48 HOURS IN MUNICH AND DACHAU, GERMANY
Munich was the last city of our Europe trip this time around, and as anyone who has traveled for an extended period of time knows, you are exhausted by the end. Your body is exhausted, your brain is exhausted - but you push through to make the most of those last two days!
We took a day just to walk the streets, sit in a beer hall, eat massive pretzels; and a day to travel and see the nearby Dachau concentration camp.
Our morning started off by finding the iconic Birkenstocks shop in the center of Munich. Admittedly, we each bought three pairs. I know, I know. But it's Germany! They're cheap here, and they're just classic.
The streets of Munich are so quintessentially Bavarian with the building architecture, design, and Lederhosen... everywhere. We walked around a bit more before settling on a small street-side restaurant for our first beer. And apparently, drinking beer before noon is absolutely acceptable when in Germany. Just look at Ken's big smile!
And for our first German meal? Pizza...? But hey, beer goes with everything, right?! Don't worry, we had plenty of sausages, schnitzel, and potatoes during our stay.
One MUST DO while visiting Munich is to experience the famed Hofbräuhaus beer house. This iconic building hosts three levels of cheery tavern vibes, rows and rows of classic long tables, and all waiters sporting typical German style lederhosen. This beer hall has been in operation since the 16th century, so you know it's good (and the mugs of beer are bigger than your head!).
Our second and last full day in Munich was spent visiting Dachau, a medieval town about 16 km (10 miles) northwest of Munich, known primarily for its concentration camp that was in operation during World War II. Take the S2 train in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen (approximately 25 minutes), then take a quick local bus to the camp entrance. There are signs everywhere leading you to the correct bus to hop on.
Several weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed as Reich Chancellor, Dachau concentration camp was set up on March 22, 1933 for political prisoners, initially. It later served as a model for all future concentration camps.
"Work sets you free" on the historical entrance gate to the camp.
As a proclaimed "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it stood, over 200,000 individuals from all over Europe were imprisoned here, with nearly 50,000 documented deaths, and many more undocumented.
"Shower bath" is written above the door. Prisoners were made to think they were entering a shower room. These rooms, in actuality, were gas chambers.
On April 29th, 1945, American troops liberated the survivors at Dachau.
We took very few pictures while touring the grounds, just silently observing what remains here. An eerie heaviness follows you.
For information on visiting the Memorial Site, or additional information about its history, visit their website here.
Once back in Munich, we walked through Viktualienmarkt, a famous farmer's market in the city center, and just across the street from our hotel. You can find all sorts of fresh produce, spices, handmade artisanal items, and much more! But of course, the beer gardens and fresh street pretzels are plenty throughout :)