The love supreme

17.2.15

Europe 2014 - Munich - Germany

19th and 20th  October ..

So this morning we spent wandering the beautiful streets of Lucerne...
We had loved Switzerland.... but the next adventure was about to begin...and we were SO keen to see what Germany had in store for us.

So our first train was from Lucerne to Zurich.... and that was very uneventful...
it was on arrival in Zurich that we discovered our train to Germany was cancelled due to a German rail strike.
After a few frantic discussions ..all doing our best to decipher the language translation we followed the instruction of a local authority and boarded a train to Bregnov which was hopefully going to connect with another local train into Munich.



At some stage during the trip a conductor walked through the carriage advising all passengers wanting to get into Munich to disembark at the next station as they had a bus waiting...so we took a gamble...listened to his advice...and found our way to a waiting bus.

The bus trip was long...but scenic... and true to their word...we eventually arrived in Munich at around 6pm.

Our Motel (Kings Hotel) was crazy...a good crazy....

check out the ceiling above the bed...and the way the linen is on the bed.

Once we were settled in to our rooms we grabbed a map...
and started walking in search of the Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall... enjoying the sights of Munich by night along the way...



it took awhile..and a couple of stops for directions...but eventually we stumbled across it...and grabbed ourselves a table.

The menu is (here)

The beer Hall is so huge... apparently I read on a google search that it can seat 2700 ... not sure if that's accurate...but it was HUGE..
Its also very noisy... with that many people seated...talking...plates...beer steins...wooden tables...and an oompa bans playing its really difficult to talk at times.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience though.



Out of interest....the Haufbrauhaus Beer Hall is one of Munichs oldest beer Halls...founded in 1589.
So with our bellies full...actually quite over full...we walked on home to our crazy little royal palace for the night.

I had the WORST night sleep of the entire trip.... the German wine...or food didn't agree with me at all...I itched like mad...and my stomach was bloated....my sensitive allergy body just didn't agree with something. I was dosed up on antihistamines for the day.

So this morning we headed out the Dachau Concentration camp.... 
I don't think an of us were prepared for just how sobering and sad this would be.
Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany and it was intended to hold political prisoners and Jews but was eventually opened to all prisoner.
In the twelve years of its existence over 200,000 persons fro all over Europe were imprisoned here and in numerous subsidiary camps. More than 41,500 of them died, 
On April 29 1945 American troops liberated the survivors.
(taken from the Dachau guide)

"Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the so-called tree or pole hanging, and standing at attention for extremely long periods. There were 32,000 documented deaths at the camp, and thousands that are undocumented."

These are the main gates - "Hard work will set you free"
(We were not long home from holidays and these gates were stolen!)
This was the first sight as we entered...

This barrack was reconstructed on the site... it shows how life in the camp was...
There were originally two rows of 17 barracks... (now other than this one barrack) only the foundations remain.

You can see the rows of foundations here...

...and this photo shows the actual layout of the barracks..


...and these were the bunks inside... each of the barracks was designed to hold 200 prisoners but by the end of the war each barrack was catastrophically overcrowed with up to 2000 prisoners.


This is the international memorial within the camp.


This "the bunker" (the camp prison) was a terrible place....eerie and cold...
The stories of the punishments handed out here were sickening.


At the rear ..and through the gates was the crematorium area...

"The crematorium was initially built because the number of deaths had risen. 
A second crematorium was also built with four furnaces and a gas chamber for mass extermination however this was never put into operation. Executions and murder operations were though carried out in the crematorium." (source - Dachau camp guide)

When the American soldiers arrived to liberate the camp this room was piled to the ceiling with corpses. 
By this stage of the visit we were all feeling so touched by the sights we had seen and the graphic depictions ...stories and photographs.... we were speechless.. Dachau had etched a little mark into our hearts and would never be forgotten.
Just some of the furnaces...
So that was our visit to Dachau
.... amazing .. memorable...but not in the same way of anywhere else we visited.

The afternoon was spent in the Munich centre..mainly around the Marienplatz - we wandered the shops eagerly waiting for 5pm to see the Glockenspiel.
 The Glockenspiel at the top of the New Town Hall in the Marienplatz dates to 1908.
Every day at 11, 12 and 5 pm is chimes and re-enacts two 16th century stories. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life sized figures. The show lasts 12 - 15 minutes.

Other sights during the day..
...the beautiful interior of this church..
bikes....bikes....bikes...
Germany we loved you....
Early night tonight... we needed to re-pack our bags....and get ready for our early flight to London.

3 comments:

  1. we really enjoyed Munich when we over here many, many years ago.....I couldn't got Dachau though, would've been too upsetting....the Art Gallery there was fantastic.....Van Gogh's Sunflowers were something else to see!!! looks like a trip of a lifetime....

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    1. Oh Wow! So lovely to know someone who has travelled to Munich. Did it look familiar to you? Yes Dachau was very upsetting...and unsettling.... I feel touched always by what we saw there.
      About Van Goghs sunflowers I had NO idea they were there...if only we had known we could have easily made time for a visit there.. So so much to see...no amount of planning captures every detail..it just leaves us something to see if we are ever lucky enough to go back.
      Mardi x

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  2. I spent 9 weeks in Bavaria in 1997-1998 as a 16yo on an exchange. I loved getting the train into Munich on weekends and the Marienplatz was stunning. I could sit and stare at it for ages. I was lucky enough to be there for the Christkindlmarkt (and also in Nuremburg) http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/home_en/Tourist-Office/Events/Christmas and oh my goodness, amazing. If you do ever go back...brave the cold :)

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