Cosmos coffee in the Deutsches Museum

Today we decided to drink coffee in the special exhibition of the German Museum, founded by Oskar von Miller, the famous engineer, in 1905. It was finally opened in 1925 and is now the largest science and technology museum in the entire world. Prices have gone up since I last visited, an adult pays €14, so be sure to bring along plenty of time.

The “Cosmos Coffee”, on the second floor passing through the Physics department, runs through May 2020. There are many exhibitions on at the same time, also plenty of demonstrations and guided tours which are free of extra charge.

Our tour guide lived in Venezuela for many years and was very competent. She showed us the plants, the coffee flowers of the more delicate plants, the “talking drawers” with old slogans and clichés, the “smelling machines”, the coffee room, the roasting machines, the different bean colors depending on the roasting temperature.

One cup of coffee requires 140 liters of water to let the plants grow and mature, about 5-7 years. The plant came originally from Ethiopia where it is said the goats ate the berries and capered around more than usual. To the human palate the berries were too acid and hard, so they were tossed into the fire – where they developed a fantastic chocolatey aroma. From Africa, coffee made its way to Al Mokha, Yemen and to Istanbul, Turkey, and from there to many others, reaching the US in the 17th and Russia in the 18th century.

harvest workers on the way home a man sprays pesticides on the plants without a mask

The special roast “Cosmos Coffee” at the Museum is 80% Robusta and 20% Arabica. At the bar you can order from a large menu of 8 roasts and 6 kinds of preparing. The espresso was too strong, but the cappucino was delicious and the young barista makes the best hearts and swirls into the milky froth. You can stand at the tall tables or sit down on the benches and relax with a Florentine biscuit.

Painting with the ground we stand on

Should you live in or be visiting Munich, don’t miss out on the show of paintings next weekend, with Sunday brunch. Trisha Kanellopoulos has experimented with different styles and for some years has experimented with different colored soils which she collects wherever she goes.

In the end, my main goal is always striving for the ultimate color and the perfect surface”

Trisha Kanellopoulos

Studio: Hellabrunner Str. 30

81543 München

The Samurai Exposition

A number of most beautiful and costly Japanese Samurai artefacts are on show in the Hypo Kulturhalle, Theatinerstraße, Munich through June 2019 and will then tour to other places. The pieces are on loan from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Japanese society was organized in castes, in the Tokugawa period, the general shogun was at the top, then came the nobility, the daimyo, or regional lords with at least 10,000 koku income. One koku was 180 l of rice, enough to feed one person for one year. Daimyo showed off their wealth by building castles. In order to control the approx. 260 daimyo, the shogun obliged them to come to Edo at Himeji castle every two years and leave their wives and children as hostages. On the other hand, the lords were also able to parade their fantastic armor made of leather and metal plates, silk threads and unique decorations.

This armor should have been a model for European suits of armor, as they weighed much less. The sizes could be adjusted from father to son by snipping through the threads of one row and adding or taking out rows of plates. The threads, laces and leather parts also ensured flexibility of movement: soldiers were no longer encased in a hard shell that could not be removed in case of injury.


Boots were soled with removable straw soles, every soldier bushi had an extra pair. Swords were short and of the very best steel, folded over innumerable times. Some swords are worth two to three hundred thousand euros meanwhile. The samurai would start by putting on his undergarments, his arm guards, the various pieces of armor, and finally his coat, his boots and his helmet. Bushido means “the way of the soldier”, his fighter’s ethics.

Horses were small, as they had to be imported from the north. Stirrups were often decorated with monkeys and goats, animals that were kept in the stables to keep the horses moving to prevent any hoof ailments. The Japanese loved bear fur on their helmets, yet had to import such goods from the north as well, so traders would sell them all sorts of fur as long as the imitation looked like the real thing.

Symbols are interpreted differently from country to country. Whereas Germans believe that rabbits are easily frightened, in Japan they are considered intelligent beings. To us an aubergine or eggplant is simply a vegetable, to the Japanese they bring you good luck. Thus such symbols were often used creating the unique helmets, with antlers, horns, devils’ faces, ears and sweatbands, a long nose (with a hinge to breathe), crests and crescents, etc.

In the Japanese caste system, the shogun was the highest ranking person, then came the 260 daimyo, then the peasants and all the way at the bottom, the tradesmen. During the 240 years of peace in the Edo period, the warriors were retrained as civil servants and tax collectors. Many of the suits of armor collected by the Muellers were never worn in battle. Some date back to the 13th century and are still here for us to look at and admire.

The Residenz garden with the Diana temple

Most people may only have seen the stone facade of the Residence on the side of the Max Joseph Platz with the adjacent buildings of the Residenztheater and the Opera, opposite the former red post office buildings and the little restaurants and boutiques on the fourth side, all surrounding the seated bronze statue of Prince Max I Joseph. Max I Joseph’s son, however, Ludwig, preferred the other side showing east to the Renaissance Court Gardens with English elements, and had his rooms furnished there.

The Diana Temple (photo supra) is said to have been erected in 1615 by Heinrich Schön the Elder. On fair days a grand piano is rolled inside and a pianist plays the lovely tunes of Chopin and Schumann to passers-by. To the southwest, the Residenz and the Herkulessaal, to the east the Theatinerkirche (Church of St. Cajetan) built by the Elector as a sign of gratitude for the birth of his heir, Prince Max Emanuel.

Around the Diana temple there are four fountains, to the north the Garden arcades with the Theater Museum, and to the south the Bayrische Staatskanzlei (Bavarian State Chancellery) which was destroyed in part during the Second World War and rebuilt in the mode of Italian High Renaissance.

The Court Gardens are a sunny and peaceful place for a stroll. In the summer dances take place, musicians play their instruments, early-birds practise yoga, people chat and eat and sit on the benches. The white roses exhale their sweet perfume and you can almost forget you are in the city.

The opera in Munich – Die Nationaloper

Whenever I find the time, I buy a single ticket online for the opera or a ballet. Prices are moderate, as cultural events are subsidised. The new director is Russian and has changed many dancers, at times other singers are invited, but Munich boasts a world-class level of excellence. Any travel agency or hotel can organize a booking. The Festspiele, music festival, is in July.

The opera building is imposing and beautiful, with wide stairs leading up to a portico. Inside, all is wooden parquet floors, high stucco ceilings, gold leaves and mirrors and elegance, red velvet seats and fantastic chandeliers, Bohemian and Venetian. Each seating block has its own wardrobe. Unfortunately, the fashion on display is at times a trifle too casual for my taste, but there is no real dress code. Meanwhile more and more little bars and bar tables have been installed, hardly any long lines. In one corner you can buy souvenirs, in another all manner of CDs and DVDs of singers, operas, ballets, folk songs.

The great hall on the second floor is where everybody walks around in the breaks, enjoying the view from the long sash windows or drinking prosecco. On low tables at the side walls and at each entrance you will find programs and brochures. I find myself holding my breath every time the curtain is pulled back – enjoy!

Carnival in Munich

While people in Mainz and Cologne claim that Carnival is not as fun in Bavaria as in their cities, there are still lots of fun events to go to, like the Gaudi-Wurm (parade) of a Sunday. There are many balls in different locations, either in formal dress or in costumes. For the ladies there are special ladies-only dances on the Thursday before Mardi Gras, “Altweiberfasching”, and the women may also cut off the men’s cravats and ties (no, don’t try to imagine anything further).

The above photos were taken on Mardi Gras, where the Carnival Club Narrhalla performed several fairy tale scenes, among others, Cinderella, Snow White and Mary Poppins. The young men kicked their legs high like Can-can girls in another scene. And finally all the sales and farmer ladies from the Viktualienmarkt danced as well. The mayor pronounced a short speech, offering his mayor job as job-sharing with the Carnival Manager!

The four hungry monkeys at the ATM are my favorite, though I doubt they could eat the bills like bananas… Noteworthy was having the President visit us here, and without security guards!

Museum Brandhorst in Munich

Should you ever happen to be in the lovely city of Munich, capital of Bavaria, you should not miss out on visiting several of the fantastic museums there. Most of them are concentrated in the area Schwabing and the Königsplatz, there is a special Museum-Bus no. 100 running from the Train Station East (Ostbahnhof) to the Main Train Station. Nearby you will find the three Pinakotheken, the Mineral and the Egyptian Museum, a bit further on the Glyptothek, the Staatliche Antikensammlung and the Lenbach-Haus

The Collection Brandhorst in the Theresienstrasse specializes in modern art, currently showing oeuvres by Alex Katz and many others, such as Andy Warhol, Sigmar Polke, Laura Owens et alia. The entire upper level is dedicated to Cy Twombly.

Admission fee is €7 for adults. The locker room and restrooms are airy and pleasant downstairs from the information desk. The snack restaurant cooks excellent soups and salads, closed on Sundays. Sundays the admission fee is only €1. All museums offer audioguides for enhanced analysis of the works on display. Don’t miss out!