Monday, January 3, 2011
Monday, December 20, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
So yesterday was my last day in Munich. I didn’t get my time to walk around and see the city because I spent my time going to Dachau and also to the Disneyland castle. So before I left, I decided to do a free walking tour which had been recommended to me by many travelers.
All I can say is that I am very very happy I went!!! I am not a history buff by all means, and I am the first to admit that my history knowledge is HORRIBLE!!! Sure give me a math equation to solve; I can do it just fine. Ask me anything about history and I have no idea. But on this tour, I learned a whole lot more about Germany and it’s history then I ever remember leaning. I understand that this tour was given by someone living in Munich so maybe it is a little bias, but I will share some of my newly learned knowledge.
To start off, Munich is located in the German state of Bavaria. Bavaria is currently the only state which is pretty much separate from the country. It has it’s own laws, police force and even constitution. Side note-the constitution states that you can drink 1 liter of beer while on the job and not get fired!! After WWI, Bavaria wanted to fully break free from Germany and become it’s own. This so happened to be the time when Hitler started to be recognized. Hitler heard that Bavaria wanted to break away and called separate meetings with all departments of Bavaria and forced them to join his party. Which is now called the ‘beer hall putsch’ (check my spelling, I got the name just from a tour guide so I don’t know spelling). A huge fight breaks out between the police and the Nazi’s. Bavaria did not break away. This also now just put Nazi’s on the map. And Hilter was arrested and sent to jail where he writes his famous words that gets him out of jail early which gives him the ability to rise to power. So in all, this one incident was a huge breaking point for WWII.
I already explained that I am not a history buff. But I learned a little further into the story. Everyone knows what happened during the war. But what I didn’t know was that the end of the war led to the birth of Israel! (I guess I just thought Israel was always there) Israel was a part of land taken away from Palestine so the Jews leaving Germany would have a safe haven. The Palestinian people were not happy about losing their land.
Right about this time, here come the famous Munich Olympic games. The Palestine’s kidnap the Israeli team and starts the whole Palestine-Israeli war!!!
I am coming to my room a little early tonight so I can talk about today. Although I am writing this in Word to transfer to my blog because the internet connection does not work up here in the room.
I woke up this morning and had my all you can eat breakfast at the Frankfurt hostel. Their breakfast consists of strawberry yogurt, choice of cereal-I believe corn flakes and raisin bran or something with raisins in it, assortment of breads with butter jelly nutella and ham salami and what I considered the swiss cheese version of your Kraft singles, hard-boiled eggs, choice of juices water teas and coffee. Not sure if this is your typical German breakfast. It was good, just a little different I guess.
I really liked Frankfurt and the things I saw there. Some things I forgot to mention… I liked that they had café’s all surrounding the streets with tables outside. On a cold day, most of the chairs outside had fleece blankets on them. Just a nice gesture to help keep you warm. I know one restaurant I have seen that at was at Silver Fork up Big Cottonwood.
After breakfast, I hurriedly checked out and went to the train station which was literally a 2 minute walk. I found the train headed to Munich.
It took about 3 or so hours to get here. I made it right to my next hostel. I got there a little too soon for check-in which is at 2 so I dropped my bags, grabbed the directions and back to the train station I went.
My destination- Dachau
This was the main reason why I decided to come to Munich. When I was younger, I remember reading ‘The Hiding Place’ and instantly fell in love with the whole concept behind WWII. Ok, not the concept in the bad, but in the fact I wanted to know more. Also then came Schindler’s List. Great movie, one you just can’t watch often.
So this was my chance to finally see it a concentration camp in person.. WOW… I don’t know how to describe the feeling that you get there. Your first step into the camp is through the metal gates that read something like “through these gates, you will be free”. (that is the English meaning) The second you walk through, it is the weirdest feeling.
One of the main and largest buildings is set up as a museum filled with paintings and pictures and descriptions of what happened where and accounts from both the SS and the prisoners. I said early, I don’t like museums.. I take that back, I don’t like art ones so much, I don’t see the big deal about art, but this is a whole different story. That main building was built by the prisoners and each room had a discription about what the room was used for.
I saw things like the main shower room, the room where all prisoners were told to take off all clothes and get showered down, they had holding rooms and all. They had the barracks set up do show you what the living conditions were. But in the back was the worst… the kremetoreum.. Just seeing those rooms gives you the chills.
In the camp, the have a few memorials one of my favorites was just a large sign that in 5 or 6 languages read “NEVER AGAIN”. After seeing this, I know it still happens all around other parts of the world, but really, something like this should never happen again.
At the end, my first souvenir of the trip, a Jewish star to wear on a necklace just to remind me of the things I felt today.
One a better note, after that trip, I met some Americans from NY on the train ride back and we had a GREAT German meal at a famous place which I have no idea what it was called!!! GREAT DAY!!
Off to see the Disneyland castle tomorrow!!!