Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 30: Munich


Late last night we boarded our first overnight train. We weren't sure what to expect in terms of sleeping conditions and room mates. We were pleasantly surprised to find a couple (just engaged the day before) backpacking also from the states and we stayed up and talked with them. It seemed like we were the only people from the states on the train too. In the beginning of The ride we had an hour or so of light and the scenery was nice - couldn't tell if or when we hit Germany.
Our compartment was very very small and we all barely fit on the bunks except B who didn't fit at all. Sleeping was not as hard as I thought it would be but there were some snorers big time in the room which made it hard to fall asleep but funny - it was like an orchestra.

Bright and early at about 7 we rolled inti munchen hbf. The other couple was going to a hostel on our hostels street so we all traveled together. We were rather harshly stopped by a guy who flashed us a "badge" and wanted to see our passports and train tickets. It was a good thing we were with the couple because we'd forgotten our tickets on the train. He waved us by but we are still not sure what was going on because it seemed real sketchy how he did it and there was no one else doing that at any other platforms.

It was a bright sunny day despite bad weather forecasts we and we already loved the city after 5 minutes. We could tell it was a busy and big city but had a mellow and intimate feel.

We walked for about 10 seconds, turned right and we were on hostel road it seemed. We said goodbye to our train buddies and checked into wombats Munich. This was one of the most popular hostels in Munich by tripsdvisor and it really is something. We couldn't check in to our room till 2 (it was8) so we dropped our bags in their free storage room and walked around the place. It was very clean, bright, looked fun, and seemed very well organized. They had a laundry room, lobby, computer area, bar, and glass covered courtyard in the middle of it all with free wifi couched hanmocks and chairs.

Since we were already up early we took a train and bus to Dachau (the first concentration camp in Germany and the basis for all made after).

It was very interesting and informative. Somber. It was very hard to realize that we were standing in a place of such horrible circumstances. I was particularly affected when we were in the "bath" room where much torture was performed. It was crazy to see the pictures hanging of the room we were standing in. I could not go into the incineration rooms.

We came back to the city and checked in to our hostel. We opted for a private room instead of a dorm room. We were really surprised to find a very spacious room with floor to ceiling windows that opened up to our own balcony. It was also nice to have a normal sized bathroom with the ability to have a longer than 3 minute hot shower.

We immeduately went right back out and walked the 10 mins to marienplatz and stared up at the glockenspiel and walked around a bit.

We were trying to find the hofbrauhaus but stumbled upon this instead-the Viktualienmakt. It was an area with tons of stands and shops and even a beergarten in the middle. We grabbed a wurst (our first German frank) from a popular stand, B got his first beer, and then we wandered around, sampling food, and window/cart shopping.

We came back to our hostel, hung out in the lounge for wifi, got a Doner from the train station (awesome sandwich with pork and BBQ). A friend of Bs from highschool lives in Munich so that night we met him and his friend at Augustinerhalle.

Had a great time visiting and watching a resident mouse scurry around for his dinner. Munich pretty much shuts down at midnight so promptly at 12 we were scooted out the door and headed home.

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