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Munich 1

GERMANY | Thursday, 4 May 2017 | Views [308]

According to the german weatherman, our first full day in Munich was supposed to be the best weather. We decided to go out to the Nazi concentration camp memorial at Dachau. It was about a 40 minute train ride northeast-ish out of Munich, then you take a 5 minute bus ride and you are at the memorial. I did not know exactly what to expect when going there. I have learned a lot more about how the Nazis came to power, when we visited the museum in Nuremberg, but I did not know how I was going to feel actually being on site where so many people were tortured and killed. Turns out it was pretty much the same feeling as when I was in the other Nazi museum, I was pissed off. Being there just made me angry, seeing the areas where people were lined up to be counted as they came in and out of the camp. Dachau was the original work camp that most of the future camps would be modeled after and we learned how the camp progressed and changed as the years went by. We saw the extremely tight living quarters, the torture chambers, the gas chambers and the infirmary. Again, it just pissed me off the entire time we were there that this group could come to power and do so many horrible things. At the end of the museum there was a large book of names of people who died while at the camp in Dachau. Surprisingly, we found a Wagenknecht, who was from the northern area of Germany where my other relatives were originally from. This was very interesting to me and I am curious if he ties into the family tree at all. Members of our family came to America back in the 1850’s, so if there is a relation it is many, many, cousins away. As my family was not jewish, he would have been sent there as someone who objected to the Nazi rise and was outspoken. If there is a relation, I think I may share some of those characteristics. We will have to wait to find out.

We took the train back home but had some issues as we had to wait for about an hour, as the train line we were supposed to take was having some technical issues. When we eventually made it back into town, we were all very ready for a bit of an emotional change to the day. After stopping in at our hotel quickly to grab some jackets, we made our way by subway over to the Munich Fairgrounds. For the last week of April and the first week of May, Munich holds Fruhlingsfest (Springfest) which is a festival to celebrate the warmer weather. It is essentially the spring version of Oktoberfest, which occurs at the end of September. The fairgrounds has its own subway station, so it was very convenient to walk up the stairs of the station and be greeted by the sounds of the festival. When we first walked in it was pretty much your normal carnival. All of the games and stuffed animals, the rides that make you barf after eating and drinking too much. We wandered around the carnival a bit, we found a beer tent and peeked our heads in. They had a traditional german band playing some german music, the tent was not all that busy so we listened for about 2 minutes then kept exploring. We eventually came upon another beer tent. Again we stepped inside to check it out. This one was the place to be! There was a live band that was playing various types of music. From traditional german drinking songs to American hits like Sweet Caroline and YMCA. It was quite the mix. The hall was probably a bit smaller than a football field and it had tables with bench seating lining the entire way. Up toward the front of the hall, close to the band, all of the people were standing on the benches of the tables. Dancing and singing with beer stein in hand, it was quite the atmosphere. Most of the people up toward the front were between 16 and 25 years old I would say, most were dressed up in the traditional german lederhosen (leather pants) or dirndls (dresses). We decided that we wanted to eat here and take in the party. We each ordered our drinks, we all had Radlers, which is a beer/lemonade mix. We ordered a huge spread of food which included half a chicken, pig knuckle (IT IS PHENOMENAL), potato salad and a few other meats and dumplings. We hung out at the party for a few hours, enjoying the music and taking in the sights and sounds. We eventually went back to the subway and headed back to the hotel for the night.

The 2nd full day in Munich was supposed to be raining on and off throughout the day, so we decided to go take a walking tour of the downtown area and would dodge into souvenir shops when it would start to sprinkle. We grabbed lunch at the local outdoor market and continued exploring the city. Eventually, we then headed over to the Deutsches Museum, which is the science and technology museum. We spent a 2.5 hours checking out the exhibits and we could have been there for 2 full days, we just didn’t have the time. We then walked back across town to the famous Hofbrauhaus for another traditional german meal experience. We again enjoyed the culture and music as they had a brass oompah band, the food was great too! We walked through some palace courtyards on the way back to the hotel.

This was our final full day as a family in Germany as my parents were flying back to Michigan the next morning. We had a great time exploring a big chunk of Germany. We were up in Berlin and visited a small town where some of our ancestors once lived. We stopped in at Wittenberg and Nuremburg to take in some German history. We crossed the border into Austria to experience life up in the Alps in Salzburg. We made our way over to visit some castles in southern Germany, as well as made our way to the top of the highest mountain in Germany. Ending our trip in Munich was a blast as we really were able to get in the thick of the culture, visiting Springfest and the other beer halls. Bryan and I have another day left in Munich before we fly out tomorrow. We are checking out of our hotel after our parents leave and will make our way to the hostel we will be staying in for the night.

Munich, we have one more night…



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