Coming Full Circle ... from Garching to Dachau
Sunday April 22,2018
D-Day, the day to complete the circle!
Sunday and spectacular weather - I know what that means. I want to do another ride but there are going to be a lot of people out and about. Europe is a small and densely populated place, sometimes you have to make an effort to find peace and quiet and space. We decided getting an early start would be the solution.
The starting point for our ride was Garching on the U-6 line, and we would get on the train at Münchner Freiheit. At Münchener Freiheit there also happens to be a nice cafe, perfect for breakfast. What a good idea the early start was.
The area around Garching isn't too interesting, some new buildings for offices, warehouses, business, fields but no farm buildings, all sort of humdrum. But - we had a nice path anyway. Our route followed the Schleissheim Canal, built in 1689, and with bushes and trees on either side, we were in a cocoon of green.
Before we continued on to Dachau, we passed by Schleissheim Palace and its grounds which also include the Old Palace and Lustheim, a smaller garden palace and hunting lodge. Actually, we aren't very far from home on this part of the circle, about 17 km and we often cycle to Schleissheim. Today some sort of garden show event is taking place here and they have set up giant parking lots to accommodate the visitors. Of course, I can't expect everyone to come by bike, but still I hate to see all those cars descending on an otherwise peaceful spot. So we took our pictures and departed.
Schleissheim New Palace - Elector Max Emanuel, who was hoping to become the next emperor, had the New Palace (modeled after Versailles) built as his future residence, then ran out of money. Originally planned as a four-wing complex, it was begun in the winter of 1700/01. The original plans were never completed.
Schleissheim Old Palace - The original farm of Schleißheim was acquired by Duke Wilhelm V (reigned 1579-98), who in 1598 built a simple mansion on the property. His son Maximilian I was influenced by new architectural trends and in 1617 the building, which was not yet 20 years old, was demolished down to the cellar walls, and a new building was put up. Talk about today's throw-away society! Today the palace houses a museum of modern religious folk art from all over the world.
The road to Dachau is straight, not too interesting and I forgot to take any pictures to document this part of the ride. The bike path is excellent, though. It's smooth, has underpasses where highways intersect and gets you to your destination.
In Dachau we had the option to take the regional train, which is much faster, or the city train. We were indecisive and changed from one platform to the other, and in the end decided the city train with its roll-on entries would suit us better. Besides, taking the regional train would mean getting off at the main train station, which I wasn't keen on. We got off the city train at the Donnersberger Brücke stop - and it occurred to me, that wouldn't be far from the Hirschgarten beer garden! It's not a bike ride without a beer garden stop, at least not when the weather is good.
The Hirschgarten (literally deer park) is a lovely park with a giant beer garden, the largest in Munich and probably the largest in the world. The park's original purpose was to serve as hunting grounds for Munich's nobility. There is still a large enclosure with deer that guests can observe (and on warm days also smell). Plenty of visitors today, but it never feels crowded. An interesting feature of Bavarian beer gardens is that they aren't at all rowdy but have a kind of laid back atmosphere. Family and friends meet, you can bring your own food if you want, birthdays are celebrated. Today we saw an elaborately set table where a first communion was being celebrated. If I were a little bolder I would have taken a picture but it felt indiscreet so I didn't.
And now for the final picture. This giant red ring seemed appropriate. It's located near the central train station and every time we headed to the station for a train to another section of the circle, I thought I must get a picture of the ring. But in the morning the sun wasn't right. On the way home, I always said next time. But then there wasn't a next time, because we started getting on and off the city trains at another station. So today, on a cool and cloudy day, I knew I had to get that picture. It was now or never.
Here's a little background on the sculpture:
The ring of steel measures 12 meters in diameter and weighs 14 tons. It is a sculpture by Mario Staccioli, finished in 1994. The Ring is intended as an homage to Richard Wagner's opera cycle "Ring des Nibelungen" and his time here in Munich during the reign of Ludwig II.
Thank you to all my readers for following me around in my circle and also for sharing your rides and adventures.