That Mellow Mushroom, it comes on you.
Trip Start Jun 22, 2009
13Trip End Jul 20, 2009
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So. Our last day in Berlin we went to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp in the outskirts of Berlin. We hadn't originally been planning to go, but it was free since we had our rail passes so we took advantage of the opportunity. It was much different from Dachau. Dachau was a memorial, so most things in the camp weren't the same as they originally were when the camp was functioning. At Sachsenhausen, thing were very much the same as they were, especially because the Soviets used the camp after the war to house Nazi war criminals and others they deemed bad for communism. Ironic, I think. If you can enjoy a concentration camp, I think I enjoyed this one more than Dachau just because it was more authentic. It makes you think a lot about life and how lucky we are. I know, it's lame to say that out loud.
So after Sachsenhausen we went on our free walking tour of Berlin. Unfortunately, or fortunately for our aching feet, this was the last city we will visit that had the free tour. There were so many people waiting for the tour, though, that we had to wait an extra hour to leave but the tour still ended on time. We didn't have to walk for three hours and we still got to see everything, which was good. Then we got Ditsch pizza for dinner, which is an amazing German invention which has been our meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days. It's cheap and delicious, doesn't get much better than that. We've eaten a lot of pizza on this trip. Then we caught our train at the Berlin HBF (hauptbanhof for those of you not savvy to train lingo) and spent the next eight hours on an overnight train to Munich so we could go to Neuschwanstein. It was a nice train, no transfers in the middle of the night, so that was good. Uneventful for the most part.
The next morning we arrived in Munich and, after some initial confusion over train times and platforms, we caught our train to Fussen to see the castles. One transfer in the middle, not too bad. I slept the whole time. We got to Fussen, took a bus to the castles and started with Hoenschwangau. Easy climb, a little rainy, beautiful castle that looked like a Spanish hacienda. It also tricked us into thinking the climb to Neuschwanstein wouldn't be that bad. Little did we know. 45 minutes and two calf cramps later, we arrived, in the rain, to the castle at the top of the mountain. It's so famous that you would think it's more impressive. It was certainly pretty, and, had we gone inside, we probably would have been impressed. But the tour system is all messed up and it costs 9 euro for a 25 minute rushed tour and you have to wait four hours after you pay to take your tour. And you can't take pictures. So we didn't go inside. After the castle Jason, Alastair and I decided to walk a little further up the mountain (masochists) to see the amazing bridge. It's an iron and wood bridge suspended between two mountains with amazing views of the castle. It was breathtaking (second lame thing I've said.) We got great pictures, climbed back down the mountain and caught a train back to Munich.
In Munich we had a lot of time to kill so we went back to the Hofbrauhaus and walked around. Had McDonalds for dinner because it's a lot of food for cheap, and went back to the station. This was the second full day without showers so we did the best we could in the bathroom (which cost 80 cents) and waited for our train. Got some candy and water. generally keeping with the theme of bad for you food, and got on our train. Very uncomfortable for four hours till we transferred and got on our other uncomfortable train for another four hours. We were sitting in another EuroTrip style compartment and the seats across from each other laid out flat to make one little bed for two people. Meri and Katie took advantage, but the rest of us couldn't because of the stranger in the cabin with us. He was a surgeon that very nicely (douche) told us to shut up, it was 4 a.m. So we shut up.
Got to Venice at 8:30 a.m. More updates soon!