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Fespa Apres Surf

Hip German media city offers ample ‘après surf’ for FESPA goers

Munich, the high-tech capital of Germany, is the ideal host city for the FESPA 2010 exhibition (22nd-26th June 2010, Messe Munich). The perfect compliment to FESPA’s innovation theme, this exciting city combines the thrill of a thriving media metropolis with old-world charm.

Served by an excellent public transport network, the state-of-the-art Messe München exhibition centre is less than an hour from the airport by underground. The ‘big kahuna’ of modern exhibition centres, it boasts 17 exhibition halls covering a massive 180,000 m² of space.

Travelling around Munich is convenient for exhibition goers with a tram and U-Bahn (subway) system (http://www.mvv-muenchen.de), or the S-Bahn (http://www.s-bahn-muenchen.de) for connections to suburban Munich. With a variety of ticket types available, the city’s transport system meets visitors’ individual requirements, though in warm June many may choose to soak up the sun and take in the sights on foot, or by bike, instead.

Deriving its name from the medieval word Munichen, meaning monks, Munich dates back to 1158 and has grown into the largest city in south Germany. The capital of Bavaria, Munich is a short distance from the German Alps and has many attractions and activities for everyone, especially in the summer months when temperatures can reach 30˚. Whether passing through, or staying for an extended trip, Munich offers beautiful parks and rivers, an exciting night-life, architecture from the neo-baroque to the ultra-modern, beer gardens and cellars, and, maybe surprisingly, a thriving surf community.

The English Garden located alongside the River Isar, is the perfect place to chill-out and enjoy a drink in one of the park’s many beer gardens. Consider yourself warned: in Munich less is more as the local beer is served in litre-sized Masskrugs!

The most radical attraction to be found here - considering the city is more than 300km from the nearest coastline - is surfing. While printers ‘Ride the Wave of Innovation’ at FESPA 2010, keen surfers can try their hand at riding the Eisbach and Floßlände river waves (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R4WjdOVUZc&feature=related). Emerging from tunnels under the city, the Floßlände wave is suitable for inexperienced kooks (a new or inexperienced surfer), at 1m high and 12m wide, while the larger Eisbach wave should only be tackled by experienced surfers. Each year the waves, nicknamed Munich’s Malibu, attract world-class competitors to its annual competition where the most innovative, expressive surfers leave victorious (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2HR eikWj5Y).

The city has become internationally renowned for its numerous festivals, the best known being Oktoberfest. For visitors maxed-out from a busy day at FESPA 2010 in June, why not get some R‘n’R at the opera festival Münchner Opernfestspiele (Jun 24 - Jul 31, 2010)? If opera’s not your thing, try Filmfest München (June 25 - July 3, 2010) which attracts more than 10,000 visitors annually, many of whom arrive in droves hoping to hang with the likes of Brad and Angelina on the red carpet.

For the culture vulture Munich has 45 museums, numerous churches, palaces and art galleries to cruise after a busy day on the exhibition floor. If you visit only one attraction in Munich it should be the Residenz Palace. Right at the centre of the city, the Residenz housed Germany’s Bavarian royal families but was destroyed in World War II. Following restoration the Residenz museum now displays 120 rooms to the public.

At the heart of old town Munich is the Marienplatz, the home of the famous Rathaus, featuring an 85 meter high tower. This grand gothic style building chimes every day with 42 bells at noon and five in the afternoon, during which 32 copper statues re-enact the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V in 1568. Adjacent to the Rathaus is one of Munich’s most symbolic churches, Frauenkirche, an impressive example of medieval architecture. There is an awesome view of the Alps on a clear day from the church tower.

Munich is overflowing with breweries and beer halls. The Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1644, is the most infamous and lives up to the long standing stereotypes with wooden benches, lederhosen and a traditional Bavarian Oompah brass band. Constant supplies of pretzels are on sale to soak up the beer, but if you need something more substantial, there are restaurants to suit every taste in Munich. Traditional Bavarian food is very hearty, and though often overlooked by food critics, you will never experience a bad meal here - and tipping isn’t required as service charges are included in the bill. Of the many Bavarian restaurants in Munich, one of the best is Wirtshaus zur Brez'n in the hip Schwabing district. Going with the flow of FESPA’s surfing theme, you may be psyched to discover the Outland Bar, which serves an array of traditional Australian cuisine.

Frazer Chesterman, Managing Director, FESPA comments: “Munich is a lively and eclectic city and innovation is rife here. Where else would you find a city that has successfully created a surfing community hundreds of miles from the nearest natural wave? It’s the Munich way of thinking that makes it the ideal city to host our flagship FESPA show. FESPA 2010 will be our biggest exhibition to date, and while the jam-packed programme of events captures the minds of visitors at the show, the diversity of Munich will help them “hang loose” at the end of their busy days.”

To find out more about FESPA 2010, or to register for the event visit www.fespa.com