The subject: Designed by a Brit working for the Bavarian Army, this wonderful Munich, Germany, green space was named “English Garden” because it was laid out in the style of an English country park. Just as New York’s Central Park or San Francisco’s Golden Gate do, the Englischer Garten offers a network of paved and unpaved pathways providing 78-kilometers (48.4 miles) of exploration for runners, walkers, bikers, dog walkers and Sunday strollers.
The inspiration: My favorite place to sit and wander quietly is around Kleinhesseloher See, a small man-made lake (that’s what “See” means). If you are lucky, you can find an open bench – just watch out for all the runners and walkers since the 1.5-kilometer lake loop is a popular one. From lakeside, you can watch small boats, including pedal boats, ply the waters of the lake, all rented at the boathouse next to upscale Seehaus (“lakehouse”) restaurant. Or you can enjoy ducks and geese.
It was on a very warm summer afternoon that I found an open bench, just across the Kleinhesseloher See from the bustling restaurant where I sat to create the Englischer Garten watercolor you see above. One of the hazards of sketching and painting on my iPad in public is it often draws onlookers, curious as to what I am doing. One man sat beside me and then nearly crawled into my iPad screen in his effort to watch me digitally draw and paint the scene. I was happy he appreciated my art, but equally happy when he stepped away with a smile to give me some elbowroom.
Artist’s tools: I used the program Paper53 on my iPad combined with a Bamboo basic stylus for this watercolor. First, I began sketching in the Kleinhesseloher See shape, trees, and the restaurant with its colorful outdoor umbrellas. I used an ink pen with a bold stroke to create the branches and give the trees an interesting look, and then a finer stroke for the rest of the outlines. For the brush strokes to add color, I worked to lay down a light watercolor wash to achieve the look you see.
A print of this digital painting on your wall is the next best thing to being there yourself…as well as a great gift for anyone in your life who loves boats, lakes, Germany or Munich. Click here to see this artwork in my online gallery.
Read more travel tips for Germany
What to do in Germany planning map
In the map below, pins mark the exact location of the sites and places to see mentioned in our articles and travel tips on Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name of the destination or location as well as any additional information, including links to stories and articles. This map is the perfect place to begin planning what to do in Germany for several days, one week, two weeks or more.
The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.
Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten
Sophie Scholl Memorial
Planten Un Blomen Garden
St Nikolai Kirche
International Donaufest in Ulm
Drei Annen Hohne
Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn
Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower
The rolling foothills of the Harz mountains that surround Quedlinburg feature forested terrain with open, rolling meadows, some hills and plenty of farmland – perfect for those who need to stretch the legs and mind a bit on an easy wander. We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.
Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens
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