Sunday, July 04, 2010

a quiet neigborhood erupts

Yesterday, after settling into our hotel in a quiet neighborhood in München, we took a stroll. Everything was still. The streets had the look of charming, lively neighborhood, but no one was in sight. The restaurants and stores were all closed. We walked to the expansive grounds of the Nyphenburg Castle, which was all but deserted. We poked our head into the Museum of Mensch und Natur, which was ostensibly open, only to find the lobby turned into small theater and the staff sat glued to a large screen TV propped up near the door. The German–Argentina World Cup game had started, and Germany was already ahead 1-0. We were promptly invited us to join, and one of the staff member brought out some large paper and crayons to occupy Ike.

After about 30 minutes of the game, Isaiah couldn't be quiet anymore and we took him around the museum. A loud cheer went up in the museum when the next goal was scored. When we wandered back to the lobby the game was 2-0. We left the museum and wandered again in the still neighborhood. We found a beautiful chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalen. The castle bells tolled loudly to announce the hour. We had been told there was a large beer garden, called the Hirschgarten, in the neighborhood, and we walked in its direction. It wasn't hard to find--a roar went up in what could only be from its direction when the next German score was made.

But the walk was longer than we had anticipated, and I needed to rest. We were sitting on a rock ledge when suddenly the quiet neighborhood came alive. Yelling came from all directions--homes, backyards, small neighborhood bars and, yes, the Hirschgarten. As we continued our walk, I got out my camera and videoed a bit of the celebration.

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