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Michael Hodgson

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Born to British parents in Canada, Michael Hodgson had been schlepped back and forth across the pond since he was a toddler. In college, he took the big leap and spent a few months in Kenya – and never looked back. His biology major somehow led him into a writing career, focusing on the outdoors, hiking and gear testing. Building on his lifetime of travel with travel writing was a natural, although he still loves to seek out the wilder side of a mountain – or a city -- for a good story. Michael also is a partner in a consulting business (www.NewNormalConsulting.com) built on a passion to help specialty businesses and brands succeed both domestically and internationally.
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Created at the behest of Prince Carl Theodor in 1789, the Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest city parks in the world. And, we can attest, it provides for a magical and wondrous escape from the clamor and bustle of Munich’s busy urban streets.

Kleinhesseloher See Englischer Garten watercolorDesigned by a Brit working for the Bavarian Army, it 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 of exploration for runners, walkers and bikers alike – want more? Then jump over onto neighboring Isar River paths to go hundreds of kilometers more (enough?), including more green spaces that aren’t officially part of the garden. There are rivers, canals, forested corners, bridges, ponds and restaurants. In the winter, the Englischer Garten is an urban retreat for Nordic skiers as well.

Englischer Garten in Munich in the winter

The English Garden is a popular place to gather, enjoy and recreate in, even during the winter.

Naturally, because this is Munich, there are a number of large (and, in nice weather, often packed) beer gardens. One is listed as Munich’s second largest beer garden with reportedly over 7,000 seats (No, we didn’t count them). It sits adjacent to the Chinese Tower, an actual 75-foot high pagoda originally built in 1789. The pagoda has burned to the ground multiple times, but each time has been rebuilt to the original designs specs. Nearby is a restored children’s carousel in the Biedermeier style with carriages, wagons, carriages and 20 carved wooden animals.

The boathouse in the Englischer Garten in Munich.

Our favorite place to sit and wander quietly is around Kleinhesseloher See, a small lake (that’s what “see” means) where the painting at the top of this story was created. 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 (plus it is one of the paths sanded in the winter so you can perambulate and stay upright!). 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. The restaurant is open year round and is one of the other beer gardens located within the English Garden. The northern end of the Englischer Garten starts here and borders directly on the Isar River. There is a weir at Oberfohring to facilitate crossing, as well as a large bridge over the main road. A pedestrian undercrossing has also been planned.

The Seehaus restaurant and biergarten.

At the most northerly end of the Englischer Garten park (the quieter, more serene area), the Restaurant Aumeister also houses a beer garden – hey, it’s Germany! Never want to be too far from the opportunity to quench your thirst (In fact, as of this writing, Google maps calls the Englischer Garten “a huge urban park with a beer garden…. That’s a way to get down to the basics!).

Another pretty destination to enjoy is the Japanese teahouse, built in 1972 on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (“creek”) at the southern end of the Englischer Garten, which abuts downtown. Not too far way is the classical circular Monopteros temple, added in 1836 and offering a great Munich panorama, especially at sunset.

If you are going to Munich, a stroll, pedal, jog, ski or just sit in the park is a do-not-miss experience. Plus, depending on the season, there are cultural events, Christmas parks and other often-impromptu goings-on to enjoy.

HITT Tip: A superbly located place to stay in Munich is the Hotel Gästehaus Englischer Garten. Family owned and quaintly tucked into a corner next to the park, the hotel provides a convenient and friendly base to explore the English Garden and, of course, Munich. Note some rooms have en suite bathrooms and some do not, plus there are a few small apartments the hotel also manages a couple of doors down with small private patios. Transportation is convenient too, and you’re as good as smack in the middle of the hopping university area with restaurants, clubs, bars and theaters.

Read more travel tips for Germany

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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.

Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow

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.

Marienklause Chapel

Bigger is not always better. Sometime small, like a historic Munich chapel, can be a travel must-see. It’s easy when traveling through big European cities to follow the throngs to the large churches or cathedrals in town. Huge European cathedrals can be very impressive, of course. But the Marienklause Chapel, about 3-4 miles south of the city center of Munich, Germany, is certainly worth a close look.

Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten

Created at the behest of Prince Carl Theodor in 1789, the Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest city parks in the world. And, we can attest, it provides for a magical and wondrous escape from the clamor and bustle of Munich’s busy urban streets.

Sophie Scholl Memorial

Easily missed, the Sophie Scholl memorial looks like loose pieces of paper scattered on the ground in front of the university building. In actuality, they are attached permanently to the ground in front of the main entrance on the so-called “Geschwister Scholl Platz.”

Planten Un Blomen Garden

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St Nikolai Kirche

The  St Nikolai Kirche (St. Nicholas Church) has been a part of the Hamburg skyline since the 12th century. Now in ruins from World War II bombings, just its spire remains standing. No longer a place of worship, the spire (thought until 1876 to be the tallest building in the world) and its restored crypt below serve as a haunting and moving memorial to the horror of war’s devastation.

International Donaufest in Ulm

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Drei Annen Hohne

http://hitraveltales.com/harz-mountain-brockenbahn-railway-narrow-gauge-wonder/

Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn

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The Brocken

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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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Berlin

Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. It is cosmopolitan, worldly, quirky, exotic, bohemian, evolving, vibrant and so very, very alive — there is something to do or see or experience 24 hours a day if you are so inclined. Little wonder so many tourists, wanderers, artists, authors, musicians, actors and creative minds discover and fall in love with Berlin. Whether you are visiting for one day, two days, a week or more, the best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Berlin is here. Our What to do in Berlin resource guide and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Berlin is memorable.
Heads up! This information on Englischer Garten was accurate when we published it on HI Travel Tales, but, as we know, traveling is all about changes (and inflation, sadly). Please be sure to confirm prices, transportation schedules, hours of operation, safety and health considerations, request for perfect weather during your entire visit, and any other important details before your adventure.