The weather was the best it’s been all trip and we really took advantage of it today. I solidified my farmer’s tan too, so I’m going to look real great in Greece (sarcasm).
We had a later start today which was nice because we got to get a little extra sleep. Breakfast was a 8:45am and because it’s the same hotel as our hotel in Heidelberg, it was a similar breakfast with eggs and apples so I was happy. I swiped another apple for the road! Victoria is much more into the hard-boiled eggs and croissants.
We were on the road to the Dachau Concentration Camp by 9:15am and there by 10am. Like I said earlier, the weather was the definition of perfect. The kind of perfect where it’s warm in the sun and cool in the shade but never too hot. It was a somber visit though because of the content. We had an audio tour, which really makes you feel like a tourist, and it was actually great because it gave us so much more information than any of the info boards. It was an intense and educational visit; the site was so well done and the museum was great, even though we didn’t have much time to go completely through it. We did walk the entire site though and watched a very sad, graphic video of the events. I know a lot about the time period and Holocaust but it’s always as sad to see those things. I was surprised though at the number of people who don’t know that much about it. I over heard people talking about how they didn’t know how bad things were and whatnot and I just find that very surprising. I really enjoyed the visit though, as odd as that might sound.
We were back at the hotel by 1pm and headed straight to the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market in Munich. It was a busy area with a lot of people and several food vendors. I had the most awesome Fish & Chips! I didn’t want to get them because of the fries but then they brought out a fresh batch right before my order and I felt like they were just calling my name. It was delicious. We ate outside, still enjoying the weather, and then made our way to the Englischer Garten (English Gardens), one of Europe’s largest urban parks (larger than NYC’s Central Park too).
On our way to the English Gardens, we passed what we think was some type of protest involving tractors (tractor protest? farming protest?). There were hundreds of tractors lined up and people rallying with picket signs and everything. Based on the body language and behavior, it seemed peaceful but the German language always sounds aggressive so it definitely did not sound peaceful.
The English Gardens were beautiful and the nice weather only added to it. We were only able to walk through a small portion of it (so we could do everything we wanted to do today in enough time) but what we saw was still awesome. The garden was so large that there was no way we would have ever been able to get through it in a reasonable time anyways, but it sure would be nice to visit again. There were so many people out just playing sports, going on jogs/walks, and sunbathing. We even saw some people surfing the river by one of the bridges! The water was coming through the bridge at a fast speed and making waves so it was perfect for surfing. It was really cool to watch! I wish we could have seen more of it and spent more time there but with limited time in Munich, we had to move on.
We made our way back toward the market, this time to St. Peter’s, the oldest church in Munich. A few of us got to climb the 299 narrow and steep steps to the top of the tower (Victoria sat out!) and it was so worth it; the views were amazing. Plus, after climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, 299 steps seemed like no big deal. There wasn’t a lot of wiggle-room up there but I could see the city for miles in all directions. After the climb, the breeze up there was also very appreciated.
Next on our list was the Frauenkirche church to find the Devil’s footprint (spoiler alert: it was not difficult to find). The legend says that the devil tried to ‘stomp’ the chruch down but before he could, he realized there were no windows in the church which meant no people could go in… so he left, leaving just his footprint behind. The church, in fact, DOES have windows but from where he stood, it appeared as if there were none. So, we all stood in the footprint and got to see the windowless view.
We had some time before the Glockenspiel bell show at 5pm so we walked around the Marienplatz, the central square of Munich with several stores and shops, and bought our souvenirs. I had really been wanting to get a duffle bag so we stopped in TkMaxx (like TjMaxx, ha!) and picked one up, too. I still have not found a decently priced straightener yet… and we’re almost halfway through the trip so I might need to just give up. After some shopping, we got ice cream and then watched the Glockenspiel show. It was a cute thing to see but definitely anti-climatic. Now we can say we’ve seen it though, and that counts for something.
On our way back to the hotel to meet up with the group for a big group dinner, we searched for Kinder Eggs (chocolate eggs with a ‘surprise’ toy inside that are apparently banned in the US) and Haribo gummy bears. Luckily we found both at the train station! We the had a little bit of time to relax at the hotel before heading to dinner. Check out Victoria’s awesome sandals sunburn!
Dinner was back toward to the Marienplatz, an area we were all-too familiar with by this point. I won’t even try to spell the name of the restaurant we went to but it was some sort of biergarten with a set menu for us. For the non-vegetation option, we had sauerkraut, pork with a potato dumpling, and apple strudel. The vegetation option was some noodle/cheese dish but instead of sauerkraut they had a salad, and it looked delicious. I definitely had appetizer envy on that one; the idea of eating lettuce was so appealing! Dinner was good but I wasn’t very hungry so I mostly just ate the dessert… shocking.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to re-pack for another travel day tomorrow. We also pre-planned and bought tickets for our free time in Florence to get ahead of the game.
I loved Germany a lot more than I thought I would. It doesn’t come off as exciting as some of the other countries on our list but it definitely was one of the favorites. It’s tough to beat those scenic views and I’m sure finally having decent weather played a part but all-in-all, I really enjoyed it! Tomorrow, we leave Germany and head to Austria for a few days where we have a lot of fun things planned (e.g. white water rafting!). I cannot believe we will be on our 6th country already. Time flies!