Two of our days in Munich, we took trips on the public transportation system (which of course, put most US public transportations to shame) to a couple of beautiful palaces perhaps associated with conspicuous excess.
Began in the 17th century, Nymphenburg was a getaway for the royal family of Bavaria (the Wittelsbachs) when things at the Residenz in Munich were getting a little much to deal with. It reminded me of Versailles, only smaller and a little more beat-up. The day we went to Nymphenburg was clear and cold and we took an audio tour of main building (which was in the midst of renovations) and then walked around the grounds.
There is also an exhibit displaying examples of the porcelain made at Nymphenburg. Both of us liked this set from the late 1800s.
There were a lot of couples and families promenading (it was Sunday afternoon, and the grounds are free of charge). There were also a lot of joggers – talk about a great place to go for a run!
This was one of the few places that I thought I would like to have seen in better weather – I’m sure it’s gorgeous in the spring with fresh flowers and plantings to make the formal garden even more beautiful.
OK, maybe we do have a little brand-loyalty to BMW. No trip to Bavaria seemed right without a trip to the world HQ of the Bavarian Motor Werks. On the day with the wurst weather (oh, I crack myself up) – cold and sleeting – we took the S-Bahn to BMW Welt. The Welt is a fantastically designed showplace of BMW cars and technology. You can see all their models and learn about the technology that goes into the autos. Really fun is a center pavilion, high above the ground floor, where you can take delivery of your new car.
The Beloved decided she thought the new 1-series 5-door was zippy and cute (unfortunately, it isn’t available in the US yet). I leaned towards the 6-series personally.
More interesting by far, though, was the BMW factory tour, which I suggest for anyone that’s into cars (sorry, cameras were strictly verboten). Watching the interplay of modern robotics and the seemingly old-fashioned use of guys with power tools was fascinating – you get to follow the assembly from chassis, to body panels, to painting, to engine insertion and finally putting it all together. Fittingly, the BMW emblem is the last thing to be added. Very cool.