The chillest – sightseeing spot in the Bavarian capital
Marienplatz, the Olympic stadium, the impressive City Hall, are the top known points of interest when visiting Munich. The hedonists will stop in one of the six breweries (Brauhauses), the petrolheads will for sure pay a visit to the BMW museum. For the history and art lovers there is the Art Museum and the Glyptothek, and there is a spot (actually two and a half) for the adrenaline junkies – “The Icy Creek” (The Eisbach).
How it all started?
People have been surfing here for around 40 years. In 1972, the city submerged concrete blocks under the Eisbachbrücke bridge, to break up the current. Since the wave was very unstable, and only present in winter time, after the snow had melted, the locals literally took over the construction in their hands, and with the help of wooden planks, managed to make the wave stable and available all year round.
(Comes in handy in these lockdown times.)
The Isar is 292km (181miles) long river, and the Eisbach is it’s small 2km (1.2miles) side arm.
It is artificially made, and runs through the nicest park in central Munich, the English Garden.
The wave is about 1meter (3ft) high and 10 meter (33ft) wide. The line of surfers patiently waiting for their turn is pretty long as well, and even the temperature of the water doesn’t stop the most determined from jumping in. Speaking of temperature, in the summer months, the water goes up to 15°C (60°F), and in the colder months usually stays at about 10°C (50°F). The locals remember days when the water reached freezing point.
Since 2010 surfing and kayaking are officially allowed, but at your own risk.
Observing the surfers is close to magical, seems as everyone is dancing in the rhythm of the wave, and the next one waiting to enter comes just in time, causing almost no downtime.
Out of the observation one can notice that it is very dangerous as well. And the warning signs around are there to remind you: “Due to the forceful current, the wave is suitable for skilled and experienced surfers only.“
Hungry for more
Wherever there is adrenaline there must be grievances and issues with the authorities. They threatened to demolish the wave, but the activists managed to save it, and not only that…
Due to the high interest, the city opened a second artificial wave at the Floßlände, near the Tierpark, this one being wider, and more suitable for beginners.
And that is not all folks. In the middle of the two spots, there is a third one at the Wittelsbach bridge, unfortunately, only accessible for surfing on the first days after the melting of the Alpine snow.
If you happen to be in Munich at any time of the year, don’t forget to put this spot on your agenda, you would get to know another variation of german precision, and your camera roll will be thankful. It might not be O’ahu, but it surely pushes the limits of the passionate locals.