It was a grey, quiet Sunday when I walked through Munich, and I decided to go to the Englischer Garten. I had been there several times before, and felt like walking around the park. After crossing the Hofgarten, I walked through a tunnel leading me directly to the Englischer Garten or English Garden. From then on, I criss-crossed the enormous park at random, taking in most of the sights inside the park. As a start, I passed the point where the Eisbach flows into the park with a powerful standing wave. The Eisbach, meaning ice brook, is a man-made river feeding the Isar further downstream. Two surfers with wetsuits were trying to balance on the wild flow of the water - despite a sign forbidding just that.
I continued walking, and ended up at the waterfall: a modest drop of the water, but with the rocks just downstream and the water at high levels, it still gave the sensation of a real waterfall - especially the pleasant and relaxing sound of falling water. I followed the Eisbach into the park proper, past the Schönfeldwiese - famous for being a place where nude sunbathing is permitted. No nudity on this cold Sunday, though, and I picked the path leading up to the Monopteros, a temple in ancient Greek style built in the mid 1830s. Set atop a small hill, the views from this temple over the park and the skyline of Munich are good. On my way further east, I passed the Chinese tower, unfortunately closed. The tower seems an oddity here, is already more than 200 years old - it was completely destroyed in the Second World War. The beer garden at the feet of the Chinese pagoda is the second largest beer garden of the city.
The Englischer Garten was planned in the late 18th century, and has been expanded several times since. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, and was named after the English Garden that was the model for landscape gardens at the time it was opened. Apart from the large northern part of the Gardens, there is a southern part which I did not visit. Instead, I walked around the Kleinhesseloher Lake with several small islands in its middle, and returned to the entrance at the northern side. By now, there were more people than before, walking, running, playing - in summer, the park attracts many more visitors and becomes overcrowded despite its size. Today, unfortunately, the Japanese Teahouse, opened for the Olympics in 1972, was closed - traditional Japanese tea ceremonies are performed regularly at this place. I returned to the city with a feeling of having walked in nature for a long time - in reality, I had never left the city.
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