I have been in Munich the land of beer for the few days and Munich is fantastic!!! It is one of my favorite European cities that I have visited so far. We landed about 20:00pm and we were here to have a little self deserving break before the madness of Christmas so I booked myself & my friend into Le Meridian Hotel which I had managed to get a great deal on. The hotel was fantastic and being a 5* our room was massive we had a huge flat screen TV not that we planned to watch much TV but great for a bit of background noise..
As we arrived in the dark we couldn’t be bothered to head into town as we didn’t want to get lost so we headed down to the hotels bar for a drink, we started out on the cocktails although a little pricey they certainly hit the spot, next came the German Beer. Munich is the Beer capital of the world, the beer is stronger and served in 1 litre glasses, after two glasses we were pretty hammered and ended up chatting nonsense to the barmen and some other English tourists we eventually hit the sack at around 1am
After a fabulous nights sleep we went down for breakfast which was huge. We then headed into the city centre. The city itself is amazing. Although most of it was bombed in WW2 the entire city was rebuilt on the original plans and you can’t tell the difference between the bits that were left over from the War and the new areas. We walked to the Marienplatz and the first thing we saw was the giant town hall and clock tower. It was approaching midday when we got there so we waited to hear the clock strike12 and exactly at 12 we were greeted with a lovely serenade from the clock it sounded like there were at least 20 different bells inside the tower because it was able to play a whole song melody. The little characters decorating the clock spun around and after three movements, four rotations of all the characters and after about ten minutes we got a little bored and headed of but the clock was till going as we walked away I am not sure how long it chimed for!!
We then made our way to the Hofbrauhaus. A beer hall that was built in the 1580’s and was the model for the Oktoberfest area in Disneyland. It’s widely known that the Hofbrauhaus is a tourist trap but it still manages to maintain its status as an authentic Bavarian beer hall with sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels, and big busty blonde women in traditional dresses serving beer by the litre. Some of the darker stronger beers had the option of being sold in half litres , but mainly a litre was the smallest beer you could get. We were introduced to a new kind of beer called Radler, which was just like a shandy, but just what we needed after walking for a few hours.. After our beer and a pretzel, we headed to the Hard Rock Café, this my seem a bit strange but me & my friend whenever we got to a city that has a Hard Rock café we always go on the first night, we have been to a few now and always have fun and this one was no exception..
The next morning we enjoyed another huge breakfast and took the train to Dachau. Dachau is a small suburb of Munich that is unfortunately known for having the first Concentration camp set up by the Nazis in 1933. We weren’t sure what to expect from going to visit something so poignant but what we found was an extremely accurate depiction of what most of the concentration camps were like.
The offices stood at the head of the camp and to the left and right were the entrances and exits for the camp. Situated directly in front of the main office was the roll call yard, this is where prisoners had to stand in ranks and files whilst the roll call was taken every morning and night. Behind the yard were the foundations of thirty-two barracks which were separated by a road down the middle. Only the first two of these thirty barracks were reconstructed, the rest of the foundations had been filled in with gravel and left to show the massive size of the camp. Dachau was built to hold over 2,500 people but at one point in the camp there was over 30,000 people imprisoned. The tour took us two hours and we got to see the barracks, the religious memorials, and a sad and intriguing documentary about the camp and its history. We walked the crematoriums and the gas chambers. Although Dachau never used its gas chamber for mass executions it did use them on a handful of people for tests with execution in mind
After the tour of the building we were pretty somber and quite upset, we wanted to leave but realized that we hadn’t even seen the museum which was in the main building and was the majority of the memorial. The museum showed the rise of the Nazi party from when it started in 1919. We were then shown where the prisoners were registered, showered, numbered and introduced to the yard for the first time. There were exhibits with descriptions of daily life, and individual accounts of brutality in the prison.
After five and a half hours we got to the “human experimentation” part of the museum we decided it was time to leave. The museum shocked me into the realisiaiton that this happened in my grandparents life time and it made me sick to my stomach to think that people could be brain washed into doing stuff like this.. Could it happen in my lifetime God I hope not.. After Dachau we were not really in the mood to do much else so we headed back to the hotel where we could take full advantage of the Swimming Pool and Sauna before heading out for some traditional food and some more beer.
The next day we were heading for Neuschwanstein castle. This is the castle that Mr Walt Disney used to model the Disney fairytale castle on. I was pretty excited to be going to see the castle as it looks so pretty in all the pictures. The castle is located at the foothills of the Alps, I was mesmerized by the size of the mountains they are massive and it was a beautiful sight seeing the snow capped mountains against the blue skies.
Once we finally arrived at Fussen we had to catch the local bus to the stop where we can walk around the local area. The first castle we came across was where King Ludwig the 2nd lived in, during the early 1900’s. We reached the Neuschwanstein castle and it was so beautiful you can see why Walt Disney took his inspiration from . We walked up a huge steep path through the forest to finally reach the castle and when we finally entered it was just as stunning inside. The 3rd floor was never finished, as the King died, but the rest was detailed and decorated exquisitely. The King was obsessed with swans, and used it as his symbol so they were everywhere. After exploring the castle we headed out and went for a hike to climb further up a higher mountain it was a tough hike but the view of the castle, surrounding mountains, the lakes and the small towns in the distance was definitely worth it. That was the last thing that we did whilst in Munich we did sample some more beer in the beer houses and ate lots of sausage…
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