Dachau and Munich

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 Friday: Dachau and Munich

On Friday morning we got an early start so that Larry and I could get to Dachau as it opened and then meet Derek and Erin back in Munich for lunch.  So Derek and Erin went to the S-bahn station to help us buy the tickets we needed to get to Dachau.  They took off to find bikes to rent and ride around the city.  I was glad we were not doing that as it was rainy.

Larry and I took the train to Dachau which took about 20-25 minutes.  It is just northwest of Munich.  From the train station we caught the city bus out to the Camp.  It was a sobering experience in an atmosphere of hushed reverence for all that had happened there.  We started the outdoor audio tour just outside the visitor's center.  One of the first things we saw was the gate where prisoners first entered.  There was a reconstructed barracks that showed the change in accommodations as more prisoners were brought in than the camp was designed to hold.  We saw many memorials to those who died.  There was a Catholic chapel, a protestant Church, and a Jewish religious memorial.  These have been constructed in remembrance of those who died.  I was surprised to find out that there were three barracks just of Catholic priests.  At the back of the camp was the Carmelite Convent for the Sisters of the Sacred Blood which we visited.  The crematoria were at the back as well.  The newer crematoria also had a gas chamber, that was ever used.  The older crematorium was too small for all the people who died there and they had to build a new one.  There were several memorials to the thousands of unknown people who died there.  There was also a memorial, close to the main building, that housed the museum.  This memorial says, " NEVER AGAIN,"  in five languages. 

Next we went through the building which houses the museum.  It was a huge u-shaped building with lots of exhibits.  We didn’t listen to all the audioguide information or we would have been there for two days.  We got to the auditorium just as the English version of the film was starting, so we watched that at 11:30 and then headed back to catch the bus and train back into Munich.  We met Derek and Erin at the Ratskellar in the Marienplatz for lunch.  (I am writing this on Monday, the 30th and have already forgotten a lot of details.  So I don’t remember what we ate, but it was good.)  After lunch we went to see the courtyard of the Rathaus where the Ratskellar Restaurant was located.

During lunch Derek and Erin told us of their bike ride, partially in the rain, holding an umbrella in one hand and guiding the bike with the other.  They rode for three hours and covered a lot of the city including the Englischer Garden which they really liked.  There was a place on the river where people were surfing on the river!!  I would have liked to have seen that.

After lunch we went back out onto the Marienplatz and took some photos and then walked a block to St. Peter’s Church where we climbed the tower.  The view from the top allowed us to see all of Munich.  It was pretty clear and we could see all the way to the Alps.  Inside St. Peter’s there were relics of saints, like whole skeletons bedecked with jewels.  I really liked the sculpture of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus.

We decided to walk to the Farmer’s Market and have a look around.  I have never seen so much fresh produce, meat, flowers, and others things for sale, including a large area of lots of kinds of food to eat.  It wasn’t as big as Pike Market in Seattle but it didn’t have all the junk shops either.  Erin found a hanging to put on the door of her new condo which she closes on September 16.  Larry bought more honey to take home.  I got a great picture of Larry and Derek smelling fresh hops.

On the way to the next church we saw this really small BMW that is at least a foot shorter in height and length than a Smart Car.  It had one door that opened at the front.  The next church we visited was in the heart of the shopping district.  It is considered the most beautiful church in Munich but I can’t remember the name.  It definitely was true.  The colors were vibrant and there was a lot of gilting in silver and gold.  We were just a little distance from one of the gates of the old city so we went to see that and take a picture.  We stopped at one more church on the way back to Marienplatz which had a lifesize sculpture of the Last Supper.  The Glockenspiel went off at 5:00 and we had a great view.   We went back to the King’s Hotel for a rest.

Later, we went to the Hofbrauhaus for beer and fun.  We got a table near the UMPA band.  It was loud: the band and the people.  It is a big beer hall that serves beer in liter mugs and pretzels as big as a catcher’s mitt.  The band would periodically play a traditional song that everyone sang and at the end everyone toasted and drank more beer.  There was a man sitting at our table who was from Arbroarth, Scotland but who has been living and working in Germany for the last 20 years.  He was a real character and kept things lively all evening.  When we finally left it was about 10:30 and Derek and Erin wanted to get pizza which was on the other side of the train station.  By the time we got back I was really tired.

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