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Weekend 2: Munich June 18, 2013

Posted by kmneuberger in Travel Log.
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This past weekend I took a trip to Munich, Germany with Katie Pokrant, Jessica Helms, and Gloria Lozano.  Unbeknownst to us we would later be joined by two other GTLers, Charlotte and Colleen.  We left GTL and headed to the bus stop.  As we are boarding the bus we see four GTL students running to catch the bus.  It was Colleen, Charlotte, Neil, and Adam.  Neil and Adam needed to get on a train in 30min (the bus ride takes about 25) and Collen and Charlotte were not completely sure of their weekend plans.  Apparently the two girls were planning on taking a day trip to Luxembourg but at the last minute decided to go to Munich.  We decided to include them in our plans and told them they could ride the train with us.  The only downside to our plan was that our train would arrive at 6:00am.  Once we got off the bus we decided (as we always do) to get kebabs before getting on the train.  Here we ran into another group of GTLers headed to Munich as well.  Our train schedules appeared to be a little different but we all decided to stick together.  Our train ride consisted of 3 trains with 2 layovers (each about an hour long).  These trains and layovers were running through the middle of the night.  During the first layover we ventured out of the train stations in search for food.  We found a little pizza place right near the train station.  During the next layover (at around 2am) we went into a bar that was attached to the train station. We were lucky to be able to go inside since it was so cold outside.  Eventually we paid and went back outside a few minutes before our train was to arrive.  Unfortunately there was about a 30min delay on our train and we had to wait it out in the cold.  Eventually the train came and we had about 4 hours until we arrived in Munich.  Most people easily fell asleep on the train but I was kept awake by and uncomfortable chair and a man snoring, very loudly, behind me.  At last we arrived in Munich! It was 6am and we headed into a Burger King for warmth and some free wi-fi.  The hostel that we were staying in was in the city of Dachau so we would have to take another train.  Colleen and Charlotte decided to come with us as they had no hostel plans yet.  The next train leaving for Dachau was not for another hour so we went to Starbucks for some breakfast.

After a long night of trains and no sleep I was so relieved to be heading to our hostel.  The hostel did not open until 7:30am but we knew it would take us a while to find it.  We got off the train and had about a 20 minute walk to our hostel.  When we got inside the women told us we could shower and store our things in the luggage room until check in that afternoon.  Once we were freshened up we headed to the Dachau concentration camp.  I had visited the concentration camp before when I came to Germany in 10th grade with my high school band.  The experience was still meaningful as I relieved the emotions of walking into the camp.

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The sign that you see upon entering the camp says “Work Brings Freedom”.  All the prisoners who walked through the gate read this upon entering.  I also walked over and saw the gas chambers and incinerator; I did not visit this portion of the camp when I came the firs time and it was quite an overwhelming experience.  Especially walking through the gas chambers.  Just imaging how happy those people were to be able to shower and then to be sprayed with gas was horrifying.

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After we left the concentration camp we headed into the city to grab some lunch.  We had a little time before we thought we could check into our hostel.  I had a delicious dinner and was looking forward to a quick nap in a real bed.  Unfortunately when we arrived at the hostel we read a sign that said we could not check in until 16:00 (4:00pm).  The hostel was basically deserted and our bags were still locked in the luggage room, so we did what anyone would do, we took a nap.

We happened to be in Munich the perfect weekend.  It was the Champions League final, Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund.  We knew watching the game with the locals would be one of the highlights of the trip.  After we checked in we took a train from Dachau back to Munich; we saw hundreds of people decked out in Bayern Munich gear all ready to cheer on their home team.  We decided to take a walk through the Englischer Garten (the famous beer gardens).  Here we ran into some fellow GTL students.  After some pictures in the park we left to find a bar where we could watch the game. The people had the name of a street were the most people would be.  As we walked onto the street I was amazed at everything happening around me.  Every single bar ( and there were tons on this road) was packed.  With a full inside as well as one or two TV outside for people to watch.  We eventually found a place and sat down.  The girls and I had not yet had dinner so we decided to order some good German food.  And that is exactly what we got.  I ordered meat loaf and potatoes.  That and a liter beer was the perfect meal to sit back and watch the soccer match.

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During the game Bayern Munich scored twice and each score was more exciting than the last.  The bar exploded, everyone jumped up and around cheering for the team.  The Bayern Munich team ended up winning the game! It was such an amazing experience walking down the street watching the people of Munich so happy that their team won such an important game.  Winning the Champions League final is probably a bigger deal than winning the Super Bowl.  The streets were shut down to cars because people stormed the streets to celebrate.  After we walked down the street, joining in the celebration, we decided it was time to head back to our hostel.  Not having a real night sleep the night before was really hitting us, and we had to talk a train back.  When we got back we realized the buses were no longer running, so we had about a mile walk in the dark.  When we got back we all immediately fell asleep.

The next morningwe only had until 1pm, when we needed to be on our train.  We decided that we needed to go to Hofbrauhaus.  It was experience we couldn’t miss.  I had also been to Hofbrauhaus when I came to Germany in 10th grade but obviously couldn;t have the full experience if I didn’t have a liter of beer with my meal.  I ordered a dark Bavarian beer that was really good.  My meal was also delicious.  For my main dish I had pork sausage and sauerkraut and for dessert I has apple strudel. Yum!

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After a very filling meal we headed back to the train station for our journey home.  We meet up with two other GTLers who joined us on the trains.  This weekend was a little different than the others.  It was much more of a cultural experience than a “lets see all the touristy things”.  I really like the change of pace, it was perfect for our two day weekend in Munich.

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