Deutschland

München

OUR time in Munich was split over two days with a trip to Dachau in between.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A two-part historic tour through Munich with our local guide, Kathleen.

  • Group dinner at the Paulaner Brewery.

  • Viktualienmarkt. It’s a 200-year old market in the center of Munich where they sell all sorts of meats, cheeses, produce, pastries, and flowers. I had never seen so many choices of olives before.

  • There is also, of course, the Biergarten at the Viktualienmarkt, where one of Munich’s six breweries is on tap for six weeks at a time. We had lunch there on our second day. You can buy your food from any of the stalls at the market. Omar ordered red bratwurst with cabbage slaw from one place. I ordered a white bratwurst on a bun with mustard.  That was best brat I ever had, too. We also got ourselves each a liter of Helles (light) beer.

  • Das Residenz – The Munich Residence palace museum, home to the Wittelsbach dynasty.

Oompah!

  • The Glockenspiel at the Marienplatz

  • Snack at the Hofbräuhaus. Still full from the brats and beer for lunch, we only ordered a half liter each of the Münchner Weisse and split a giant pretzel. But what was really cool about this place:

    • The oompah band playing off to the side

    • Spotting the highly-coveted beer stein lockers

    • Seeing a group of men dressed in traditional Bavarian garb

    • Meeting a couple of tourists from Switzerland, Patrick, originally from Kenya, and Antonio, who’s pure Swiss. They were on a five-day bus tour to Munich. It was Day 2 for them, and both days were spent at the Hofbräuhaus, haha! Antonio was already 2.5 liters in by the time we sat with them, too. Unlike their bus tour, our hotel was just a few blocks away; whereas, they had to take a 20-minute subway ride to get back to theirs. Thank you, Rick Steves, for the great hotel location!

  • Checking out cuckoo clocks. We had fun looking at all the different designs and their complications, but had no idea where we'd put it back home.

TRAVEL TIPS

  • It would’ve been awesome to visit a castle, like Neuschwanstein, but there just wasn’t enough time. From Munich, it’s almost a two-hour train ride, one way. It would’ve required another full day and some advanced planning.

  • Crossing the street. In Germany, pedestrians have the right of way, always. Jennifer explained that you could be stumbling drunk, walk into the middle of the street, and run into a car. It would still be the driver’s fault. So if you start to cross a street, you’ll notice cars stop and give you plenty of space. She also pointed out that many people in Germany have really nice cars, and they don’t want to get into an accident, either.

Oompah band at Hofbräuhaus

 
 

Adventures in German

There were only a few instances when we had to use German. Most of the people we came across spoke English well. This goes for both Germany and Switzerland. On occasion, we used it ordering food. But most often, we used it when greeting people.

Guten Tag/Guten Abend - Good Day/Good Evening; although in Munich, I heard and used Grüss Gott more often than Guten Tag. 

Bitte/Danke - Please/Thank you

Ja/Nein - Yes/No

And just like French, numbers come in handy, too. Åsa often gave us our hotel room numbers in the language of the country we were in. Germany was no different. So knowing our hotel room number was useful whenever we had to pick up our keys from the front desk.

 

WE met with Kathleen the morning of our second day for our tour of Dachau. She did a wonderful job covering such a difficult subject, and it was interesting hearing it from her perspective. What struck me the most:

  • There were hundreds of concentration camps during WWII. We only knew of the major, more infamous ones. But there were many types of sub-camps that existed, too.

  • Since the end of WWII, all 15-year old German children are required to visit the concentration camp closest to their home. When Kathleen's son went, she noticed how being from a younger generation he was more removed from what when on there than she was at that age.

  • Kathleen said that citizens of Dachau “carry a heavy burden.” If someone from Dachau goes on a road trip outside of Germany, they can obtain a temporary license plate. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting their car trashed or worse, if those from other countries see their license plates are from Dachau.

BEFORE & AFTER

Omar took pictures of Dachau as well as some of the displays. He used them to put together these "Before and After" images.

Below: Roll call area in the foreground with the guard tower and partially reconstructed wall in the background.

 

Right: Crematorium or so-called "Barracks X."

 

Dachau

©2017 by Rachel & Omar San Antonio.