighbourhood of Nymphenburg where lies a castle, nay a palace, but more on that in a minute. This being Germany, let's stop at a beer garden first.

The  Hirschgarten is the largest in Munich with room for nearly 10,000 drunken bums on seats. It's even got its own  S-Bahn station although there's a bit of a walk through some English-looking parkland to get to the pork and booze.

It's not all about the beer, they've got deer here, Hirsch, of course, meaning just that.

It could be worked to say that it should be called Teuer-garten but the beer's not actually that kind of dear even for a stupidly large glass.

The palace or Schloss suddenly appears at the end of a back alley. This massive summer retreat for various, Aryan Bavarians dates back to the 1670s when it used to be all fields round here. The prince-electoral couple Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy... zzzz!

Snort! Oops, nearly nodded off there, were you starting to? Let's not bother with the history, you can read all about it  elsewhere.

No, there are 180 acres[1] of free parkland to explore. Once an Italian garden, enlarged and rearranged in French style by Dominique Girard, a pupil of Le Notre... zzzz!

Snort! Oops, nearly went again there. In the gardens of the Schloss there's a canal and they call it the Schlossgartenkanal. You've gotta love that German language, eh?

[1] About 100 football pitches including throw-ins or as they say here, Hundertfussballplatzenmitchuckinz, probably.

  Alleecafé7 (Hirschgartenalle)

Unexpectedly excellent but unpronounceable pâtisserie on your way to the palace. Some phrasebook fun here attempting to negotiate a pair of ice creams. The accompanying coffees were no problem, served with a small bowl of... ice cubes.

Where did she think that this pair were from for this to be a thing? Eisland? And no, never did get them ice creams.

Just one of the many eye-catching buildings in the grounds. the Badenburg was built as a Royal Bathing House.

Baroque in style, it says here, its function was to resurrect the bathing tradition of the Romans, it says here. They'll let you in if you've already paid at the entrance where it's all  Delft tiles, fake marble and monkeys on the ceiling, it says here[1].

Visitors at the time were encouraged to enjoy a 'comfortable bathroom[2]'. Most people tend to use McDonald's™ these days.

[1] No, the entrance fee hadn't beed paid.
[2] Gibteszehnminuten?

There's a good half day's worth in here with a pair of ponds, the canal of course, at least one pagoda and there's bound to be a pergola, probably. When you've exhausted all of the park, you'll likely emerge at the back of the  Schloss.

Just as you're obliged to do so in that comfortable bathroom, don't miss the porcelain. They still make the world famous, apparently, porcelain next door and there's a museum of pieces from over the ages in the Schloss.

Porzellanmanufaktur. Hang on, that one appears to be real.

  Schloss Nymphenburg

A double-digit number of €euros will gain you access to the palace and the smaller buildings in the park. It's standard palatial fayre it would seem although the Marstallmuseum houses a large number of ornate carriages and sleighs if you're a fan of the horse-drawn.

Walk away from the Schloss following the canal and you'll hit a main road that has room for some trams on it. On the corner, and with perfect timing, a pub with a beer garden.

There's a lot of Schweinefleisch on the menu and the best bet here looks to be the Wurstplatte, yes, a plate of a selection of sausages.

First up the Weisswurst, a boiled white affair that's mainly veal. A little bit like your  saveloy, you discard the skin but dip this one in sweet mustard. Just don't let a Bavarian see you doing this, though, they like to suck it out and won't be seen eating one after 12 AM.

Traditionally, they were made in the morning and, in the day before preservatives, they needed to be eaten before noon to keep Environmental Health from the door. Texturally too soft and not a lot happening seasoning-wise - 3/10.

Next up the Bratwurst. Now, there are dozens of regional varieties and these are closest you'll get to an English porker. Softer than expected and, quite frankly, herbally lacking. Personally, these would have gotten a couple of more minutes - 5/10.

Finally the Blutwurst but this one was nothing like a  black pudding and they'd throw this spongy disc back in your face in Bury - 1/10.

A final mention of the  sauerkraut, an acquired taste, perhaps, since fermented isn't really done back home. Sour and slightly sweet with the caraway seeds providing an aniseed savoury. BLUMMIN' LOVE IT! - 10/10.

The canal runs for nearly a mile through a very fancy looking residential area. Auffahrtsallee is home to some of the most expensive properties in the city and in winter, when the water freezes over, the German Speed Skating team, probably.

These monsters lurk in the murky water, some kind of carp it's reckoned, those barbs are a clue. It's unsure how they get on during the chillier months when they're known as... Karpenmitbarbenuntereisbahn.

Where the canal ends, there's what we might call a folly and the Hubertusbrunnen houses a fountain with a big stag with antlers in it. A youngish lass with a hat and a good line in English explained this between photographs.

She was an artist and used to 'hang out' here at night until residents started calling the Polizei to complain about the ünter-age drinking. Fraüleinfollydrinken was an artist all right, she was on at least her second bottle of strong, German lager or as they call it here, lager.

Why this place attracts boozers isn't clear although what's essentially the Jägermeister™ logo above the meshed-up door might go some way to explaining.