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Thread: Three go mad in Munich - Day 3 Dachau and Nymphenburg

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    Senior Member Mags's Avatar
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    Munich Day 3

    After yesterday's manic but fabulous day out in the Alps we opted for a later start today. We werent flying out until 9.25pm so we planned to leave our cases at reception, go off for the day and collect them at about 6pm. now when I say later, my two teens didnt think it was late enough. I set the alarm for 7.15am but they were absolutely cream crackered after yesterday's exploits. I finally extracted them from their pits and by 8.15 we had deposited our cases and headed into breakfast. I could barely watch Michael as he loaded his rye bread with salmon, cooked meats and God knows what else. I went for the rye bread, fruit and coffee and Kathryn had something similar. We then said our goodbyes to this lovely little hotel and were off.
    It was to be a much more sobering experience today as we were visiting Dachau concentration camp which is near the town of Dachau and just outside Munich. It was an easy ride from Laim station and in 20 minutes we were there. At the railway station the bus stop for Dachau was easy to find. There was a sign that simply said 'Concentration Camp'. We had decided that it was so easy to get there ourselves that it wasnt worth paying the 21 euros each for a guided tour. As we had a ticket that covered all rail and bus travel it didnt cost us any more.
    We arrived at Dachau and went straight to the reception area where we paid 3 euros each for the audio guides. They were simple to operate and at various points along the way we simply pressed a number and the information was available. I thought that the layout of the reception area was tastefully built. It is modern but fairly stark. The only things available to buy are books on WW11 and on the horrors of the Nazi era. Until recently you couldnt even buy a drink here, but now there is a small cafe with flowers on every table. It is just enough for it not to look like a commercial operation.
    With our audio guides and maps in hand we headed off (in the wrong direction!). A few minutes later Kathryn said 'Mum, where are you going?'. I am totally hopeless at reading maps, but I should have guessed that following the rest of the visitors was a good idea. As we walked towards the entrance to the camp it was almost like a black mood descended. No one spoke and on the gate ahead we could see the infamous sign 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Freedom through work) on the gate.


    There were signs to the side of the gate to mark the liberation of the camp by the allies.
    As we walked through the gates we could see the vast area ahead where the roll call took place each morning.



    After the war, the huts housing the prisoners were pulled down and now there are only two left. These have been reconstructed and are exactly as they were in the war years.



    The whole area was so bleak and stark and even on a beautiful day like today had an air of menace about it. However, it was something we felt we had to do and we are glad we did. We started with the museum to our right, which is a tribute to the brave people who were imprisoned and mostly died here. The pictures on the displays were horrific and I just couldnt post them here. At this stage I became a little panicky because I realised I had lost Michael and Kathryn. The place is so vast I decided to just keep going and hope that I would bump into them somewhere along the way. It took about an hour and a half to make my way through the museum and even at that, I didnt get to read half the displays or look at all the exhibits. The one that seemed to stand out was this bench, which the prisoners were tied to and lashed should they be guilty of the slightest misdemeanour (or even none).



    I could only imagine the suffering. Another exhibit was this tiny bowl that the prisoners used for their food. The photo doesnt do it justice but the area that contained the food was about the size of a fist.



    The whole experience was sobering and not once did I hear a noise as I made my way around. Just as I was finishing Michael caught up with me. We then headed back through the museum and found Kathryn. We were so shattered by all the displays and exhibits that we had to sit down. We went outside and sat in front of the memorial to the dead and collected our thoughts for about 20 minutes.



    We then made our way over towards the two reconstructed huts. En route we saw the long path where prisoners were marched down each morning towards the roll call area



    The huts were far too clinically clean so we only had to imagine what it would have been like in the foul, crowded conditions almost 70 years ago. These were what the beds were like. They were short and you can only imagine how horrific it must have been



    Latrines


    Wash Area



    It was all absolutely horrible but it was sobering in the extreme for us all.

    Ahead we could see the are where there was once a line of huts

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    Senior Member Mags's Avatar
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    We walked the length of the tree lined path along where the huts once stood. To either side were a line of watch towers and barbed wire and beyond that a ditch and water filled moat to prevent escape.






    At the end of the path were several churches a Carmelite monastery, a Lutheran church and a beautiful Russian Orthodox church.



    However, what we were to see next was probably the worst part of the whole Dachau experience. I did feel uneasy taking the few photographs. I did, but the Germans are totally open and coming to terms with the awful crimes of the past. They allow photography everywhere. Im not sure what I think of that but I did take a few photos of the area.
    As we made our way across the water fille moat we saw ahead of us what was the crematorium. This was the second crematorium built at Dachau, simply because the first was not enough.
    One in every three people who died here was Polish and one in two was a Catholic priest. At this stage it was almost too much to continue so we sat down again fro ten minutes and then continued.
    Before going into the crematorium, we noticed a pretty building off to the left. However it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary building.



    This was the first crematorium. The picture speaks for itself



    As we moved into the second crematorium, we knew it could only get worse



    Fumigation Cubicles



    Shower Room unfortunately this is not what it really was



    Nothing to say here



    Memorial to four brave British women who were murdered here



    I could not take the horror of all of this in. It was just too much. We had a look at the Jewish garden of remembrance when we left and rewalked the path along where the huts had been




    We walked back towards the reception area, leaving off our audio guides and left. What a tear jerking morning it had been. I couldnt say any of us enjoyed it but we know that we couldnt have come to Munich and not gone. None of us even spoke to each other as we went back to the station on the bus.
    We decided not to return immediately so we headed off to the shops near the station. I bought lots of pretzels to bring home and then we headed off to an ice cream shop nearby. It was honestly the best ice cream shop I have ever seen. The photo doesnt do it justice.


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    Senior Member Mags's Avatar
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    I think it was the only treat I allowed myself in Munich and I can tell you I was ready for it. After our ice cream, we headed back to Laim station as Michael wanted to have a sit down meal at the Hirschgarten (beer garden).
    First came the beer





    Then the food...
    This was mine. I wanted something that was typically Bavarian, but I didnt reckon on all the pork



    The sauerkraut salad that came with it was delicious and light




    Now I have to say that the Germans have gone one step too far when they mashed the potatoes. Potato dumplings are disgusting! Michael liked his but I thought they were like lead and left mine along with half the pork. I have to say that the meat was delicious but there was just too much.
    Michael went for a dish consisting of pig trotter, more p[ork of some kind and preserved duck. He absolutely loved it



    Kathryn had pork schnitzel which was very nice. It also came with chips.



    Now I could barely move after my heavy meal, but my two were ready for dessert.

    Michael had one of the scrummiest desserts I have ever tasted cinnamon battered apple fritters with cream and ice cream.



    while Kathryn had Bavarian Cream with kirsch (very nice too)



    With drinks, our meal came to just over 41 euros. It was very good value indeed.
    After sitting for a good half hour we headed over to Nymphenburg Palace for the last few hours of our trip. We decided we hadnt enough time to do it justice and wanted to just look around the grounds before the entrance. We walked the 10 minutes from the Biergarten to the palace. As we were about to go through the entrance, Michael noticed two police vans. The next thing I knew was my 'stupid' son was taking photos of a building with the chinese flag. I knew then that this was the Chinese Consulate. One of the policemen didnt look too pleased so I rushed my ds through the entrance at the speed of sound. He thought it was hilarious, but I thought we were going to be lynched and land ourselves in the cells for the night!
    The palace is the home of the now defunct royal family and is a sight to behold.







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    Senior Member Mags's Avatar
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    We had a look around the palace shop which I must say was lovely and sold very tasteful gifts. Kathryn bought two books on Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, in Japanese. I knew that the cashier would question her and she did! lol My dd is studying Japanese at uni, so she wanted to see how much she could really read. We left having had a lovely hour at the palace. We walked back towards the police and the Chinese Consulate as there was a coffee shop on the other side of the street. Michael wanted to take more photos but I was having none of it! We sat in the September sunshine and enjoyed our drinks. We then headed back to the hotel and collected our suitcases. We arrived at the airport at about 7pm and by 9pm were on the plane. We landed at Stansted at about 10.30pm and half an hour later we were back. I can safely say we were totally flaked but we all had a fantastic time in Munich. I only hope we can return again some day soon as there is still so much more to do and see.

    Margaret

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    I believe photos serve a great purpose in life, whether they are of happy, wonderous occasions or of tragic, heart breaking buildings that hold history within their walls....photos help us remember. May we never forget. Thank you for sharing them with us!

    A beautiful palace and look your daughter is smiling!

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    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    You'll forgive me please? I could not get through all the photos. I got only as far down as the bench that was used for torture and couldn't go any further.

    I have read much, too much in some respects, and have concentration camp survivors in my family, but I can no longer look on the horror that was the Concentration Camps.

    Thank you for sharing Mags. It's important to be strong.






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    Thank you for honoring the lives and memories of those who suffered and died in Dachau. That you did so is a sparkling bit of light to keep that horrible darkness from returning to our world ever, ever again.
    Such difficult images, and weighty silences there. I had a hard time looking at them, and I don't have the personal connection that Tink does...I can't imagine what that feels like. Worth documenting, though. Thank you again.
    Love isn't about finding someone you can live with.
    It's about finding someone you can share a lifetime with.




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    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vixynne, post: 168236
    Thank you for honoring the lives and memories of those who suffered and died in Dachau. That you did so is a sparkling bit of light to keep that horrible darkness from returning to our world ever, ever again.
    Such difficult images, and weighty silences there. I had a hard time looking at them, and I don't have the personal connection that Tink does...I can't imagine what that feels like. Worth documenting, though. Thank you again.
    Beautifully said, Vixynne.






    Welcome to our new home! It's a lovely and friendly place. If you haven't joined yet, do register. It's a great place to make friends and share all those Disney secrets!!

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    Senior Member Mags's Avatar
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    You know, it was a hard hard day.We thought long and hard before going to Dachau, but we are glad we did. I would have felt so much guilt knowing that we were staying only minutes away from a place where so many people were tortured and murdered. It was a heartbreaking experience and we shed many a tear but it had to be done. We felt shell shocked at the end. Our trip was a mixture of fun, culture and some of the most fantatsic scenery in the world, but the final day was sobering. We will never forget the debt of others paid to make us free. Thank you for your comments Tink and Vixynne. Tink, I can not blame you for not reading it all when your own family have suffered so much. xx

    Margaret

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    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    I agree with you one hundred percent, Mags. I do believe we owe it to those who suffered so very much, to go to the sites, the museums, places where these horrors happened. I would like to think that I would have the strength to do what you did, if I were visiting there.

    I just don't know. I know that I cannot visit the Holocaust Museum in DC, nor even the smaller ones here in Florida. I blame it on having read so much on it, actually studying that period in history. That and the family recollections. Let's not discount age either, eh? The older I get the more sensitive I seem to have become (it used to take a brick to the head, you know? ) and the more squeamish.

    All that to say thank you for going and sharing.






    Welcome to our new home! It's a lovely and friendly place. If you haven't joined yet, do register. It's a great place to make friends and share all those Disney secrets!!

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

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