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July 2005

Summer Lovin'

Smitten by Munich? The feelig is mutual...

All you need is love. At least that’s what the bigwigs behind Munich’s latest image campaign are hoping. Yes, all their dreams of attracting ever more people to the Bavarian capital are pinned on one, simple slogan: “Munich Loves You.”

As with all such advertising blitzes, opinions are inevitably divided. You may well wonder why it’s necessary to splurge € 1.4 million on efforts to draw more people to the city, when, on a regular Saturday in town, you can’t move for tourists as it is. Cynics may consider it just a bit of a rip off of the McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” campaign. Or you may think it a punchy and effective little catchphrase, which can only be in the city’s best interests.

Whichever way you see it, the “Munich Loves You” slogan is not a conventional one. In fact, it turns most traditional advertising concepts on their heads. Instead of highlighting Munich’s selling points and flogging them to the public, this approach almost personifies the place and sends out the sort of plea you’d expect from a spurned lover—“I love you, need you, can’t live without you…” Which may sound bizarre. But when it comes to the crunch, I doubt I’m the only one whose relationship with Munich has indeed followed the course of a typical romance.

It started a good 11 years ago, when the city first tempted me with its sights, smells and sounds. It was a heady passion—my first Oktoberfest, waking up to the Bavarian blue and white sky, the intoxicating smell of caramelized almonds and freshly tapped beer. Yep, there was definitely something about this place. And so I came back for more. Over time, the novelty began to wear off. There were things that drove me mad about Munich and, at times, I swore that it was the last place on earth I’d want to live. And yet those little things that had thrilled me in the first place were still there. Much as in a good relationship—there are some things that keep you coming back. And once you give in to your heart, you discover the greater pleasures to be had from the subject of your desire, which in Munich’s case may be the hedonistic attitude of its people, its cultural riches or the glorious mountains nearby.

Indeed, this double summer issue is a celebration of all things Munich. How about checking out the city’s most unusual and culturally exciting beer gardens (p. 16)? And don’t miss out on all the open-air events taking place (p. 7). Why not get out and explore the local surroundings the easy way—by hiring an electric bike (p. 41)? While you’re at it, pack yourself a decadent picnic—we’ve trawled the city to find the best places to buy an outdoor feast (p. 19). If you’re feeling really flush, why not spend a night in one of Munich’s hotels? Whether you prefer simple charm or all-out luxury, it’s the perfect way of treating yourself and giving yourself a new take on the city. In fact, when you do give yourself time to step back and appreciate Munich for what it’s really worth, rather than just as the place you live and work, you may begin to wonder if it’s really worth braving the German roads to go on vacation at all. Check out the “Last Word” on p. 50, and you’ll be unpacking that suitcase in a flash.

Munich loves us? We love it, too. Have a great, Stau-free summer!

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