Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fulfilling an IOU - Munich, Germany

After Schlotheim we will be on our way to Italy. Before we can get there, we need to catch our breath for a night, and Munich is as good a place as any!

Where we will sleep

The Tent (Hostel)
How long? 1 night
How much? €15 per night (2 adults, 1 motorbike). We need cash too - there is no Eftpos.
Check in? Anytime. You're supposed to be there before 5pm but we ticked a box to say we’ll be later than that arriving from Schlotheim.
Check out? 12 noon, but we’ll be off around 7am to try and get to Venice, Italy (6 hours away) by 4pm.
Why we chose it? We're staying in a giant tent-dorm, where everyone bunks in on sleeping mats. It's super cheap and its easy, which is important because we will arrive late after riding from Schlotheim and visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp on the way. The site has a beer garden, free wifi, a laundry, and a bar which serves breakfast and dinner.

What we want to see

Dachau Concentration Camp – Perhaps morbid, but I really want to see Dachau. I think it’s going to be beautiful in a way that the emotion and air of the place will cut deep. I feel like since we are in the area, we owe it to the people who suffered in the war to gain a little more understanding of what they went through. I wanted to go to Auschwitz because, as the most infamous of the camps, it has the best museum. To get there would have taken a day there and a day back because it’s quite far off our track, but Dachau is only 30 minutes outside Munich, where we are staying enroute to Venice.
€0 with a 3 Euro parking fee.
Opening Hours Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm. There is a 22 minute documentary that shows in English at 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm.

Residenz Palace - €6 for the Museum, Open 9-6pm throughout the Summer. It's unlikely we will have time to go the the museum this time as we're only in Munich for one night. With 100 rooms of history, it's a place I'd like to go back to.

Englischer Garten - A huge public park in the middle of Munich. It's like Central Park in New York except that the lunchtime crowd includes nude sunbathers.

Marienplatz Square - The heart of Munich and the base of the townhall, churches, and the famous Glockenspeil, which performs at 12 noon and 5pm.

A Beer Hall or Beer Garden. It wouldn't be visiting Munich without visiting a Beer Hall, right?

Once again there is a New Munich Tour, at 10.45am and 1pm for 3.5 hours each. As with all Sandemanns tours, it proves very difficult to book, and we won’t have time for it this time anyway.

What we are expecting

From Dachau, I’m expecting to feel something very deep and very different. When I was in New York City, my friends wanted to see Ground Zero, where the World Trade Towers once stood. I had zero interest in seeing it – why would I want to see a hole in the ground? New Zealand had nothing to do with what happened that day, I didn’t know anyone there or even in the states. I had a very negative attitude about seeing it, and a complete disinterest.

Ground Zero was on our way to Wall Street and to see the Statue of Liberty. My friends wanted to stop by it, so we did. I was completely changed the second we got there and I can’t explain why. Most of it was surrounded by construction fencing, with a small gap of wire fencing where you could see through. Nothing special to look at, it really was just a hole in the ground. But I felt different, I felt grief and I felt thankful and I felt changed. I can’t explain the feeling. No one can explain what love feels like until you feel it yourself, right? It was like that, no one could have explained the feeling until I felt it. That’s what I expect from Dachau.

As for Munich itself, we aren’t there for long. I expect it to be cold because I think most pictures I’ve seen of it have been wintery. I expect it to be a lot of brick buildings, not a lot of greenery. I expect a very social, jovial, busy atmosphere. A very loud, very friendly atmosphere, people laughing and enjoying each others company. And beer.