Jan 01, 2011
Jan 31, 2011
Today we headed out of Austria and into Germany. Our first stop was Mathausen Concentration Camp. We started off watching a powerful video about the camp, then we were free to walk the camp. This was an incredibly emotional, sobering experience. I chose to hang back from the group so I could be alone. I started at the memorial to the Americans who liberated the camps, then on to the barracks and the gas chambers and incinerators. The experience was very moving, and I was sobbing by the end. I can't describe how it felt to be in a place where such atrocities occurred, having studied World War II so extensively it meant a lot to be there. The bus was pretty quiet, with everyone reflecting on what we had seen. From here we made our way to Munich, got changed, and made our way to the city center for a walking tour, free time, and huge steins of beer. We went to Marienplatz and en Christi and I walked through the open air markets with fresh meats, produce, cheeses, wines, and honey. The quality of goods was wonderful, I just don't know how the vendors stand there all day. It's cold! At 7pm we met to head to Haufbrauhaus for pork knuckle and steins. The place is full of huge picnic benches, and sooooo many people enjoying the local brews. Our tour manager told us to "divide and conquer" to get a seat. Christi, our tour manager, and myself ended up at a table of six crazy Swiss football players who were around our age. They spoke some English and kept us laughing. They also bought our first round of liter steins, so that was nice! Christi and I also tried the pork knuckle and dumplings, which she loved but I was not a fan. We eventually got a table with the rest of the group and enjoyed more steins and lots of Prost-ing! From here we went to a club and danced the night away. Luckily I sweated out the two steins of beer I drank on the dance floor and woke up feeling great!