The next stop on my trip takes us to Munich, Germany. If you missed the last city, Füssen, click here.
Once I returned home from my travels this summer, I realized something: when you’re traveling for fun, it becomes very easy to get caught up in the story of it all–at least it was this way for me. What I mean by this is that in each new city you visit, you want to experience the most life-changing, awe-inspiring, and Instagram-worthy moments imaginable (shameless plug: @sinaexplores @sinairanikhah). This great search for meaning in other places can lead you to miss the very charm that might have become the life-changing story you were after, had you only noticed its simplicity. Immediately after the trip, I looked back upon our time in Munich and was convinced it was one of my least favorite cities due to the lack of activities and things to do–in other words, the lack of awe-inspiring sites and adventures. However, after editing my photos and some reflection, I think Munich provided me with an experience unique to all of the other cities I visited. It was one that truly embraced the city’s nickname: The World City with Heart.
At first glance, Munich appears to be a typical German city; it is beautiful and clean and has a warm, inviting ambiance. But while I was there, all the cities from my trip began to run together, and a sense of boredom set in (put down the pitchforks, hold on). Only now am I able to realize that this city embraces you with open arms. It is the sense of community and appreciation for the simple, the beautiful, and the creative that all make Munich so unique. So in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of a month long backpacking trip, the city offers a relaxing and refreshing approach to life. This was evident when my buddy and I watched the Germany soccer game at the Olympic Park, being hugged and high fived when the Germans scored and encouraged to chant alongside them. We felt like their countrymen in those moments.
I don’t have many pictures for this city, but I think the ones I posted capture a side to Munich that is true to its core–that the most beautiful thing about the place can be its people and the environment they create. I hope you enjoy these photos and experience Munich how I did after some time to think.
This gorgeous tower in Marienplatz stood out from the rest of the architecture in the square. Although very rigid and aggressive, the warm tones make the building seem inviting and speak to the welcoming nature of the city.
Another view of the tower but with the city in the background. I like the composition of this photo because the tall and striking tower in the foreground seems supported by the rest of the city. I also think the black and white adds an element of simplicity and serenity.
Seeing these older gentlemen playing together with such joy was a true pleasure to experience. You felt at home, you felt welcomed, and you felt that even with their age and the events they’ve lived through that, ultimately, the sun will rise again and we’ll be just fine.
This is Odeonsplatz. What I love most about this picture is the transformation from this to the scene pictured above. The platz that was once lined with Nazi soldiers and flags is now a place where tourists of different races and religions can stand. It serves as a constant reminder of progress.
This picture puts the biggest smile on my face every time I see it. The man’s face seems to display two emotions through his features. One is regret, for a past that could have gone differently, a past that may have involved concert halls and orchestras instead of parks. But the other emotion, the one that lights up his face, is content and appreciation for what is still possible.
Munich is defined by its people, and seeing these old friends intensely play and laugh through a game of Bocce ball was refreshing. It was a nice change of pace.
Anyone who has been to Munich or is an avid surfer knows about the river surfing here. Head to Englischer Garten and catch some waves, or just watch in awe as I did.