Now for the long entry. We spent four days in Munich. It was a great city; full of history, which of course I love. So, as I said at the end of my last entry, Wednesday March 19 we took a train from Füssen to Munich. When we got to Munich, it was snowing of course. It really would not be a vacation without lots of rain and snow. We could not check into our hostel rooms until after 4 pm, so we had a few hours to wander around the city. Basically, we hit up a bookstore for a few hours. We checked into our hostel and watched more MTV and sports for the night. While we were in Munich, Figure Skating World Championships were on, so it was much better than watching a bunch of European athletes I do not know.
Thursday, March 20, we went on a free walking tour of Munich. It was amazing, so many pretty buildings and so much random history. A lot of the tour had to do with Hitler and the Nazis, which got their start in Munich. First we watched the Glockenspiel, which is referred to by tourists as the most
Inside the Haufbrauhaus. The Bavarian flags are painted over swastikas.
overrated tourist attraction in Munich…it goes on and on and on for 15 minutes! We didn’t watch the whole thing though. Next, we stopped at Fraukirchen. It’s the big church where Pope Benedict XVI presided from 1977-1982 as Archbishop. Pretty cool. There’s a really long story that goes along with the church and how the devil helped build the church, but the architect tricked him. That’s all I’m going to write, because its really long, and it has taken long enough for me to get this far in the post. After church we went to the beer hall…hahahaha. The biggest beer hall in Munich is called Haufbrauhaus. It was the favorite hang out of the Nazis. This was the site of the Beer Hall Putsch, during which Hitler attempted (unsuccessfully) to overthrow the Bavarian government...this was all before WWII. He nearly killed himself during the Putsch…can you imagine how different world history would have been if Hitler had died then? After this we stopped at some other random places, all of which have been documented in my Facebook album of pictures (I also captioned the photos with a lot of detail…more than I’m putting in here). After the walking tour
the gate to Dachau that reads "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "Work will set you free"
we were a bit exhausted and went back to the hostel for some figure skating and swimming.
Friday, March 21 we went on a tour to Dachau. We actually had the same guide for Dachau as we did for the walking tour. Dachau was one of the first concentration camps. It was the only camp to be open all twelve years of the Nazi occupation. It opened the day after Hitler and the Nazis gained power and closed the day before Hitler committed suicide. Creepy. It was an emotional experience to say the least. There is not really much to say about it. I did not take many pictures, for obvious reasons. I do not really want to write a lot about it, I do not know how much you all want to know. If you want to know something specific about it, just ask and I will answer it in some way, shape, or form. I think I am the most glad to have seen Dachau out of all the places we saw on this trip. Not glad as in happy, but it was something I appreciated learning about. After we returned to Munich from the Dachau tour,
some of the really cool 1970s architecture
we did not feel like doing anything else and returned to the hostel.
Saturday, March 22, we visited the 1972 Munich Olympic Park. It was a lot of fun! The park was pretty and the building structures were bizarre. It was some really fabulous architecture for the 70s. The main reason we wanted to visit here (no, not for the sports) was to see the memorial for the eleven Israeli athletes who were killed by Palestinian extremists. Well, we saw the memorial, but boy were we disappointed. It looked like they took a piece of left over stone and carved names into it. There was a plaque, but it was in German, so I could only pick a few words out. After grabbing a quick munchie, we went to the Ice Sports Arena. Don’t ask me why there is an ice arena at the site of the summer Olympics. I’ve learned not to question the ways of the Europeans, it will just frustrate the heck out of you, just let it go. But anyways, we thought it would be fun to go ice skating…so we did. I haven’t been ice skating since I went with a bunch of friends
me in the Olympic Stadium
in high school (remember guys?). It was a ton of fun…neither of us fell, not even once! I was pretty impressed. And towards the end, we were going so fast, we were even passing people! After all the ice skating we did, we went back to the hostel, to watch other people ice skate.
Sunday, March 23, was Easter! It also happened to be the day we had to check out of our hostel and wait forever for our train back to France. Libby went to Easter mass with me. We went back to Fraukirchen. Mass was at 10, we got there at 9:30, not a good idea. There was no where for us to sit, so we had to stand in the back for TWO hours. Not cool. And then middle-age couples pushed me out of the way inch by inch until the only view I had was of the Pope’s plaque. But it was a cool mass, even though it was in German, and just a little bit difficult to follow…haha. The choir was amazing. Most of the music was composed by Haydn, so I felt like I was in the 18th century, I liked it a
really nice memorial huh?
lot. We finally got out of mass and really needed to sit down. As it was Easter Sunday, just about everything was closed, the only thing open for lunch, was McDonald’s. That’s right, my Easter dinner consisted of a cheeseburger, medium fry, and a LARGE coke (I splurged, it was Easter). After we finished eating, it was 1 pm and cold and our train didn’t leave until 8 pm. So what do we do? Walk around the city, take a few more pictures, and head back to church! Yep, there was Vespers at 3 pm. This time, we got there at like 1:30…so we got some gooood seats. It was a neat service though, all song. We had a little pamphlet with the songs, so we could follow along a little bit. It was easier when the song was in Latin because it was similar to French. At the end of the service, the choir sang Hallelujah Chorus…it was really good, as it always is. After the service ended, the choir came closer to the edge of the balcony and we could see who they were. They were a bunch of 10 year olds. We were astounded…they had just sung
me in the Ice Sports Arena
Hallelujah Chorus! It was crazy. After Vespers, we gave in and went to play the “train station game”. Its quite easy actually, all you have to do is find something with which to entertain yourself in a train station for 4 hours. Easy in theory, hard in practice. We were relieved when our train arrived and we could get to sleep. Again, easy in theory, hard in practice. We were on the train from Munich to Paris for about 8.5 hours, then we had to get ourselves to another Paris train station and wait for ANOTHER 4 hours for our TGV train to leave for Perpignan. It was not a fun/comfortable/enjoyable end of the vacation. But we made it back home safe and sound.
And now, we are preparing ourselves for our next vacation! Next Friday we leave for our tour d’Italie (Rome, Siena, San Gimignano, Florence) and France (Nice, Rouen, Normandy beaches, Loire Valley). We’re excited!!!!!!! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Otherwise I’ll probably next update after I get back from vacation.
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