münich

After the wonderful two days spent in Berlin we headed to Münich early the morning of the 16th. We actually missed our original train on early Wednesday morning, because of this we did not arrive to Münich until around 5pm. At around 7pm we went to a restaurant that a hostel worker suggested, it was a famous Bavarian restaurant near to our hostel. When we entered the restaurant we were shocked to find long tables filled with people drinking beers and talking, it was a true German experience. It was exactly what I had originally thought Germany would have been like. I was unsure of what to do or where to sit and a waiter was not helping me. So, I asked a woman who was standing nearby me and she said “Come sit with us!” So, I though Lacye seemed a but apprehensive followed the woman to the table and sat with her and 5 men, all whom were speaking loudly in a language I could not understand. I quickly began speaking to a guy Who was in his early twenties who sat beside me, he did know some English so that helped. Micheal, the name of the young man, was very kind and it was great talking with and getting to know him better. I also talked to his friend Mattaies. The guys explained that they were both training to be Bavarian police officers and they were extremely friendly to both Lacye and me. Lacye and I each ordered and enjoyed a traditional Bavarian meal. I could not believe that we had gotten ourselves into this interesting, truly German experience. After dinner Mattaies and Michael volunteered to show Lacye and me around Münich. Though this sounds strange, I am good at detecting people’s authenticity, so I knew the two young men were trustworthy. They showed us various historical points in the city and we enjoyed great conversations. The next morning Lacye and I headed to Dachau, to tour the first World War II concentration camp that ever existed. I have studied about the holocaust for years yet nothing could have prepared me to step foot into the gates where so much torture and murder took place. We arrived to Dachau concentration camp after a train and a 45 minute walk. Lacye and I both separated and walked through the tour with an audio guide on our own. It is something someone should experience without others, it’s a very difficult, eye opening, individual experience. The tour took around 4 hours and was not a pleasant experience. I began with the outer grounds, then did the museums, then toured the inner grounds where the victims slept, worked and were tortured endlessly without any remorse. The most difficult part of the tour for me was the final portion when we walked through the crematorium and the gas chambers. It was unreal to see what I had only heard of and seen in books and movies. It was a very emotional experience standing in such an eerie place where so much murder took place, where so many innocent lives were stolen. The rainy, grey weather matched the horrid place we then stood in. Even thinking back to the death factory that I saw, gives me the chills. In the middle of the outer grounds there stands a monument for the lives lost. The worse thing about all of this is that there can be thousands of monuments yet nothing can ever change what happened and the pain that was experienced. At the far end of the concentration camp now stands a Carmelite convent where nuns devote their entire lives to prayers for the victims of Dachau and the holocaust. It was so strange to walk into all of the chapels that now stand in Dachau, it was strange yet somehow beautiful to see how various religions made sanctuaries side by side; a Russian orthodox chapel, a catholic memorial, and a Jewish monument; all united together.
After returning to the city Lacye and I went to our hostel and picked up our backpacks that we left in the luggage room. After picking up our bags we headed to the Christmas markets once more. This time we visited different ones that actually took place on the land that Oktoberfest took place just a few months ago. We went to various tents, most of which had live music. One tent actually had vegan “meat” sandwiches that I enjoyed, Lacye even got one and she loved it as well! It was well worth the five euro I payed for it. Around 6 or 7pm we headed out to the train station to make our way towards our next destination, Salzburg. Though our visit in Münich was short, I fell in love with the people and the city, I hope to travel back to Münich again in the future.
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love.

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