I love being out in the woods. Listening to the sounds of trees swaying in the breeze, sitting by a gurgling stream, observing the change of the colours. Forests and parks allow me to slow down and take in the small things. I find them soothing, nurturing, grounding. Everything feels connected. I thrive on a frequent dose of green.
One of the largest urban parks in the world, the Englischer Garten is a dream come true to any nature-longing soul in need of room to breathe. I take a few steps and find it hard to believe I am still in the heart of Munich, having left behind the city’s hustle and bustle. While I have been here before, every visit shines a different light on the parklands’ treasures. Today, I spy someone playing the guitar, so I sit down on a nearby bench. I get lost in the moment, enveloped in that comforting hug of music and nature.
I ponder the importance of green space in our metropolitan environments. The primal need to inject a shot of the outdoors into our busy lives. Places where flora and fauna are welcome to flourish. Having public access to open space, trees, meadows, creeks and the river Isar is refreshing (at times literally!) and liberating.
My thoughts wander, as my feet take me deeper into the park. The further North I go, the wilder my surroundings become. Peace and solitude are amplified here. It’s the perfect place to contemplate life.
At times I go by bike, but this afternoon I’m on foot. I cherish every deliberate move, step by step, and stop often for no reason in particular. After hours criss-crossing this calm oasis, I emerge onto the city streets once again. I feel energized. (And ready for a pedicure.) But mostly, I am thankful that Mother Nature always waits on my doorstep, like a trusty friend looking out for me.
No matter the season, Englischer Garten is one of Claudia’s favourite places in the Bavarian capital. These musings were induced by a long walk during the Summer of 2020. They hold as true now as they did then.