Day 1: Friday, August 23
After a long train trip and a few delays, we arrived at the central station in Munich. Then we had to face the difficulty of finding the train that went to Munich. Munich’s transportation system is as large if not larger than Amsterdam’s. There are ICEs, which are the intercity trains; R-bahns, which are the regional trains; S-bahns, which are between the R-bahn and U-bahn in size (possibly suburban); U- bahns, which are underground trains with many stops. Then there are also trams and busses like in Amsterdam to cover short stops in the city and out in the suburbs. We rode every transit in our stay in Munich to get around. Peter even took us on the autobahn when he picked us up at the station to show off the finery that is a BMW M8.
We got ice cream (eis) with Peter, then returned to his house to rest for a bit. After a walk around a nearby park, Peter helped us lay out a great path through the city for the night. We took the train to Marienplatz and walked around the area, passing the Glockenspiel and Hafbrahaus on the way. We ate dinner at a local German pub kind of place that we absolutely loved. James got a beer on tap and I got a glass of wine. We split a plate of sausages and potato-salad, which is probably our favorite meal so far. After dinner we walked through the “cool” part of town and walked along the river. We didn’t get back to Peter’s till after midnight, but we still sat and talked with Peter and his cousins for a bit.
Day 2: Saturday, August 24
Today was the day we were to explore all of Munich. We started off the day in Odensplatz where we saw the Residenz and the Theatrekirche, which was gorgeous inside.
We then got lost on our way to Marienplatz and ended up near Wienerplatz, where a market the locals converge at is located. But we did find a local palace with a great view of the city to rest for a bit. We then found our way back to Marienplatz by tram. We walked through St. Peter’s kirche and marveled at all the relics. We finally found a drinking fountain outside of the kirche (church) to refill our water bottles! We got a meatloaf sandwich from a stand in Vitualmarkyt (spelling?) and found a salad at a local store. After lunch we headed toward the Englischer Garten. We saw the famous surfboarders on the river and walked past the Biergarten that is in the park.Afterwards we took the U over to Olympiapark and BMW land. We saw the Four Cylinders building and gawked at the cars in the BMW Welt. There were all the Minis, and the 2 series, 3 series, and ALL the electric vehicles like the i3 and i8. I was so excited to see them all.We ended off the day with dinner at a local Biergarten where we tried the Bavarian special and Bavarian meatloaf. I even enjoyed my first beer!
Day 3: Sunday, August 25
Today we went to Dachau before heading to Vienna. Since Dachau is a memorial, a place to remember and reflect, we did not take any pictures of the sight. We both took our time reading and looking at everything in the museum there, that we only made it through half of the museum. We saw a short documentary on Dachau and how it served as a model for the terror the Nazis unleashed at camps across the continent. I visited Dachau once before in sixth grade and I was overwhelmed by the tragedy that took place where I stood. Today when I walked in I felt that same overwhelming feeling, especially when visiting the Crematorium and Gas Chambers. But I also learned about how people survived there, despite all of the inhumane, unimaginable tortures they faced. None of the people I saw visiting today were old enough to be alive when these tragedies occurred, but we all were there to listen and learn. We must be the ones to speak out and uphold human dignity when we see it endangered. Where there was once darkness and pain, one can now see trees full of leaves, babbling brooks, and sunshine pouring down trying to cover, to hide the scar that Dachau is on history. We came to the site, learned, and were impacted deeply.