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Kristen & Joe in Germany: Munich’s beer halls, lederhosen & oompa bands. And a visit t

After we left Berlin, we boarded the train for Munich.  It took us almost seven hours to get there.  I amused myself by reading, knitting, and making conversation with someone who worked in the cafeteria on the train.  Joe spent most of his time on the computer.  When we got to Munch, it was cold and rainy.  In fact, it was cold and rainy the whole three days we were there.  Once we dropped off our stuff, we headed downtown and walked around a bit.  We then headed to the famous Hofbrauhaus.

Munich is known for its beer halls, lederhosen, and oompa bands.  This had all three.  It is really touristy but really fun.  For those of you that have seen “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”, (the scene in wich the family goes to a beer hall and Clark starts a brawl after getting up on stage with the lederhosen clad Bavarian men), that is what Hofbrauhaus reminded me of.

The next day, it was still raining and dreary, but we put on our rain jackets and made the most of it.  We walked around town, listening to street musicians and then decided to walk through the large park.

The park had a river flowing through it and a couple of guys wearing wetsuits were surfing one part of it.  That was unexpected!

We walked for a whole and heard some music playing.  We followed the music and came upon a Chinese temple with a polka band playing on it.

 There were also all kinds of tables set up and lots of different kinds of beer and German food.  We stopped and shared a beer and I had sausages and sauerkraut before it started raining harder and we made our way back home.  Before leaving the park, however, we ran across a little girl in a wheelchair and Joe performed a couple of magic tricks for her and her family.  That was a very special moment for him.  When we woke up the next morning, it was still cold and rainy.  We decided to go to Marionplatz (the main square) to watch the Glockenspiel.  Everyday at 11 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm, it chimes and 32 life-size figures spin around the niche they are set into.  It is a huge tourist draw and Joe and I found ourselves wondering why.

After that, we headed to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.

Both Joe and I have seen images of the Holocaust and been to Holocaust Museums, but neither one of us have been to a concentration camp before.  It is very different walking the grounds and seeing where the victims slept and lived.

We saw the crematorium where the bodies were burnt and even stepped into the gas chambers where 150 victims at a time were killed in a matter of minutes.

It was very difficult (but important) day for us.  Dachau was the first concentration camp of Hitler’s administration, and it was the model for the rest of them.  Over 200,000 people were held in Dachau and its subsidiary camps.  More than 43, 000 of them died in Dachau.  My mind could not wrap around the human suffering that went on there.  This was our last stop in Munich.

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