Published: June 6th 2009August 22nd 2008
Mauthausen was one of the worst concertration camps, where sadly hundreds of thousands of prisoners were exterminated
Today was quite possibly going to be the most emotional day on tour, we got ready, packed our gear and headed for an Austrian Concentration Camp called ‘Mauthausen’. We took a short bus trip to the concentration camp and were given the option to watch a movie about the history of Mauthausen, every single person on the tour did it. The group sat and watched this deeply emotional film which described exactly what went on to the prisoners here. An hour later we emerged from the theatre most people holding back tears, we were totally silent. We had time to explore around the concentration camp and after getting a little lost Hannah and I eventually found the entrance. Unfortunately most of the information boards weren’t in English on them, but you knew exactly what went on here. It was an extremely emotional place, I didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did, I couldn’t get rid of the sick feeling knowing how many people were tortured and killed here.
Before we went in Jamie told us to take a rock from the Mauthausen because no matter how bad you have it or how bad you day is,
The entrance to the camp, where many came in, but never went out.
just remember what the prisoners in here went through. Both Hannah and I took a rock and put it in our bag. Next we continued on passed the number of different memorial’s scattered around the gardens and onto the stairs of death. There were 189 stone stairs which led down to the valley below, prisoners were made to carry extremely heavy boulders up & down for hours. Occasionally for fun, the guards would push them down the stairs, creating a domino affect which killed hundreds of prisoners as they climbed the stairs of death. Luckily both Hannah, myself and the other 48 people in our group made it safely down, no harm done. Eventually we all boarded the bus and left for our next destination, every one of us was deeply affected by this intense place.
We drove for another five or so hours until we finally reached our campsite in the city of Munich, but there was one problem, it was absolutely pelting it down with rain. As it eased off a little we frantically put our tents up as it continued to rain then most of us hid inside them, or the bus, away from the miserable
Exploring the grounds around Mauthausen Concerntration Camp
weather. I considered finally doing some washing but it was a silly idea in this weather. Once we were ready and changed into some new, drier clothes we all jumped in the bus and headed into town. Tonight we were enjoying dinner at a famous Bavarian Beer Hall in Munich. We arrived to find a packed beer hall with people everywhere, many of them in the traditional Bavarian Beer outfits, it was awesome. Finally we found enough seats and ordered a round of MASSIVE Beers from the waitresses dressed in the Bavarian dress, all the guys were loving this. We were also offered pretzels which were incredible. Half of the group ordered dinner, most of the gap students didn’t due to a tight budget, but the dinner was incredible, really good food. We ordered another round while we drank, ate and were being merry. After the second glass most of us were gone, we stumbled out of the beer hall because again we had to get a lift back to the campsite. After a fantastic night we arrived back at the campsite and fell straight asleep. Day 15:
Vienna - Munich
310 MILES TRAVELLED // 2720 TOTAL
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