Tierpark Hellabrunn, the Munich Zoo

Day 62, Saturday, October 26, 2019

It is a beautiful, sunny, warm day and we are going to the zoo!  It is 20 Celsius!

The Munich Zoo is a Geo-Zoo. As described on their website: “Hellabrunn is not a zoo in the classical sense. It is more of a nature preserve inhabited by animals that live in especially large, structured enclosures. Thanks to an extensive array of ditches and a natural landscape design, the visitor can enjoy the wonderful and unobstructed view of animals that could normally only be obtained on safari.”   I love giraffes, and there were five of them at this zoo. I spent a bit of time sketching one of them while he was busy eating his lunch.  The Meerkats live next door to the giraffes.  This fellow was very busy checking out all the people who were checking him out.
There are lots of birds here. This is the first time I have seen a hornbill  perched in a tree.  They usually walk along the ground.  This Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is a huge bird, about one metre in length and weighing about four kilograms. The Northern Bald Ibis is a very strange looking bird.  They are in a huge aviary with lots of other birds that we walk through.These beautiful Rose Pelicans were busy preening and enjoying the sunshine. We check out a building with lots of different little colourful birds and I didn’t even notice that there was no glass between us and the birds until Bob pointed it out! This is the bat cave, and yes it is full of flying bats, and we walk right into the cave with them!  When I first entered the cave a bat brushed by my hand and startled me.  I hadn’t realized that they were flying all about.  It was almost impossible to take a photo, they move so very quickly and it was quite dark.  The bats are just shadowy blurs in this photo, where they come to feed on fruit hanging fro the ceiling. We move from the tiny bats to this massive Indian Rhino.  This is the first time we have seen an Indian Rhino and they are quite different from the African Rhino.  I loved the way his skin forms armour-like plates.  I absolutely had to try to draw this fellow.  He moved about a bit but was quite a good model!

While I was drawing, I heard a lot of commotion. The Siberian tiger nearby who was roaring and making a lot of noise.  He sure does have huge teeth! The Munich Zoo has a lot of different primates.  This chimpanzee was busy using a stick as a tool to get food out of a box.  He was very possessive of his stick and kept it close at all times.This fellow was showing off swinging to and fro on ropes and had a huge crowd watching him…
but this laid back guy just wanted to take it easy.I always think that the gorillas are watching us as much as we are watching them.  They seem so intelligent and always rather sad. This Sumatran Orangutan mother and her twins were hilarious.  The youngsters would not leave her alone no matter what she did.  They were hanging on to her and pestering her even when she tried to hide in a corner.  As she walked away, one of her youngsters grabbed hold of her hand and slid along the floor behind her.  It just made me laugh.
We waited to see the lions being fed, expecting it to be quite exciting… but it consisted of the two males being separated and then thrown a couple dead plucked chickens.  The lions took their food to a private spot so we couldn’t see them chowing down. We checked back a while later and I said that they would probably be sleeping after their meal.  Here they are, looking very happy and content, and yes, they were sleeping. The elephants were quite far away so I zoomed in for a photo. There were several kinds of penguins.  The Humboldt Penguins live on the coast of Peru and Chile and don’t mind being warm.  The Emperor, and the Rock Hopper Penguins, however, like it cold and they had their own refrigerated area.The Ring Tailed Lemur from Madagascar holds his long tail straight up in the air when it travels on the ground so that everyone in the group can stay together.  That must be quite the sight! We watched this tortoise take forever to climb this tiny little incline.  It was really hard work for her and I so wished I could have just reached in and given her a little bit of help. There was great excitement at the Hamadryas Baboon enclosure.  Lots of screaming and shrieking noises.  It appeared that several of the big males were attacking one of the other baboons. When these four big males come running everyone else clears out, getting away from them as quickly as they can.The other baboons sit on top of the big rocks to watch what is going on from a safe distance.  It was quite something to see and hear.  They are very noisy and it sounded like they were killing one of their own, but we didn’t actually see anyone hurt. Perhaps it was lots of posturing and bluffing?
We see lots of interesting animals, including a Maned Wolf, a Darwin’s Rhea, a Capybara and a Red River Hog.   The Nyalas are beautiful with their striking white stripes and the male is much darker with long yellow-tipped horns. I always love the zebras.  They were mostly farther away but this beauty came close enough for a photo. Not sure that we have ever seen a Reeve’s Muntjac or a Kiang before. Now these are called European Elk, but they sure look like moose to me.  Google tells me this is what a moose is called in Europe.  Interesting little fact. This polar bear had a huge enclosure with a big water area as well as a big grassy, treed area, but it chose to sit in this corner.  Something in the area next to him caught his eye and his reflection was caught in the glassed part of his cage. We are almost finished our visit when we see a crowd of people and go check what they are looking at.  A Linnaeus Two Toed Sloth was making his way across a rope just above everyone’s heads.  It was quite exciting to see him up so close, and yes, they do move incredibly deliberately and very slowly! Now, this was something to see!  This tall slide is in one of the zoo’s many playgrounds. Did you notice all the kids inside the structure?  They are climbing up to the top so that they can slide down.  The inside of the tower is like a giant jungle gym, only really high! There are no safety features of any kind, just lots of little kids climbing way up high on these logs inside the tower.  This is something that we would never see at home due to safety concerns and liability issues.  The kids were all having a great time though! The zoo closes at 6:00 and we are one of the last to leave.  It was an absolutely lovely day.

Here are my zoo sketches… and my metro sketches.

IKEA, Munich

Day 61, Friday, October 25, 2019

Bob visited the ESO Supernova Planetarium today and I stayed home.  He said it had lots of information about the new observatory being built on a high mountain in Chile, but he didn’t take any photos.

After supper we went to check out the Munich IKEA.  It is only a short bus ride from our apartment and we were curious if it was the same as our IKEA at home.

What do you notice about these room displays? We thought that the rooms weren’t staged as well as our IKEA at home.  The rooms seemed cluttered and not as appealing as the IKEA displays we are used to.

The Nymphenburg Palace, Munich and Life Drawing

Day 60, Thursday, October 24, 2019

Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe.  It sits on 490 acres of gardens and park land.  This arial view was found online.  The façade of the palace is almost 700 metres long!This central four-storey building was the beginning of the palace and was built in 1644.  Over the years numerous additions were built until it reached its present configuration in 1776. The Nymphenburg Palace was originally a summer residence for the Bavarian rulers.  This is the Great Hall.  Musicians would entertain guests from the gallery.
One of the many rooms with original furnishings. Many of the rooms are not that big and seem to serve as connecting passages to other larger rooms.The south apartment bedroom of the Electress, who was the consort of the king. Our reflection in the bedroom mirror. Every palace has to have a Chinese inspired room. The audience room of Queen Caroline… and her bedroom have their original furnishings.  This room is where King Ludwig II was born in 1845.  The bed is hidden by a cover on a high frame which was spread over the bed during the daytime. The official Hall of Beauties is under restoration but the paintings are on display in a corridor. From 1826 to 1850 King Ludwig I had a series of 36 portraits painted of what he considered to be the most beautiful women.  Beauty was considered to be an outward sign of moral perfection! We finish our tour of the palace rooms, and go explore the grounds.  Unfortunately we realize that the park pavilions closed for the season a week ago.  I do manage a peek inside the Magdalene Hermitage, which was a pavilion used for contemplation. Much of the grounds are in the style of an English park, with paths… and little bridges over water features. This creek was so covered with fallen leaves that the water was barely visible.This shows just how long the canal water feature is…looking towards and away from the palace on a bridge that crosses the canal.  At one time gondolas sailedd these waters.  Neat reflections too.
Walking back towards the palace along a tree lined path. I liked the reflection of the palace in the water. Looking out towards the garden from the Palace steps. It is almost closing time, but we manage a quick peek inside the Carriage museum, which is one of the most important museums of court carriages, travel and equestrian culture in the world. The Coronation coach of Emperor Karl VII is here…

along with numerous over-the-top elaborate coaches built for King Ludwig II. We can only begin to imagine how much these coaches cost! Besides dozens of coaches there are numerous sleighs on display. Parades and competitive games with these carousel sleighs were a popular winter amusement at court.  Women would sit in front of a male driver and try to hit rings or paper maché figures with a lance or sword.  Notice the rear view of the sleigh in the mirror. Just a few of the many coaches on display in one of the halls. One last selfie before we leave. and one last look back towards the front of the Palace…
with a photo stop at the swans. I have life drawing tonight, so we head toward the metro and after checking out my route, Bob heads for home and I head towards my drawing session.  I have a bit of time so I sit at the Sheraton Hotel having a cup of tea and doing a bit of sketching.

My sketches from the bus this morning weren’t terribly successful; I was having difficulty getting proportions down accurately.  That happens some days… These were a bit better. Sketches from the Sheraton Hotel. My first drawing at the Meetup session.  Still having some issues with proportions and the head placement in relation to the body. I started again after our break and did this portrait which was better.  Bettina, our model, really liked it and said that it looked like her.    

I managed to make two wrong turns on the way home, but retraced my steps and finally got back home near 11:00.  Bob met me at the bus stop which was really nice.  It was a good but very long day.

The Deutsches Museum, Munich

Day 59, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany is on the agenda for today.

This poster outside our metro station catches my eye every time I pass it.  Intriguingly, it is an advertisement for Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’

The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology.  It is an enormous museum.  This is the Marine Navigation Hall. We remember this exhibit room from our first visit to this museum almost 40 years ago although I am sure some of the exhibits have changed. The hull on this sailing ship has been cut away so that it is possible to see the construction and the inside of the ship. There is also a basement level to the Marine Navigation Hall where there is a reconstruction of life between decks aboard an emigrant sailing ship in the 1870’s. It could take up to four months to cross the Atlantic!  Emigrants had to provide all their own food, cooking utensils and bedding for the voyage. Lack of care and terrible hygiene conditions led to the death of 1 of every ten emigrants in 1853.  It must have been a nightmarish voyage.  Just think, we crossed the Atlantic in only a few hours! The Challenger left England in 1872 on a 3 1/2 year voyage that marked the beginning of modern oceanography.  There were laboratories, like the one depicted in this diorama, for studying flora and fauna.  It was the first time cameras were used on a research expedition. The Challenger covered almost 69,000 nautical miles, the equivalent of travelling three times around the globe, and collected 10,000 pant and animal specimens.  4,717 previously unknown life forms were discovered and documented.  Bob really liked this submarine exhibit with the cut out sides so we could see inside.  I couldn’t imagine being underwater, inside this confined space…and I don’t suffer from claustrophobia! This view from the second floor of the Marine Navigation Hall is from the same spot we stood in during our visit here years ago.  Our guide at the time was this lovely old German woman who spoke five languages and conducted the tour in all five languages.  We still remember her well, she was a treasure. The Electric Power display has devices I have seen in the movies. It would be easy to miss the entrance to the Mining display in the basement level, but once inside we were amazed at all the exhibits.  The Rack was a hydraulic wheel used to both lift and lower loads.
This device was an ‘elevator’ to get in and out of the mine.  Can you imagine?  Not for me!!
Three types of mines were represented: ore, coal and salt mining.Working conditions in the mines were very difficult.  Being a miner must have been a dangerous, hard life.Back above ground we walk through many more exhibit halls.  Some of the exhibits are so technical that they would only be of interest to people in that particular field.  We pass through these quite quickly.  There was an interesting display of weights and measures… and astronomical devices… and all sorts of clocks and watches, dating back to antiquity.  I thought this 24 hour clock face was interesting. The Musical Instruments Hall had some interesting pieces.  The Phonoliszt-Violina, a player piano with violins was used in silent movie theatres from 1904 to1926, and the other piece is the very first Juke Box, displayed at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, complete with classical music selections.An interesting toy exhibit has building block and construction toys that date back to the 1907, including early Lego and Meccano sets.The museum has a reproduction of the Altamira caves in Northern Spain.  This reminded us of a similar exhibit we visited in Spain.  Visitors are no longer allowed inside the actual Altamira Cave in order to preserve the cave paintings.  The changes in humidity and temperature caused by visitors to the cave were causing damage to the paintings. I always enjoy pottery exhibits. This diorama demonstrates early pottery production with an interesting wood fired kiln that is itself made of clay. I thought this miniature brick producing plant was brilliant.  It had a fully functioning brick extruder, drying ovens, and kilns. 
When the tiny bricks come out of the kiln they are stacked and available for purchase.  I bought one as a little souvenir, only 1euro. I knew how early sheets of glass were made, and this life size display illustrated that process.  It is hard to imagine blowing a piece of glass this large!  We see many panes of glass in old buildings in Europe that were made just this way.  This video shows the process On our way out of the museum I met Alvin.  It was a bit bizarre talking to a machine, that looks and acts like a little person.  I think he only understood German though, as we had problems communicating. The museum is on an island on the Isar River.  There are two views from the bridge back to the mainland.  One to the west… and one to the East.  You can see how big the museum is. Walking back to the metro we pass through the food market again and I take photo of these beautiful garlics and peppers. We stop at this cheese store and sample some of the delicious cheese for sale. The metro station is beside the Glockenspiel tower and there is a group of Kurdish protestors.  We have seen several protest groups and there is always a large police presence at these events.

The BMW Museum, Munich

Day 58, Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bob visited the BMW Museum today and I had a nice relaxing day at home.

The BMW Welt is a showroom for the new BMW models, including motorcycles, Minis, and Rolls Royces.  Customers can pick up their special order cars and drive them down the ramp you can see in this photo and out of the building! Next door is the BMW Museum.  A couple cars caught Bob’s attention.  The doors on this red sports car slide down to open…
and the1933 BMW has a unique paint job. A full size clay prototype is used for new designs.The BMW Museum is next door to the Munich Olympic Park that was built for the 1972 Olympics.

Bob was going to go up the tower for a city view, but…

Walking Tour of Munich

Day 57, Monday, October 21, 2019

Bob found a walking tour of Munich at bigboytravel.com that we use today.  On our way to the start of this walking tour we find a sculpture by Mauro Staccioli.  The Ring is 12 meters in diameter and weighs 14 tons. The Ring is right next to the entrance to the Old Botanical Garden where we have our lunch.  We see lots of interesting people on our travels.  The man below was ‘communing’ with a tree…he walked circles around it, with his hands out, making gestures towards the tree.  Some police driving through the park stopped to talk to him but they let him be, guess they figured he was harmless.  Nearby I spotted this lady dressed all in white.  She looks like she belongs to a different place and time. There was a small gallery in the Botanical Gardens but they were changing exhibitions and not open.  I liked both the door handle and the interesting poster, which reads, The Long Night of Munich Museums.
First stop on our tour, why don’t you come along with us?  The   Fountain Boy depicts a satyr spitting water at a young boy who shields his face.  It originally caused a problem because there was no leaf over his private parts, but it is now a favourite Munich fountain. 

Citizen’s Hall Church was heavily damaged during WWII but it has been rebuilt and looks exactly like it did in the 1700’s.  The basement contains the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a famous Jesuit priest who stood up to the Nazis occupation and died in a concentration camp.. Our walk continues down a broad pedestrian street with large trees. St Michael’s Church.  I liked the huge elaborate candle holders. The church contains The Royal Crypt which holds 40 tombs.  The most famous of these is the tomb of “Mad” King Ludwig II.  Ludwig was a big spender and built many lavish castles and palaces.  We visited the Neuschwanstein Castle on our first trip to Europe almost 40 years ago.  It is the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Snow White castle. No photos are allowed in the crypt so I did a quick sketch of King Ludwig’s tomb. No one ever seems to mind if I draw.There are a few churches on this tour!  Each of them has its own distinctive feature.  Saint Anna’s Church has had a chapel on this site since 1440.  I thought I saw people inside, behind the locked gates, but when I zoomed in with my camera, I realized it was a life size sculpture of the Last Supper.We pass this tree sculpture on the corner of a building on our way to The Asamhof Passage. Asamhof Passage is a little pedestrian street lined with restaurants, lots of flowers, and this poor fellow who needed my change more than I did! Asamkirche was built by the Asam brothers as a showpiece for their church building skills.  It is only 30 feet wide but it is so packed with over-the-top-Rococo decoration that we don’t know where to look! The entire focus of the interior leads the eye to a bright golden window meant to feel like the eye of God staring down at us. This is the exterior of the church and the brother’s house next door, which had bedroom windows looking onto the high altar in the church.There are lots of modern shops below the traditional apartments. I think I look OK with wings! The town gate, built in 1318 has two towers and is the oldest of the three city gates still standing in Munich. A view down the street from the town gate. Walking back towards Marienplatz we walk through the Victuals Market (Viktualiemarkt). This is a tough place to be when you can’t eat gluten, dairy or eggs!There are lots of flower stalls.  I particularly liked the little dog that seemed to belong to this one. This is the tallest May Pole we have ever seen! We can see the Glockenspiel Tower down a side street between two buildings.

The Frauenkirche has beautiful chandeliers illuminating its interior.

I’ve mentioned the beautiful window boxes before.  This is a department store and just look at its gorgeous window boxes! The New Town Hall’s main attraction is the Glockenspiel. This chiming clock was added to the tower in 1907.  At 11am, midday, and 5pm the Munich Glockenspiel recounts a royal wedding, a jousting tournament and a traditional dance with  32 life-sized animated figures in its 260 foot tower.     The show lasts about ten minutes, followed by the ringing of church bells. Bob remembered the Beck Department store from our first visit to Munich almost 40 years ago!  He said it was right next to the Glockenspiel and sure enough it was! Metro drawings from today.  People kept getting off the metro before I was finished!

 

Alte Museum, Munich

Day 56, Sunday, October 20, 2019

We walk through lots of leaves on our way to the Alte Museum.
No idea what kind of tree has these huge seed pods.  Maybe someone can tell me?
We go past a street of shops with rather expensive merchandise, but I really wonder about these colour combinations! The Alte Museum admission is only 1euro on Sundays!  What a bargain.  This is one half of the double staircase that leads to the exhibition rooms.   We walk through the first door and I see these beautiful pastel paintings by Maurice Quentin La Tour, Jean-Étienne, Joseph Vivien and Rosalba Carriera!  I need to find some books about these artists and study their paintings.  Unfortunately there were lots of reflections in the glass covering these works.  You can even see me in two of them! One of the 46 rooms we visited today had lots of paintings of Venice, completed in the early 1700’s.  I marvelled that Venice looked just the same then as it did when we visited a couple years ago.  The only difference was the number of small boats in the canals and the clothing of the people in the paintings!  There were another 13 rooms that were closed due to the installation of new exhibits. This room was full of paintings by Rembrandt and Franz Hals…including this small self-portrait that Rembrandt painted in 1629 when he was only 23.  This is a special exhibit for 2019,  the 350th anniversary of the year of Rembrandt’s death.  The painting is only 15.5cm x12.7 cm.
I lost count of the number of rooms filled with work by Peter Paul Rubens…  which Included a room with the huge painting of The Great Last Judgement. and another with The Fall of the Damned, which is also very large.   Rubens was a very productive artist! Here is a close up of some of the damned souls.Looking through the doorway, you can see the many more rooms we have yet to explore.  There are ten large galleries in a row along the length of the museum, with many smaller galleries off of these.  I liked how I could stand in front of the study for this Rubens painting and then look into the adjoining gallery and see the finished painting.  There was a gallery full of studies, which I particularly liked.  It is possible to see the way Rubens thought about and worked out his compositions.
There were some Dürer, but no drawings…I do love his drawings.This is a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci when he was only 23.  I don’t remember seeing it before (in books). And then there is Hieronymus Bosch with his very strange creatures, in this fragment of the Last Judgement.  His works always has lots of details to examine closely. We saw paintings by so many other artists I am familiar with: Holbein, Raffael, Botticelli, Titian, Van Dyk, and Velázquez, as well as many new artists that I liked as well.

After a lunch break outside in the sunshine we visit the remaining galleries which contain works from the Neue Pinakothek, which is currently under renovation.  Here we see many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Van Gogh’s the Weaver,

and works by Cézanne, Gauguin, and several more Van Gogh’s. A large painting by Ferdinand Hodler, TheTired of Life, really drew my attention.  I will have to research this artist. There was a Klimt.  I am looking forward to visiting the Klimt Museum when we return to Vienna.

I decide to go back and do a bit of drawing and Bob goes off to check out the Egyptian Museum nearby. On the way home we passed this group of people dancing outside.  They looked like they were having a lot of fun.
Here are my metro drawing from today… and yesterdays drawings in the gardens we visited, which I forgot to post.

English Park, Munich

Day 55, Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bob is doing fantastic job finding things for us to see and do and organizing our days.  I just tag along, enjoying what he has planned.  It is supposed to be warm today so we pack a picnic lunch and make our way slowly towards English Garden.

First stop is the Church of The Holy Spirit.  Bob announces that it is decorated for Halloween, but no, it is decorated for a light art video installation and these are angel wings. We see lots of people carrying home these little pots of colourful heather from the street market. There are lots of people enjoying the day, and drinking  lots of beer, even though it isn’t that warm. I quite like this gaggle of geese but they are just a bit to big to fit into my suitcase! There are many charming small fountains in Munich, like this one of Ida Shumacker, a Bavarian actress and comedian who died in 1956.

Another little fountain and more people enjoying the afternoon. These colourful flowers are artichokes.  I had no idea they looked like this when they bloom! There are lots of flower and dried flower stands.  We pop into one of Munich’s beer gardens but it is cool today so there aren’t many people. I am sure it was a different story just a few weeks ago during Oktoberfest.  We were originally going to be in Munich during Oktoberfest but quickly changed our plans when we realized that.  More than six million people descend on Munich to drink beer and party…not anyplace we want to be! This house looks like it will soon be completely covered in ivy!

The Feldherrnhalle, or Field Marshall’s Hall, is where Hitler and his supporters fought with the police in 1923 during the Beer Hall Putsch.  Putsch means coup in German and the coup march began at a beer hall. 16 of Hitlers supporters were killed along with 4 policemen, and Hitler was arrested and sent to prison.
Another church!  The Theatine Church is all intricately carved white stone.
Here is a close up of some of the carving.  Notice all the little angels on the columns. We are almost at the English Gardens, when we decide to stop and have our lunch near this pavilion instead.  We listen to the violinist and watch this couple taking their wedding photos.By the time we finish our lunch it has warmed up and the sun is peeking through the clouds.  We continue on to the English Garden.  This is an enormous park created in 1789 in the style of an English country park, hence the name.

There are 78 km of paths so we only see a bit of the southern part of the park, which stretches all the way to the edge of the city!  The trees are huge. We climb up to the Monopteros, which was added to the park, along with the hill, in 1836.  There are some views of the city from the Monopteros. People play soccer, ride bikes, jog, picnic and even horse back ride in this park.  I wish it had a few more benches!  These geese like the park too.
On our way back to the metro we stop at yet another church.  St. Ludwig is another venue for the Angels installation I mentioned earlier.  Maybe we will be able to come back one evening and see it. St. Ludwig is home to the second largest altar fresco in the world. The large fresco of the Last Judgement (1836-1840), by the German painter Peter von Cornelius, measures almost 19 metres by 11.5 metres!  There is a service taking place so we are not able to get a close up look at this enormous fresco. Just before we catch the metro home we stop to visit this library.  The poster outside looks pretty grand…but other than the grand staircase, the inside is a bit of a disappointment.  Lots of study cubicles and hardly any books!  As in the library we visited in Berlin, no coats, laptop cases, backpacks or purses are allowed into the library and anything you do take in must be in a clear plastic bag.  Seems strange to me.

Life Drawing in Munich

Day 53, Thursday, October 17, 2019

I had a relaxing day at our Munich Airbnb and Bob spent the better part of the day sorting out the transit system and where to get tickets.   I went to life drawing in the evening.  The session was at an artist’s apartment, which was really more of a studio than an apartment.  Everyone was very nice and made me feel very welcome.

Here are some photos that were posted on the Meetup page for the session.  Maurice is the artist who hosted the event.  That is him in the centre of the photo.
Here is our model, Bettina, she is very pregnant.  How wonderful!  It has been ages since I have had the chance to draw a pregnant model so this was an unexpected bonus. The drawing on the left is mine. I did a couple sketches to warm up. Then spent about two hours working on this drawing. Bob came to pick me up after the session and on the metro ride home I did a bit more sketching.
This was interesting, the older man with the facial hair was sitting right across the aisle from me and he was only on the metro for one stop so I sketched quickly hoped he didn’t notice that I was sneaking peeks at him. The young man with glasses did notice I was drawing him and he smiled at me, I smiled back and he tried not to smile as I continued sketching.  As he got up to leave I showed him the sketch and he said something in German, then he smiled and said ciao, so I think he liked it.

 

Day 54, Friday, October 18, 2019

We both had a relaxing quiet day.  It is nice to have some down time after seven weeks of holidays.  The big event of the day was going for a little walk to get some groceries.

Königssee Lake & Wimbachklamm Waterfall

Day 52, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Königsee Lake is less than an hour south of Salzburg.  It is the deepest and cleanest lake in Austria.  The drive is pretty, and the clouds are low but it is supposed to clear up later in the day.  We checked out of our Airbnb this morning and we are on our way to Munich. We arrive at the lake just in time to get on the next boat departure.  Only electric boats are allowed on the lake. This is the view as we pull away from the dock. The water is crystal clear and the trees have put on their fall colours. Here we are passing another boat.  I love the reflections on the water.  The day is perfect, warm, sunny and calm. More reflections.  The boat stopped in the middle of the lake and one of the boatmen stood on the deck and played a trumpet.  The high rock walls of this fjord-like lake echoed back the song perfectly. There is a restaurant and a church about 2/3 of the way down the length of the lake.  We walk about and have our lunch.  There are lots of these rather strange fake trophys lining both walls in the entrance to the restaurant. The view down the lake back towards where we started. These benches offered great views while we had our lunch. Back near the dock this old tree is thick with moss, but it is still growing. There were lots of leaves floating on the water.  I quite like the contrast between the golden colours of the leaves and the cool blue-green lake. As we pull away from the dock we get a good view of Saint Bartholomew Church.  This small pilgrimage church, dating to 1697, is known for its wine-red onion domes. This bug joined us for the ride back. The rock face on the right side of the lake is even steeper and has fewer trees than the other side.   It is impossible to walk along the lake to St. Bartholomew Church as the rocks are too rugged. Just around this corner we see a cross, but what catches my attention is the face I see in the rock. Can you see it too? Walking back to the car Bob wonders if we should buy some new clothes!High up on one of the mountains we spot the Eagle’s Nest.  This retreat was built as a present for Hitler’s 50th birthday.   I get a few photos of some of the local cows, but what I really want is a chance to stop and draw them.  Not today, as there isn’t a safe place to park the car and we still have a ways to go before dark. Our next stop is to hike up to the Wimbachklamm Waterfall.  The hike up to the falls is a bit steep but so worth the effort. We pass a sheep farm with guard dogs for the sheep.  They are very protective and when I went up to the fence to get this photo they jumped up and came running, barking loudly.This is the beginning of the gorge walk.  The boardwalk hangs out over the water.This is the closest I will probably get to having a halo!
The water is very fast and loud… with many small waterfalls along the sides of the gorge. It isn’t a long walk, but we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. These beautiful golden trees are at the top of the gorge where we hike back down to our car.  The path continues further but it is a long hike, so not for us. Back near the parking lot we see the hugest dahlia plant ever!  It is at least eight or nine feet tall.  We are soon back on the road.  We drive the Deutsche Alpenstrasse, which is a scenic mountain road, and we arrive in Munich just before it gets dark.