So here it is my first attempt at a blog, the wait is finally over although it is taken me longer than anticipated to get round to actually writing this. First off I must warn you I am not a creative/ fictional or awe inspiring writer and whilst I may have written reports in the past for work these have been based on logical and fact so this blog is going to be interesting. Not necessarily for you reading this but for me to get into that creative writing swing!
Well Munich. What can I say about this city? I’d describe it as a chilled out cosmopolitan city, very relaxed with a great atmosphere and it certainly felt safe riding round the subways at night to take the shots on the underground. Watch out for the bikes though (not on the underground but when walking around)! It seems like pedestrians are an unwanted obstacle in the eyes of the cyclist regardless of whether the pedestrian is on the pavement (or sidewalk) or even wandering around a local market.
A fun day of travelling but how can I effect Easyjet delaying the flight not once but twice. Initially the flight was delayed due to waiting for a crew member to turn up that was stuck in traffic and when we finally were on the plane the second delay was caused by a passenger who had failed to get on the flight but their luggage was so we had to wait whilst they tried to find their luggage. After the failed trip to Munich back in February due to adverse weather conditions despite the plane taking off for Hamburg instead of Much I began to wonder if I was cursed and never get to Munich. After all that faff actually getting to Munich from the airport was the easy part and when we got there at just before 8 it was time to head out for food not forgetting the camera of course! After food headed out to Marienplatz station.
Now Marienplatz is pretty big as the S-bahn and U-bahn lines travel through but we were only interested in the eye straining glorious orange that is offered by Marienplatz underground platforms. No tripod on this occasion so patience was key waiting for the gaps in the people getting on and off the trains but there enough compositions to find here although I’d be pretty sure they’ve all been shot before such is the popularity of shooting at this station.
Day began slowly and easy with a bit of a wander around Munich at a very pleasant leisurely pace. Stumbled across St Peters church which was very photographic inside and also allowed a respite from the hot sun (I was glad we were not there the week before when temperatures were in the high 30’s!). Made a mental note to come back to St Peters later in the week to walk up to the top, more on that later! Wandered around some more and stumbled across the Whitewall shop which was not intentional at all despite what my other half may think! For food that evening we nipped to a place just over the road from the hotel in a place called Eataly (no cunning pun there I’m sure) which was as you may have guessed offered Italian food from a variety of different restaurants but to be honest whilst the food was ok it was one of those overpriced trendy places and not somewhere I would rush back to in the future although the venue was excellent. After food, you guessed back on to the underground this time equipped with the Manfrotto BeFree travel tripod
We managed to get around 4 stations in approx 2 hours starting off at 9:30pm at Westfriedhof (pictured above) which is probably the most photographed station on the underground and its not hard to see why with its blue walls and those amazing huge red and yellow lamps. Then it was onto George Bruchle Ring where I met someone who was totally against people photographing the underground and wasn’t afraid to voice their opposition. Unfortunately my German is extremely limited and hasn’t been used since those days at school when to be fair I wasn’t any good at the language anyway so I had no idea what they were saying. From there it was onto Olympia Einkauff with the final stop at Oberweissenfeld before back to the hotel for midnight and some well earned rest.
The BMW museum. A break from photographing the underground today (can’t push my luck to much so went for a visit to a car museum instead!). So it’s just cars, cars, more cars and sometimes photographing the cars today. Still the weather was fantastic again with more sunshine ☺
The last day and we’d booked on the Allianz Arena tour. Excitedly we turned up (of course the missus was excited to do a football stadium tour....). We waited patiently at our allocated collection time and stood aghast when it turned out to be the German speaking tour which I don’t remember seeing on the website. To be fair the guide was absolutely brilliant and did some of the tour in English for our benefit and managed a couple of jokes regarding penalties...Unfortunately there wasn’t really the opportunity for the photos I wanted to take due to refurbishment at the stadium. After the tour we headed back into Munich for a spot of self-punishment. Remember earlier when I mentioned St Peters Church? Well if you are so inclined you can climb the narrow 306 steps mostly made of wood to the top whilst trying to avoid the people coming down as there isn’t enough room for 2 people to pass on those steps but thankfully they do have the odd passing place which does create long waits in certain places and it’s certainly not kind to the knees either walking up there but the views over Munich are certainly worth the pain. And effort of course. However in our defence most of the youngsters we passed on the way back down sounded more out of breath than what we did going up....and after all that climbing it was time for a break and a sample of the local beer at Cafe Nymphenburg before another evening of photography on the underground. So after heading back to the hotel for a quick shower and food we headed out to Mangfallplatz which was the furthest station of the three that I wanted to photograph before heading back to Wettersteinplatz and Candidplatz.
Now this for me is where I took my favourite shot of the all the underground stations as it is such an explosion of colour. I must point out here as well that I did get stopped at Wettersteinplatz by a passing train driver who kindly called me over whilst all the passengers watched on. Thankfully I had permission to shoot on the underground so all was good in the end. At the end of the evening it was off to McDonalds for a Macchiatto Latte a drink you can’t seem to get in the UK, rather like raddichio.
The journey back and to our surprise the flight back to the UK was delayed. Becoming a very regular occurrence this. I also had the bizarre experience in security of having to take off all the lens caps and letting security look inside the camera at the sensor, this I had never experienced before but seems to be a regular occurrence for photographers travelling these days.
So there you have it, 4 nights in Munich a city I would certainly revisit. Those underground stations are an architectural photographers dream. If you’d like to see more please visit the gallery on my website for all the shots and technical info of the shots taken.
Travelled and delayed with Easyjet from Manchester Airport
Stayed at the Hotel Block Bauer (fantastic hotel with amazingly friendly staff)
Permission to shoot on the underground obtained from MVG
BMW Museum and Allianz Arena tour booked via their websites (just be careful when selecting the tour to make sure you have the right language!)
This was written on a train journey from Birmingham to Preston, the only time I’ve managed to find to write it! The next one will hopefully be making an appearance in August!
Thanks for reading and if you have any comments to make please don’t hesitate to email me via the contact form or via Facebook where you follow me ☺