Where will we go when we have time to go somewhere? Where will we live when we have time to retire? BoomerCafé publisher and co-founder David Henderson has found one place that never entered his mind … until he got visions of the Beach Boys at Surf City.
My wife and I have gotten to the stage and age in our baby boomer lives when we find ourselves discussing not retirement but what new adventure might be ahead for us. We keep returning to the idea of possibly living somewhere in Europe.
We are not sure where in Europe because there are so many appealing places. What appeals is the idea of a culture that seems more grounded, more purposeful, more respectful.
Munich had never crossed our minds until a recent visit with friends who live near the city. Aside from my being German language-challenged, this Bavarian city within sight of the Alps seems to have it all -– music (including an outstanding opera), quaint neighborhoods, many beautiful parks and town squares, countless cafés, and people who seem to be pretty easy going even though they live in a major metropolis.
One day during our visit, while having lunch at a terrific outdoor French café, we looked at each other and had the same idea: who would have believed Munich might be a cool city to live? Now, I need to add quickly that it is out of the question for us for a couple of reasons. One is that while I can struggle with French, I find that for me, learning to function in German is impossible. My aging brain just is not wired for either the German language or the society’s propensity for strict obedience to order.
Nonetheless, Munich is a neat city for baby boomers, especially if you like surfing.
Yes, surfing! As we walked the city, our friend suggested that we visit the English Gardens in Munich to watch the surfers. I really didn’t know what to expect. Heck, only a few weeks earlier I was in Santa Cruz, America’s Surf City, and got all excited.
There’s no wide sandy beach in Munich. But there seems to be pretty good surfing.
At the mouth of the artificial stream to Munich’s 200-year-old English Gardens is a surging, standing wave. It is created as water is channeled into a more narrow tree-lined stream, creating enough pressure at times for local surfers to don wetsuits and take turns. It’s like a 200-year-old wave machine!
The area is posted with signs warning people not to get into the water and certainly avoid getting near the wave. No one pays any attention. It’s too much fun.
Meantime, spectators line a bridge over the stream to enjoy the surfing skills up close and snap pictures.
There seems to be a protocol among surfers. No one hogs the wave for long. After a couple of minutes, they wipe-out and someone else jumps into the constant surf.
We all stood there, sort of spellbound by the scene of serious-minded surfers riding the waves… just a few feet from a busy street in downtown Munich.
All we needed were some songs by the Beach Boys or Randy Newman blaring from out of the overhanging trees.
Category: Boomer Lifestyle