River Surfing

The sun came out in force on Friday, so we made our way to the English Garden (Englischer Garten) on the banks of the Isar River.

As we have been wandering around town, we've occasionally seen surfers on bikes riding down the street:

I had heard about river surfing in Munich, so we followed one of the cycling surfers to the jump-off point at the Prinzregentenstraße bridge over the Isar:

There's apparently some sort of bottom structure at this point that causes the rushing water to form a near perfect wave about shoulder high. The wave has the same form as the wake that my dad's boat, the Happy Day, used to throw and it was great fun to wake surf that wave, as I'm sure it's great fun to river surf.

Most of the surfers use easy-to-turn, short, thin boards with leashes attached since the boards (and surfers) are quickly swept downstream following a wipe out.

Surfers line up on either side of the river and alternate launching from the shore, jumping on their boards like skimboarders at the beaches in Florida do.

There were even a couple old-timers out, like this dude:

The water is supposed to be ice cold, so most people wear wetsuits, but not this hardy soul:

We watched for about half an hour and then walked through part of the English Garden. At 910 acres, the English Garden is larger than New York City's Central Park.

On this sunny day, nearly every student in Munich was lounging around on the grass.

It was like a day at the beach, without the beach.

A couple young boys decided to float downstream. They must have been freezing!

We finally made our way to the Chinesischer Turm which marks the location of the Biergarten. If you look closely, you might be able to see an Oom-pah band playing on the second floor.

The Biergarten was packed.

We visited Munich in 1983 and stayed for a week with a German friend, Robert Henkhaus, who I met when I was in Travemünde in 1980. We've since lost touch, unfortunately, but Dale and I celebrated our friendship with Robert by downing a Maß (1 liter mug) of beer and munching on a giant pretzel and radishes, just like he taught us to do when we visited him here years ago.

The beer made us sleepy, however, so after we finished, we headed back into the city center, catching the Underground at the University.

A fun day at the beach.

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