Sunday, November 23, 2014


Our weekend continued with a overnight in Munich.  It was nice to get out of the countryside and be in a big city for a little bit.  According to the Lonely Planet travel book,  Munich was settled by Benedictine monks, and the city derives its name from the medieval word Munichen meaning Monks.  While visiting Munich we stayed at the Hotel Uhland and used the cities subway and tram system to get around; it was fun to figure out were we were going and what exit to get off at.  Although it probably added a little bit more stress to getting where we wanted to go.

We Visited the Residenzmuseum.  A Residenz is a suitably grand palace that reflects the splendor and power of the ruling families of the area.  There are residenz in many of the cities here in Germany, just as there are castles pretty much everywhere.    The Munich Residenz was home to the Wittelsbach family, who lived here from 1385-1918.

Bikes are everywhere in Europe.  

 Outside the Residenz

 Inside the Residenz. This is the dining hall.  The family was obsessed with collecting Greek busts and used this room to display their collection.

 In of the wings in the Palace.  My iso on the camera was off so sorry about the blurry pic.

 German food: it is so good (according to Jake).  This is lunch: Nurmberg brawts, sauerkraut and a pretzel!!! 

 St. Peterskirche (church). Here you can pay 2 euro and climb up the bell tower.  It was awesome.  It had a super skinny staircase and narrow halls to get to a 1.5 foot platform that rewards you with a 360 degree view of the city.  I recommend doing this if you go to Munich.

The View of Marienplatz Square, (old town square) with Altes Rathaus (old town hall).  the Glockenspiel is on the front of this building.  It is in the spire and is part of the clock and at certain times of the day 43 bells and 32 figures preform two historic events.  The top half tells the story of the marriage of the Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine. In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). Of course it is the Bavarian knight that wins.  The bottom half tells the second story of Schäfflertanz (the coopers' dance).  The myth is that the coopers danced in the streets to "bring vitality to fearful dispositions" during the plague which devastated Munich in 1517.  Unfortunately we were not in the square at the right times.  So here is a link to a video on youtube. the tour guide is pretty funny but the video is good. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dachau Concentration Camp

This was our first concentration camp experience and it was humbling to see the poor conditions that the prisoners had to live in.  Built in 1933, Dachau was the Nazis' first concentration camp.  It was built to house political prisoners.  By it's end there were more then 200,000 inmates and between 30,000 - 43,000 were killed here.  Words can not express the emotions that were felt here.  It is so hard to understand the systematic killing that took place here.

 International Monument designed by Nandor Glid, May 2007

 The role call grounds and the barracks for the prisoners

The crematorium 

Garden of Ashes: made from the ashes from the crematorium

If you would like to see the visitor website for more information here is the link.

This is also an excellent link to get the full tour of the camp.