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Aug 2015

Munich Coat of Arms

Schwanthalerhöhe is, as local estate agents might say, an 'up and coming' suburb west of Munich city centre. In there you'll find Bavaria Park, an oasis of green amongst the mainly residential, and in Bavaria Park you'll find the Bavaria Statue, and in the Bavaria Statue you'll find... us!

That's right, they'll let you up and inside for a few €euros. There's not much room, though, and the nice young lad at the bottom will limit you to fünf at a time.

Or was it vier? I still get them two mixed up, which isn't a problem until shoes need to bought. Was? Size 54?

  Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum (Am Bavariapark)

Why it's only the London Transport Museum but in Munich. In German.

When you're up the stone, winding steps encased in the plinth, things go a bit Dr Who-ey once you're inside.

A rickety, metal spiral takes you up to the head when the wobblies might well kick in and yes, that'll be the old vertigo. The brass is clammy, the sweaty remnants of those that have gone before[1].

This unimaginatively named bit of bronze is of no one in particular rather a 'female personification of the Bavarian homeland, and by extension its strength and glory'. Whatever, they'll let you up and inside for a few €euros.

[1] It wasn't thought to have been raining.

  Gollierplatz

Just don't leave too little time to mooch around this attractive part of the neighbourhood because it's nearly lunchtime now and you have to make that afternoon flight.

  Restaurant Marais Soir (Schwanthalerstraße)

Unexpected and reasonably priced French fine dining with a small tasting menu and wine pairings. Who knew a chargrilled octopus could taste like a pig?

The views from the top are mostly back to Munich across the neighbouring district of Ludwigvorstdat. Duke or King Ludwig the whatever of wherever would be spinning on his horse at what goes on down there now, why it's only the site of... Munich's  Oktoberfest.

The world's largest beer festival or the world's largest public display of drunkenness and debauchery depending on your viewpoint.

It's known that you know that this pair now know that it runs until October but this happened to be early September. That's just a couple of weeks before klink-off and the 10 weeks worth of work to set up was well underway.

The plastic props might well stay in storage but they rebuild most of the wood from scratch. Good news for the local timber suppliers but possibly not so good for the Schwarzwälder.

  Four Points by Sheraton (Schwanthalerstraße)

Strangely good value that might not last as the area ups and comes and don't even think about it during Oktoberfest. There's an off-license for when the cosy bar's shut and a metal table on the balcony that gets hot enough to crack an omelette on.

Nearly six and a half million people will visit the five-acre site[1] in a fortnight chugging on average, just over a litre per head of a stronger than average, specially brewed concoction. The most interesting statistic, however, is more damning and, not unexpectedly, crime-related.

111,000, yes 111,000 attempted thefts of... an oversized pint pot!

Given these things are the size of a small elephant's lower leg, how the heck did you think you were going to smuggle one of those down your Lederhosen[2]?

It's suspected that some of them may have been drinking.

[1] That's nearly three football pitches including room for throw-ins and corners.
[2] By the way, that look is absolutely being loved.

  Augustiner Bräustuben (Landsberger Straße)

You might well get a whiff of the hops on your way here, this is essentially the brewery next door's 'tap'. All your authentic, porky fayre but it's a bit off the beaten track so you'll be needing that phrase book.

  Royal India (Westendstraße)

German advising trippers complain it's too spicy. English advising trippers complain it's not spicy enough so make your own mind up.