Monday, October 31, 2016

Munich, Part 2

I couldn't fit everything into one post! Here is part 2 of Munich.

Munich Fabric Stores

I almost didn't see any fabric stores in Munich, but on Friday I had a free afternoon. Originally I was going to visit one of the two local palaces, but instead I decided to visit some of the shops. I'll just have to return to Munich to see some of its other attractions.

I visited three fabric stores. I'll be honest, for garment sewers, Munich offers slim pickings.

Stoffe & Co

Stoffe & Co carries quilting cottons, fleece and other fabrics for children's wear. They do not carry wool or wool trims, at least not currently.

On the way to Stoffe & Co, as I exited the underground and less than a block away, I passed a Bernina store!

Das Blaue Tuch

This store, far from the center of town, required a fairly lengthy ride on public transit. It would have been shorter, but part of the subway system is down for renovations, so I had to take a surface bus. The store is rather confusing in that it features two names: "Das Blaue Tuch" and "Stoffe and Schnitte". The sales woman, who was very friendly, indicated that one name refers to the fabrics and the other name refers to the purses.

Aside from the beautiful purses, this store carries mostly fabrics made from natural fibers. They have quilting cottons, some wools, linens, silks. I saw one wool that was quite lovely but, at 134 Euros a meter, I left it behind.

To save time, I took Uber from this store back to Marienplatz. The ride cost about 10 Euros.


Radspieler, a home dec and clothing store, carries fabrics in the back of the store. It is right in the Marienplatz, making it centrally located.

They mostly carry home dec fabrics and they have fair sized selection. They carry Marrimeko and, most impressively, some lovely boiled wools. Their wool selection was quite small (only a few colors) but their price, at 39 Euros per meter, was reasonable.

According to Google translate, they offer to make your curtains

boiled wools

boiled wool prices

Ludwig Beck Displays

One of the store's windows

Seconds after I first walked into Ludwig Beck, my eyes about popped out of my head.

I saw one of their displays and was smitten!

I asked and was informed that these pieces weren't for sale—they were made by the display department from felted wool roving. These garments were on display on most every floor of the main store, in the yarn store, and in some of their windows.

Aren't they fabulous?

They told me that this one, displayed in the yarn store, was woven on a hula hoop


On Sunday afternoon I wandered over to the Hirschgarten, which is only a tram stop or two from my hotel, Citadines. This beautiful park is a very popular place for locals to hang out on a quiet Sunday.

I took photos of my hat here

I love shadow pictures! By the late afternoon, the sun was low and bright.

Known as Bavarian Curling, these folks are hurling heavy disks with handles attached. Thanks to Claire R for ferreting out the name of this sport!

Hirschgarten also features deer that you can feed. The children love this!

I recently learned about conkers, an inedible variety of chestnut, when I saw them in Seattle. Munich has conkers, too!

This statue overlooks the pond. I'm sure there's a story here, but I don't know what it is!

English Garden

Perhaps I shouldn't blog about two gardens, back-to-back, but on Sundays most everything (shops, grocery stores, restaurants) is closed by law in Munich. This is the day that everyone goes to the park, takes walks, or visits museums. I mostly walked, rode the underground, and visited parks.

I left the hotel at 7am on Sunday, taking the subway to Marienplatz. From there, I walked to the Englischer Garten (English Garden). I got lost and, except for the fact that it was below zero, I had no gloves, and there weren't any coffee shops open, it was wonderful!

The Munich transportation system is amazing! On most days I had the day-long pass that you buy for 6.40 Euros and you can use on any system (bus, tram, s-bahn, underground) in inner Munich. Here is one of their subway stations.

The Isar river runs through Munich. I spent a lot of time walking along this river and absorbing the amazing views!

The Isar river, with some accommodating swans

A very unusual feature of the English Garden is that, along the southern edge of the garden, you can find river surfers! Yes, RIVER SURFERS! What a hoot!

Looking back at the bridge where I took those first photos

I made a video of the surfers:

After watching the surfers for a bit, I entered the park proper. It's huge and features miles of walkways with scenic views. Is it weird that I kept imagining Die Zauberflöte (aka The Magic Flute), my favorite opera?

Deutsches Museum

On Friday morning we had a team outing to the Deutsches Museum, a massive museum of technology and science. I thought that it might be similar to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but it's quite different. We were split into 3 groups and each group had a different guide for a 2-hour tour. Our guide, a physicist, barely scratched the surface of this huge museum. My group saw tools, watches/clocks, musical instruments, glass, and computers, to name a few sections. We did not see aircraft or ships (though we walked past them), or the below-ground mining area, which sounded amazing.

We saw the lightning/electricity demonstration, which was most impressive.

The lightning demonstration also features a Faraday Cage.

The following video (not mine) shows a bit of the lightning demonstration.

This museum would be a great spot for a Steampunk Halloween party!

This charming little clock features a magnifying glass/sundial arrangement. As the sun moves, the light passes through the magnifying glass. At the noon hour, a sun ray lands on the cannon's fuse, ignites it, and sets off the cannon.

A cesium-based atomic clock—the first time a nanosecond was made visible!

An original Enigma machine, used to encode messages by the Nazis in WWII. Benedict Cumberbatch starred in a recent film, The Imitation Game, about Alan Turing who was responsible for breaking the Enigma code.

Omigosh, I got a charge out of seeing a NeXT Cube in the museum! I worked at NeXT, Steve Job's second company, for over 6 years from 1989 to 1995, and I used this computer every day.

I also got a charge seeing a Cray computer! I interned at Sandia National Labs in the summer of 1980, when I was a student at U.C. Berkeley. I wrote modeling software (in Fortran 77) and ran my code on the lab's Cray computers!

An original flight simulator

Possibly my favorite exhibit in the whole museum! An automated piano and violin player! They had one like this on the Titanic

I recorded the tune that they played for us:

After our tour, many of us had lunch in the museum's cafe (cash only). After that, some visited the gift shop, or went back to see more of the museum, or left to see other sites, such as the nearby palace, or headed for the airport. I visited the gift shop, then left for the fabric stores, and another visit to Ludwig Beck.

Google Munich

How can I document a visit to Munich without mentioning the Google office?

Over a year ago the Munich office moved from the Marienplatz to it's current location, a few subway stops away. The powers that be chose the Munich office to host Dart Summit 2016. (The last summit was held in San Francisco, a hardship for our European developers, so we mixed it up a bit.)

My event, if you can call it "my event", was a code lab held on Tuesday night, before the summit started. I wrote two of the three code labs featured that evening, though I finished one several months ago, and the other one on the day of the event. Things were changing right up to the last minute—it "landed hot", as they say.

It keeps things exciting.

The code lab event.
Coding, food, beer, and socializing with other developers. It was a festive evening.

Sampling the beer

Yes, the Munich office brews it's own beer! The back of the label says, "Don't drink and code." HA! Folks were doing both that evening!

Other random office pics:

The office barrista serves lattes in glasses

At lunch, these teeny tiny cherry tomatoes were filled with a delicious avocado puree of some kind. I could have probably stuffed all of these in my mouth at once, but I didn't. I did eat two of them, though. ;)

Breakfast features a pretzel tree!

The lobby has candies with the company name worked in

This is not actually a knitting room. It's a conference room named the Knitting Room

The Rostfrei paper scissors at the office feature a finger notch.
Handy for those with larger hands!

On the last night, we had a team dinner at Augustiner Keller, walking distance from our hotel. They brew their beers locally and I, who dislikes beer, was encouraged to try it. I did. Not a fan. (Though it was less awful than other beers I've tried.)

The Augustiner Keller restaurant had far too many animal heads for my liking! (Though some were brass.)

So, that's it for Munich! I've been in Paris for one full day now and it's lovely here! Margy and I have been exploring the city on our own. We meet up with the Tiltons in a few days!

As a farewell, just one last pic from Munich!

I saw lots of dirndls for sale in Munich, but I never saw one being worn! Maybe it's only for Oktoberfest?


  1. My son enjoyed the river surfing video you posted on IG. Looks like you are enjoying yourself.

  2. I did not know you worked at NeXT! Did you happen to know Ken Haven during your time there? He and his wife used to be neighbors, and they are among my half dozen longest friendships. He would have worked in product design or something similar in mechanical engineering, not coding. - Heather

    1. How funny, Heather! I remember his name, though I don't think I interacted with him much. Does he know about the ex-NeXT list and the closed group on FB? I was so sad to learn that Keith Ohlfs recently passed!

  3. Thanks so much for the tour! Great memories for you.

  4. Great photo tour! I'm impressed you took time out of your Paris visit to blog. That shows true commitment. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Glenda but, you know, that's what insomnia is for! ;)

  5. I very much enjoyed the photo tour of Munich! Thanks for sharing. I know you will have a great time in Paris. I look forward to more snaps from my favorite city!

    1. Thanks, rhodeanie! I've been here almost 3 days now and I never want to leave!!!

  6. I can't imagine a better on-line tour of Munich that you provided. Thank you so much! I hope you LOVE Paris and enjoy every minute of it.

    1. Why, thanks, Carol! I love Paris so much I don't want to leave!!!

  7. Great photos on both blog posts. Beautiful country. Thanks for taking time to share with us

  8. Ludwig Beck yarn wearable art is the bomb!!! They should sell those pieces-
    Tx for sharing your trip and your eye for the artful.

  9. As I sit here in Chicago, the views that I see out my window of fall look so much the same as what you are seeing in Munich. I just love fall. I also would like to thank you for taking me with you as you traveled the street of Munich. I enjoy seeing the city through your eyes...a creative seamstress that enjoys visiting fabric stores too. As you were walking the streets, I was creating a Woodland Fairy Christmas Tree with a mannequin base. I posted about it, if you are interested:
    Thanks again,
    Deborah @ Sew Much to Give

    1. Deborah, I looked and your work is gorgeous!!!

  10. OMG those Ludwig Beck displays! That looks like a fun crafting idea for a ladies' crafting day.

    I didn't realize you worked at NeXT! It was indirectly NeXT that brought me to California to begin with; I worked at Sarrus Software, makers of PencilMeIn, which is still better than any calendar application that exists even today.

    I got the job at Sarrus because I bought a NeXTstation on which to run the MUD that I became addicted to in my free time. My day job was in a petroleum engineering consulting company. In college I was writing reservoir simulation software in Fortran for my petroleum engineering degree.

    1. Omigosh, LW! Isn't it amazing?! We've had parallel lives in so many ways!

  11. I have never had a great desire to visit Germany, but now I do!! Thank so much for the pictures and prose. You certainly could make those wool roving pieces yourself... And the river surfing - I had to laugh b/c it's so German to line up, waiting one's turn, then one goes, then the other goes, like Klockwerk... Thanks again. I've been trying to convince my son, who does not want to have any debt owing after to college, to go to university in Germany; I wil be showing him your posts! :)

    1. Oh, excellent, Helen! And most of those surfers were so expert that they just jumped off the board so as not to take too much time from the last guy. Very orderly and thoughtful! It would be great for your son to attend university in Germany!

  12. That museum! The CRAY still looks like cheap motel furniture to me. You make Munich look so enticing....but it is so difficult to leave Paris, even for a short time.

    1. I get it! But that museum is pretty awesome and Jeff would love it! Thanks for hosting Margy and I last night! It was so nice to meet you!

  13. I lived in Germany during middle school. And, the last time I was there was with my mom about 10 years ago. Thank you for the memories. Man. I do love me an authentic German pretzel.

  14. A fun photo series tour! Thanks!
    I am both inspired and blown away by the roving pieces... made by the display team? Wow!
    And I was struck too by the orderliness of the surfers. Not too much grandstanding, and an easy yielding to the next in line. Very polite.

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Yes, the surfers were polite and orderly!

  15. A player piano AND a player violin! How remarkable!

    1. I know, Lyrique! They had one on the Titanic like that. Four violins!

  16. Your post brought back many happy memories of Muenchen. My husband was a Fulbright exchange teacher there 1975-76, and with our one year old daughter we explored the city. The Augustiner Keller was one of our favorite restaurants. There used to be a wonderful shop called Wallachs about a block north of the Marienplatz which sold Bavarian folk pottery, candles, and fabrics for both traditional clothing i.e. Dirndles and home dec. Now sadly replaced by a Diesel--bleah. Dirndls are still more prevalent in Bavaria than kimono in Japan, especially in the summer, but I suppose the pattern in wear is similar--less than it used to be. There are still evening and wedding Dirndl which you see if you go to the opera in Muenchen. And yes, Beck's is wonderful. Also for children's clothes--you could buy things in bright colors there when everything here at home was still pastel pink and blue. Thanks for the memories.