Just outside Munich, Germering garners a steady stream of visitors to its Dachau memorial. An outdoor work camp here served as a sub-camp to the larger facility further east. The small community seems quiet, and the memorial peaceful. It’s not exactly a place you think about when you think loud, obnoxious rock and roll.
However, Germering isn’t home to just any old kind of rock and roll. Surfer rock is a major force here. Armed with wave machines, locals have transformed the Germeringer See lake and surrounding streams into hopping surf spots. Onlookers cheer on their favorite surfers and picnic and sunbathe on the banks. Clothing is optional. Thus the surfer culture thrives, helped along even more by its own soundtrack courtesy of local sons Sportfreunde Stiller.
The three man band got its start in 1995, although Germering got its start back in the Bronze Age. Roman ruins and ancient burial grounds serve as both tourist attractions and new song material. The funky mix of enthusiasm, history and random is wildly successful to this day. Even better — the band likes to give surprise concerts around the city under assumed names.
It’s an unusual mix that makes a trip to Germering memorable. You can do the traditional culture thing by day and the alternative culture thing by night. Visit ancient brick kilns and dutifully collect museum brochures during the day light hours. Then head back to your hotel for a nap. Nightlife here kicks off a bit later and goes on forever!
Thanks to it’s proximity to Munich, the beer here is amazing. Most of the local bars have live music, and you’ll appreciate the local talent a lot more after a few steins. The success of Sportfreunde Stiller has a lot of groups in Germering dreaming of making it big.
If you find anyone you like, get autographs and photos. You never know who’s pretending to be unknown here — it’s a town with a lot of noteworthy names floating through just under the radar.