|BMW Headquarters and Museum|
In addition to being the capital of Bavaria, München is also home to the headquarters of BMW, which stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works). A complex of buildings that are open to the public include BMW Welt (World) and BMW Museum, and a BMW Factory.
BMW Welt is a modern building filled with all types of BMW products including its flagship automobiles and motorcycles, Mini Coopers, and Rolls-Royce automobiles. Many of the vehicles are open and guests can sit in or on them, making it a great way to get up close and personal without having a sales person breathing down your neck. It also provides numerous photo ops, of which many people take advantage. There are also several gift shops with merchandise reflecting the individual brands: BMW, Mini, and so forth.
|BMWs ready to be picked up by their new owners|
BMW Welt is located immediately next to the Olympiazentrum U-Bahn station, is free to visit, and has four restaurants on premises.
The BMW Museum has an entrance fee of €9 per person, and special exhibits have additional fees. The museum also has a restaurant. Tours of the BMW Plant are available Monday through Friday for €8; however, reservations must be made well in advance, and photography is strictly prohibited.
Next to the BMW complex is Olympiapark, the grounds of the 1972 Munich Oly
mpics. The grounds have been well preserved and many of the facilities are still used for sports activities, often by local and amateur teams.
Back on the ground near the base of the tower, there are stands equivalent to food trucks that are becoming popular in areas of the United States. The weekend I was there, one sold crepes while another offered various kinds of German sausage and sausage sandwiches for about €5. Not that the food was in the same league as the revolving restaurant, but neither were the prices.
During my bus and U-Bahn (underground train, or subway) trip to Olympiazenstrum, I changed from the bus to the train at a place called Odeonsplatz, an area near the National Theatre, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Munich Residenz (the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs of the House of Wittelsbach), and the Theatine Church.
It is an interesting area to spend some time, perhaps visiting the Residenz, the church, and other sites, or just wandering around people watching.
It was in Odeonsplatz that I saw two of the most unusual sites I’d seen on that particular trip.
|Classical music on the Straße|
Another sight that made me sit up and take notice was that of locals sipping their coffee, tea, or wine at an outdoor café, despite the fact that the temperature was barely above freezing.
|Locals enjoying the crisp weather|
The bus to and from my new hotel, the Hotel München Palace, also passed a number of attractions as it made its way between Trogerstraße and Odeonsplatz, including the Bavarian National Museum, the Museum Villa Stuck, the Angel of Peace column on the shore of the Isar River, and the Englischer Garten, a 1.5 square mile public park along the river bank.
How to get to and from all the things München has to offer will be the subject of a subsequent post.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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