Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just before they rode into Austria.

Altstadt. Fenster.
View from Schloss in Füssen.

I will miss this group. This was our last group photo. Happy campers, especially those with fantastic ice cream!


Gallery visit to the King Kongs.
Füssener Altstadt.
Installation. Chocolate-wrapper-turned-object Landscape. Pinakothek der Moderne.
Urban Landscape.
Rhubarb-Mineral Water "Schorle"

End of program

@ Kleines Spiel. Appreciative audience. Kleines Spiel seats about 45 guests.
Ludwig II's view.
Wieskirche. Yes, that's an actual skeleton.
Neue Pinakothek tour
The program has officially ended.  What a great group! What tremendous growth I witnessed! Each of the students has been asked to post something to the blog, including pictures, so I hope you'll keep following us.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bayern! Bayern! Bayern!...

Lo and behold, it's the champions league final today, being hosted in Munich, and Munich is in the champions league final!
Perfect day to go see Macbeth!

Once again, we brave German theater students grabbed out backpacks, improvised new plans, pushed through the crowds of blues and reds (BAYYYYEEEEERRRRNNN!!!) and came out on top. We managed to eat, to watch our shows, and most surprisingly, to catch the end of the game. Prima!

Rewind to the beginning of the day, where we decided to check out the flea market at the Olympic Center. Built for the 1972 Olympics, the sports facilities, and surrounding parks and villages, go as far as the eye can see. On any normal day it's where you can expect to find Munich's jogger culture, and the occasional obscure sports group meet-up (parkour!). However, today it was the consolation prize for the huge masses of soccer pilgrims. We got there and followed the crowd. We couldn't find the flea market, but we did hit upon the public viewing of the match, a.k.a. the place where the party was at. Anyone who couldn't make it to the game and still wanted to paint their face red - or heaven forbid, blue - was going to be there, starting to gather even before noon.

Our friends Sony and Adidas were sure to make an appearance, and who could forget Mr. Champions League Trophy himself. Unfortunately the line to be able to take a High School Musical jump photo with the giant cup was a little too long for our busy schedules; but we did find the time to rest upon a beautiful hillside overlooking a lake, which was covered by a fifteen by six PERSON screen, with an overcrowded amateur soccer match going on below. Actually, I think the most striking thing about the event was the particularly calming music they were playing over the loud speakers. Clearly they wanted to pacify the soccer fans as much as possible.

After chatting with some Germans, some Poles, some Brits, and even some Michiganders (kudos to Sam for wearing his Michigan M hat), some of us made a detour before going home - to the BMW museum. Let's talk about the marvels that auto industry money can buy. We entered into BMW Welt ("world"), and quickly found out that it was connected to a BMW factory, the BMW museum, and BMW headquarters. We went on the tour of the museum. Basically, keeping in mind the obnoxious necessity to see through the constant BMW propaganda, this museum was what you might wish that all museums looked like. We went through interweaving corridors of exhibits that kept a straight path, and every once in a while opened up to a glance of the whole complex museum without making us wish we had left a trail of breadcrumbs. Everything was straight-forward, but still interesting in the architecture and presentation. DESIGN, DESIGN, DESIGN was what the building was trying to convey. In fact, I'll give it to them, it was a pretty good design feat, that being the whole BMW complex. The pros and cons of private museums, ladies and gentleman - very one-sided, but very cool.

I'd prefer not to go into details about the rendition of Macbeth that we saw. After all, some of us absolutely loved it, but I personally put it at the bottom of my list of the shows we have seen so far. The real show was standing at the back of a large crowd, trying to watch the end of the champions league final on a relatively small . Two halves of overtime, a penalty shoot, and.... sorry for the spoiler... Bayern Munich lost to Chelsea. It was actually interesting to see the community's reaction. As soon as Chelsea shot the winning penalty, people just started filling away. No uproar, not crying. People just left. Clearly we weren't in the mainstream area, we happened to catch the crowd that just wanted to know the score finally, I think.

We didn't try to find the drama that night. We headed to bed, because the next day we had an early morning museum tour.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog from Erin on May 14

This is a posting that Erin wrote. She had no internet access.  Pictures to come!

May 14th

After a busy week in München with activities such as museum tours during the day, catching countless trams and trains, and theater performances almost every night, being in the Alpen foothill town of Füssen has been quite a treat.  While approaching the mountains in the train from München, I remembered how it felt to see them for the first time on the train to Murnau and I thought to myself excitedly "Wir sind wieder da!" München  is beautiful and has a fascinating history, but for the time being I am enjoying nature's beauty where I feel more at home and relaxed, and experiencing the unique traditions and history of rural Bavaria.

Today we took a tour on a bus, and I was told it was called a "romantic bus ride" on the "romantic road."  It was absolutely beautiful, except I couldn't enjoy the first half due to motion sickness.  I sat in the front for the second half and I felt fine.  Not very interesting, unlike the tour.  We visited two gorgeous baroque churches, Wieskirche and one in Steingaden. 

After the tour, we ate a quick dinner in our beautiful hotel room and left to see an Alpine horn concert  at sundown by two charismatic gentlemen dressed in trachten.  On the walk back from the concert we had the privelage of hearing a cuckoo bird.  Every experience today was perfectly traditional and unique to the region and it was everything I had hoped it would be. 

Back in the City/Reflections on Fuessen

We have just returned to Munich after a lovely week of relaxing in the Alps and letting the creative juices run without the hustle and bustle of the city.  Fuessen was wonderfully refreshing, with beautiful mountain views and clean, clear air.  It inspired me to practice my newly discovered painting skills (still definitely in progess, but I made something I liked better than what I produced in our earlier workshop.)  The slow-paced life of a more rural area of Germany gave me the patience to really take the scene in and be able to somewhat recreate what I saw.  Our awesome accomodations in Fuessen complete with kitchen and comfortable living area also helped to bring our group closer together, especially since we got to make special group meals and things like that.  To be honest, I was sad to leave, but the show we saw this evening was a wonderful re-introduction to the city!  "Intimate Stranger" at the Schauburg was by far my favorite piece that we have seen so far.  It was simultaneously hilarious and beautiful.  The combination of the music with the choreographed scenes had a surprisingly moving effect even in the midst of all of the goofiness, and several members of our group and I had the good fortune of enjoying front row seats!  That was really exciting, and it was the first show that has left me feeling completely engaged throughout, and that I would be willing to see again.  It has also gotten me really excited for our remaining time in Munich, and I can't wait to see what the next few days have in store!


Back in Munich

Sorry about the lack of posts. We have been in the Alps and there was no internet access for us. We're back now, so you should be brought up to date soon.