Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Austrian landscape went by the window - Green grass hills then turned into deep valleys where streams in a light blue weaved their way in and out of towns with an array of churches, cute wooden houses stood with flowers dripping from their flower boxes, an abundance of trees were dotted along the hills then parting to make way for the snowy mountain peaks. We were soon in Germany, Munich actually the home of the glockenspiel, the largest beer hall in the world Hofbrauhaus and an abundance of culture! 
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As soon as I started walking the streets of Munich I feel instantly in love with the ambiance in the air. The architecture, the lovely people, the sheer feeling that wafts through the air as you walk around the streets, walking past the Residenz and seeing the Isator (aka the oldest gate in Munich - Or standing in the heart of Munich, looking up to the sky with the rising tower of the new town hall and then seeing the glockenspiel sitting right to the top of this whimsical building. 

The beer is flowing, the pretzels are baking and the sausages are crackling! The Hofbrauhaus, the largest beer hall in the world and of course the home to none other then the Oktoberfest is a must do. While seated with the curved wooden roof, the dim light creating the perfect atmosphere to converse, enjoy that sausage platter with sauerkraut all the while struggling with trying to pick up the stein so you can take a swig from it. I being there felt like I was experiencing what Germany was all about while watching the traditional dancers and listening to the traditional music all the while surprising myself that I drunk that much of my Randle. 

Walking through the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp just outside of Munich was immensely overwhelming. Dachau was opened on the 22nd of March 1933, in the abandoned munitions factory near the medieval town of Dachau and was described as the first camp for political prisoners. When first opened it was said to hold 5,000 prisoners but soon the prisoners were forced into severe labour to to expand the camp and saw it eventually imprisoning Jews, ordinary Germans and Austrian criminals - after 1942 the numbers exceed 12,000 prisoners. Made up of several buildings that once housed the prisoners with rooms that were meant for 30 people soon housing 200, several spots where old buildings once stood remain as a sign to how huge this camp once was. Across the creek stands the most disheartening of all buildings within Dachau - This red bricked building houses the gas chamber or what the prisoners were told were showers (that apparently were not used) the cremetaion ovens and the killing room. Simply being in or around this building made me sick to my core as did simply walking around the sight as you knew what took place there many years ago. 

Something out of a fairytale is the best way to describe the Rhine Valley. Fortresses and castles alike dotted the luscious green hills that create a perfect backdrop to the little towns full of wooden houses and the river Rhine flowing rapidly through. Staying in a fortress perched right on top of a hill overlooking the Rhine Valley was utterly breathtaking, views that were never-ending towards the horizon, watching the sunset as you take in the hustle and bustle of the German life unfold on the river and in the centre of the town. 

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