To end our Munich-based series, we visit a National monument, connected to a multinational tragedy, and can’t resist having a little lunch while we’re there.
Forty-four years ago, Munich played host to the Summer Olympics for the second time. It was also, in turn, the site of a notorious terrorist attack now known as the Munich Massacre, in which members of the Israeli Olympic team were murdered by Palestinian militants.
We did not let that interfere on our enjoyment when we visited the Olympic Park with its vast tower (see pictured), comparable to the Television Tower in Vilnius, which I visited a couple of years ago, on the last day of our stay in Germany.
There is a restaurant on the upper levels of the Olympic Tower, but the cafeteria downstairs – namely the Restaurant Olympiasee – was definitely more affordable, offering a range of the usual suspects – salad buffet, pizzas, and the special, which on this occasion was the Lachsteak mit Limonen Pfefferbutter und Kartoffeln (see pictured). In English, that’s a salmon steak with lemon and black pepper-infused butter and potatoes.
Now as I mentioned, it’s a cafeteria as opposed to a fully-fledged restaurant so there’s no table service to be spoken of – one goes directly up to the chef who serves it there in front of you. Therefore, don’t be on the lookout for any mega-artistic presentation or food styling – you’re in the wrong part of the building.
Hot food against the scorching heat was probably one of the worst decisions I ever made, but that’s all by-the-by. The salmon itself was juicy and succulent, and surprisingly full of flavour. I have never set much store by cafeteria food so to find fish of such a good quality did amaze me somewhat. However the potatoes reinforced my reluctance – they tasted a few days old in terms of flavour and texture. Fortunately this was more-or-less masked by the salty-sour butter that oiled the salmon so well.
As one can expect, the top of the Olympic Tower offers incomparable views of the city in its entirety (see pictured). Other than the nearby lake, on which one can take a pedalboat for half-an-hour at a time (as we did), other points of interest that can be seen from the top include the BMW Museum, which given I wasn’t with any petrolheads at the time, we sadly had to miss.
My perception of Germany, prior to my visit, as a whole, was a loud, busy, aggressive place where the ideas of peace and quiet were long-wasted. Four days in Munich has changed that completely – the city is so relaxed and tranquil; for someone in need of some mental healing; a city break away from it all, in gleaming sunshine, it would get my recommendation.