Trip Start Oct 06, 2005
Trip End Oct 25, 2005

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I only have a day and a half to see Munich.  I've got plans to meet Juergen and Steffi on Friday in Regensburg, and I'll spend the weekend with them touring Bavaria.

Munich was mostly destroyed during the war, so most of the buildings that are old have been rebuilt.  The rest is a thoroughly modern city with an excellend transportation system. So far, all of the cities have metros/subways except for Bratislava which is relatively smaller. 

Once again, I bought the 3 day ticket so I don't have to mess with change or standing in line for rides.  The passes are good on all buses, trams, and metros.  I paid a little extra so I could reach Dachau, which is in the suburbs of Munich.  The trip lasted a half hour and I rented an audio guide, which are much better than real guides.  You just plug in the number of the exhibit and get a detailed explanation.  I love those things.

Dachau was a German concentration camp where jews, political dissidents, and undesirables were sent.  Many were killed here. It was a sombering visit.  I always visit these sites when I travel: The Killing Fields in Cambodia, the Terror Museum in Budapest, the Ayodya  temple massacre, etc.  I'm drawn to these sites where genocide occurs for some reason.

Back in Munich, I went to the Residenz, where the Bavarian Wittelsbach rulers lived and ruled.  It was rebuilt after the war, but it was amazing to find that out.  It looks great.  And of course I stopped in the Hofbrauhaus, the most famous beer hall in the world.  I poked my head into the Ratskeller nearby.  Anyone who knows Madison has been to the Memorial Unions's Ratskeller.  A Rathaus is a German city hall, and the skeller, or cellar, is usually a bar/restaurant.  Most Bavarian cities have a rathaus and ratskeller.

And of course I watched the Glockenspiel at noon.  That's the big clock in the tower of the Rathaus in the main plaza that has animated figures that turn around the clock.  Fun, but in this fast-paced technology age, I soon lost interest.

On Friday, I took a train an hour and a half to the beautifully preserved town of Regensburg, NE of Munich. This is the city where the current pope was the Cardinal, and they're damn proud of it.
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