Maps can definitely be helpful, especially if you become completely lost and don’t have the faintest idea how to get back to civilization. However, I find that if I have a map and try to follow the map, I end up getting more lost than if I had just used my own sense of navigation to find my way. Usually if I get a map for a city, I figure out where all the attractions are relative to each other then use my memory to go from one to the next. It usually works out pretty well. Heck, sometimes I don’t even have a map for a city, which is what happened in almost all of England.
Today was one of those days in which I had a map, yet became very lost. This time it wasn’t the map’s fault; I just didn’t understand how the city was laid out. And luckily I became lost while just wandering around looking at things, which isn’t very stressful for me and is easy to fix. Usually.
In the early afternoon I arrived in Munich, Germany. I found my way to the hostel from the train station with little difficulty, realized that it was a Sunday so all the stores were closed (hence no food for me), walked back to the train station so that I wouldn’t starve, walked back to the hostel to eat said food, then finally walked into the city center to look around. Luckily in all this time I spent walking, the clouds cleared, it became a bit warmer, and I actually saw the sun.
Eventually I came to a street lined with a ton of stores (most of which were closed), and then I came to Marienplatz. This stunning building, the New Town Hall, was there. The Old Town Hall is located nearby as well.
Between the New and Old Town Halls was this incredible group of street musicians. Generally street musicians are just okay, but these guys were excellent–they had gathered a large group around them and were playing well-known classical pieces. I even stopped to listen to them for a few minutes, and I never stop to listen to street musicians.
After this point I wandered without aim. I had a map but I didn’t use it; I just figured I would wander from one interesting building to the next. I first came to the Theatine Church, and then walked to the Munich Residence from there. I walked through Hofgarten until I came to the Bavarian State Chancellery, then I changed direction, figuring I would make my way over to the New Town Hall.
Well, not so much. Somewhere along the line I confused my directions, so I headed east instead of south, where Marienplatz would be. Oh well. I don’t mind getting lost when I’m exploring cities since I usually end up at some cool things, but it is stressful when I’m trying to specifically find something and I get lost.
I wandered into a beautiful courtyard garden then walked along Maximilianstraße until I reached Maximilianeum, a palace at the end of the street. From here I ended up in a forested park.
Signs are good. I like signs. They’re very helpful.
Less so when they’re not in English, but this wasn’t an issue at the time.
Once I returned to Marienplatz, I was reoriented and could find my way back to the hostel, so getting lost today was not such a bad thing.