Due to some pretty persuasive campaigning for a chance to see another professional European soccer team, we decided to spend our spring break at the end of March in Munich Germany. It was a much needed “refresher” for each one of us and we had an incredible trip. The one thing that never ceases to amaze me when we leave India and visit another country is how we see things so much differently now. We comment and appreciate things that we would have overlooked for sure had we be visiting the location coming from the United States. That is something of great worth in my eyes. So after the eight hour red eye flight, we started on our list of “things to see” in Munich and below are a few highlights from our six day trip:
BMW World — We took the tour of the BMW world and learned about the entire process of how one can arrive here to pick up their ordered vehicle. We oohed and ahhed over the models on the floor. We learned about the history of BMW and the incredible “world” they have created there in Munich. Some of the most interesting facts given to us were ones about the Rolls Royce. They had one on the floor and they told us some pretty amazing stories about some of the special orders they have received and the “hidden gems” found in the Rolls Royce. It truly is a remarkable place and we felt a little twinge of missing the “smells” of clean cars and feeling the power of being the one in charge behind the wheel. Let’s just say we weren’t there to take one back to India with us but it would be fun to stop and take one back with us when we head out of India.
Bayern Munchen Futbal — So the #1 reason why we chose Munich for our destination was based on the football match and even though Munich lost the game, the experience was not a disappointment. European football fans take their sport very serious and Thomas and Conner love witnessing it. The one thing different from London and Paris where they have seen other professional soccer matches, is that in this stadium, there was constantly someone “lighting up” to smoke a cigarette around them. I was glad I didn’t join them on this part. Let’s just say they came home ready to take a shower and get some clothes cleaned. Another thing that stood out to them was that 80,000 fans filing in and out of a stadium, and they couldn’t get over the orderly way it was all done — no chaos, no shoving past someone in lines– a definite nice change of pace for us. Brainstorming is already occurring on which location they need to catch a football match next year.
Neuschwanstein Castle — After a two hour train ride, a short bus ride from the train station, a hike up a mountain, meeting some interesting people in our tour group and sharing many laughs over our tour guide that couldn’t seem to get our group’s count ever right, we enjoyed an incredibly scenic view of Neuschwanstein Castle. The tour of the castle inside was honestly a disappointment as it was extremely short (20 minutes worth) and we only saw a few rooms, but the scenery and location was not to be missed. Since there was still snow on the ground, we had to climb over some fences to get to Mary’s Bridge where the best views of the castle were found. So refreshing to be in the mountains, breathe clean air and feel the crisp cool air.
Dachau Concentration Camp — Sobering and sad are the best words to describe this part of our trip. Germany has done a really nice job on keeping this as a reminder to never let such horrific things happen again. As we listened to the audio guide and to real life accounts of those that liberated the prisoners, it made one’s heart heavy realizing the pain and suffering that occurred in this place.
When the American soldiers arrived to free the prisoners, this is where they found such a horrific discovery that one soldier said he “couldn’t believe that he was still on earth — how could this have been allowed to happen?”
My favorite sign of the day — “Never Again”. I am impressed that Germany hasn’t tried to get rid of everything that reminds them of those dark days. Rather they have kept some of it to remind them to never let it happen again.
Munich City — we ate our portion of bratwurst and German pretzels, visited the famous HofBrauHaus, toured the City Palace and loved being in this European City. As a mother, it was also fun to show my children that I had learned to speak German at one time in my life and that I still had some of it. Conner told me he was officially impressed when I ordered the hamburger at Burger King pulling out the word onion in German to ensure his hamburger did not have one on it.
Proof they were finished sight seeing for the day. Okay, so maybe we aren’t going to able to cover everything we wanted.
Touring the City Palace. Below is the room that Hailey liked the most.
Thank you Germany for a very refreshing and fun Spring Break. We would definitely visit again!