Glimpses of Munich #2: Blood Castle

Blutenburg, directly translated to blood castle, sounds like an awesome name for a medieval castle, doesn’t it? (unfortunately it is now called Schloss Blutenburg, so its name is now “palace blood castle,” which isn’t quite as fun)

This medieval castle was built between 1438 and 1501 for Duke Albrecht III and his son Duke Sigismund. As with most castles in the area, it was neglected at some point, in this case during the 30 years war, and later restored.  Restoration took place in the late 17th century and unfortunately they did not bother to restore its full defenses and therefore some of its castle character.  Still, it retains the castle structure and definitely looks beautiful in its little park.  I would go so far as to say it is the only “real” castle left in the city limits of Munich.  (both the Alter Hof and the Residenz at one point were castles, but they’ve been modified so many times that you can’t see it any longer)

What I love about this castle is its appearance and its slightly hidden location.  Most tourists will never see it, which makes it a little more fun for those that do.

Getting there as a tourist is a BIT more difficult than pretty much anything in your guide books, but these days you just download your MVV app and away you go…

Map

Unfortunately for places like this I don’t have great pictures that I’ve taken myself.  Below is an open source picture, but you can find many more on google.

Glimpses of Munich #1

I love Munich.  I lived there for ten years…my wife is from Munich, my son is from Munich…and well, I spent many hundreds of hours walking its streets in some sort of a weird “Lost in Translation” sort of thing.  Anyway, friends of ours are going to visit Munich this year and one of my first thoughts was that they are odd tourists who might want to see and do things that the average tourist probably would never stumble into.

SO, that being said, I’m going to start posting somewhat random places that I think are interesting in Munich.  Some might be interesting to you, some might not…we’ll see.

Oh, what about the picture at the top?  That has nothing to do with this post as it’s 2 hours South-West of Munich and you know all about it anyway…but it got your attention.

Anyway, below is my first one.  This is a statue that most tourists don’t see because of its location…except maybe during the Oktoberfest.  Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig IV “The Bavarian” used to get quite a lot of attention on some of my tours, but unfortunately all I could show tourists, as far as statues of the man himself, was a dismal one outside of his former castle, The Alter Hof (map).

It’s probably not worth your while to find it if you’re in town for a few days, but…you know, if you’re wandering around town like me…

Map

Denkmal Kaiser-Ludwig

This guy only gets a look from random Oktoberfest visitors…you can find him at Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz 8

Project rediscover the Midwest.

I have recently moved back to Minnesota.  I know many (including myself sometimes) never thought I would move back (it was 10 years), but I have moved…and it’s been interesting.

Why the move?  Many reasons, but at the end of the day it’s what my wife and I decided long ago and we’re giving it the old college try.  Is it permanent?  Who knows.

What am I going to do with this site?  Hopefully be more active again and become entrenched in Minnesota tourism.  I really do love to travel and I don’t think moving to Minnesota will change anything other than flight possibilities.

So far this year we’ve done a fair amount of new touristy things in the area, but from this point on I’ll hopefully post about them here.

I call it project rediscover the Midwest as that’s what this is: a rediscovering.  Many of the places and things I plan to see and do I have seen and done before, but in what seems like a lifetime ago in a weird dream.  This time I’m showing my wife and child the intricacies of my culture while at the same time checking out things I’ve wanted to do since I can remember.  Also, thanks to the internet, I now know of options I never knew existed…making the list of options almost endless.  Project rediscover the Midwest will take years, but it should be fun and you’re welcome to join us…if you have ideas, post’em!

Radius started a blog

Radius Tours, the main tour company I’ve worked with since 2005, is having its 25th anniversary this month!  It’s time to party while trying to conduct tours…

Anyways, the company has started its own blog which you can find here:  http://radiustours.wordpress.com/

Please like, share, and take a few tours if you’re in town 🙂

Innsbruck

So last weekend we spent in Innsbruck, a beautiful lesser regional capital with a very cool club if you enjoy live music (the pmk). Apparently I’m the mayor of it on foursquare at the moment.  So anyways…

Last year we were there a few times…twice for sight-seeing and once for a concert. Although it is possible to do Innsbruck (sight-seeing) in a day from Munich…either you won’t see much at all or you’ll be completely exhausted from running around all day…leave EARLY and come back late (early is more important as museums, castles, palaces, and churches close by sun down or earlier).
I recommend 2-3 days, quite similar to Salzburg…though Salzburg is much prettier…

Innsbruck Christmas market

 

I enjoy being in Innsbruck…but I certainly wouldn’t want to work there as a tour guide…

So yeah…things you should not miss:

The cenotaph of Max I (it’s in a church, across from the palace, gotta pay to enter, but it’s well worth it)….castle Ambras….and the museum of the golden roof…the imperial palace is nice as well, but we’ve got much better in Munich 🙂

Want a more impressive run-down on what is in Innsbruck and my opinions of each?  ask in the comments or e-mail me!  (I just don’t want to write a novel if no one cares 🙂 )

 

Beer Tours in Munich

As many of you know, I used to do the Radius “Bavarian beer and food tour.”  Last night I went on the tour with a group of fellow guides & Radius employees as well as a few tourists.  I rarely go on tours from other guides…just as most guides rarely go on mine.  It’s usually very annoying to me so I sneak away from the group and try not to listen to the guide.  There are many reasons for this…

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Anyways, so last night I went with the group to the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum (which is great), had a few beers there & then went on to eat at the Hofbräu Keller (which is a highly recommended restaurant for good reason), and then we ended up at the infamous Hofbräuhaus.  Well, okay, to be fair we continued after that…but not with the full group.

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This is actually a fairly typical night out, partly because so many of the places in Munich close by 11 or 12.  So then you have to hunt for a smaller hole in the wall that will let you drink for another hour or two.

Several companies these days to pub crawls, but when we created the Bavarian Beer and Food Tour we were the first to focus on the actual TOUR…the beer and its role in Bavarian culture.  Depending on the group as well as the guide, however, in practice the tour can make many detours and digress very quickly into a drink-a-thon pub crawl with food thrown in for the hell of it.  Half truths filling in for reality and accepted because of either pandering to nationalism or an emphasis on entertainment rather than correctness.

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I think it may be impossible to do a proper beer tour day after day without this variance though.  That may be a big part of why I don’t do the tour any longer.  At least not for random groups.

I love beer.  I love Bavarian culture.  I love Munich.  *sigh* oh well.

Want a private beer tour?  €220 + the price of the beers and I can make it happen.  Please enquire at least three weeks in advance of the proposed tour date. Cheaper if you don’t mind me drinking soda while you’re drinking beer, that way I can work the next day.

Beer?

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

Really, it’s not good.  Snow has been falling the last couple of days and although it hasn’t amounted to hardly anything (it’s pretty much all gone), it makes a tour guide’s life hell.  It’s just cold and wet…that’s no fun.

Wednesday I had a Neuschwanstein tour…it mostly drizzled and you couldn’t see anything.  The tour group were all happy at the end of the tour, but it really is hard to make someone actually HAPPY when you can’t show them anything.  The good part is for those moments that you CAN see the building from further than 20 feet away, there is no longer any scaffolding covering it! 

I keep having Spanish people on my tours…yet they say they have 25% unemployment.  Rather odd.

Supposedly they have a special glühbier this year at the Christmas market…gonna have to try it soon.  Tomorrow we’re going to Die Toten Hosen…it’s been years since I’ve seen them…

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