Sunday, October 26, 2008
CouchSurfing and The Looong Night of Museums
Yesterday, I decided to finally get out of the house. I'd learnt of CouchSurfing as a way to travel and find free accomodations. It was not until very recently that I realized that it was a wondrous social tool as well. So, I headed off to meet some people at the Hoffbräukeller. There I met the couple who just moved to Munich this summer and have now set their lives up here, and another "cave-dwelling" au pair, a few locals, and a girl from Ireland visiting a friend who had gone to Ireland to visit her grandparents. We'll see more of her later. Good food, interesting people, and I was feeling much better about Munich.
Around eight o'clock, one of the people at the meeting asked if anyone at our end of the table was planning on attending the Long Night of Museums, and Paula, from Ireland, a
nd I responded that we were. Julian led us out into the night and we met a few of his friends, and off we went. Neither Paula nor I knew much what to expect from this night, so we pretty much just tailed along.
The first stop we m
ade was to the Siemen's museum, which revolved around technology. Most of what we saw was medical-related technology, like advanced MRI machines. Here's Paula taking a picture of an x-ray of a skull.
After Siemen's, we left for a new museum that no
one knew much about it. For this museum, the city had apparently
expected a great number of visitors, and so those who had not signed up online were instruc
ted to get a yellow armband so that the gaurd at the door would know we were
allowed in; our regular tickets would not do. At the time, we thought this was so that the museum wouldn't have too many people at once. We soon learned that this reason could sim
ply not be. The museum, it turned out, was to open in early 2009, and they just wanted to show off the pretty empty new museum they had (almost) finished building. As much as we were annoyed to have walked through an emtpy museum, it was stupidly funny enough that we didn't really mind.
From there we went and looked at shiny things at the BMW Museum, mostly engines, cars and
motorcycles. Very shiny. Also very cool. There was one wall which had an example of basically every model of motorcycle they've ever made, and a room which included, as best as I can determine, the only two failures that BMW has ever released. One was a sixties car, very ugly indeed, and the second was out of the seventies, and I do believe it to be the car that Steve Urkel had on Family Matters. Neither sold very well. All in all, an entertaining museum if you have even a passing interest in cars.
At this point it was about one o'clock, and we still had one more museum we wanted to see, so we hurried onto the bus and were on our way. This last was not a fun one, but somber; the exhibit explained the White Rose organization in Munich, a group which resisted
the Nazis during the time leading up to the second world war. It seems that the six University students who formed the leadership of the group were arrested by the Gestapo and executed.
Most of the museum consists of the life stories of these students.
When we'd finished there, Paula was hankering for a pint, so we found ourselves a bar, each had a half liter (sorry, no pints) and then went our seperate ways. It was on my seperate way, at Munchener Freiheit, a large square near me, that I happened upon my friend
Michael, here on the left. We had a very long conversation about George Bush being a farmer and the importance of reading a variety of religious texts. The nice young man pictured on the right, thinking me in danger or at least inconvenience, came to my rescue and picked up the conversation while I cleverly slipped away. I gave myself away, however, to take this picture. Completely worth it in my opinion.