10.03.2021 – Munich, Germany

Downtown Munich

After saying goodbye to Paris, I woke up early on Sunday 03 October 2021 and headed to the Bercy Seine bus station. My ticket to Munich’s Central Bus Station (ZOB) was purchased for a whopping $77.94. Gotta say though, it was a much better bus ride than the one from Madrid to Paris. No stinky passengers. The bus driver was a bit more stringent about our COVID-19 vaccinations. And, I noticed there were a lot more female passengers traveling to Germany in groups. One of the first warnings that I received at the hostel by some of the nice girls I met there was to be careful not to walk around alone at night in the center of Munich. Something that I later discovered to be wise advice given that even just the block around Jaeger’s Munich, the hostel where I stayed, a lot of men had the habit of loitering about. I checked into the hostel on Monday 04 of October 2021 with a check out of Wednesday 06 of October 2021. And, I paid a total of $43.26 with a deposit that rounded up to $7. It was a comfortable 8 bed dorm room with a small bathroom and a tiny little shower. But, it was clean and well maintained. Also, the reception lounge, though decorated in an old-country fashion with cow rugs and bull horns on the wall, was large and spacious.

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Work will set you free.

As soon as I arrived in Munich, I bought tickets for a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp. I’ve been hoping to visit a few Holocaust memorials for a long time now. My choices for this trip were either make a longer detour toward Poland and then make my way through Germany, or skip Poland entirely. At the time, I thought it would have been a waste of time to go through Poland since I envisioned something different in the end. Anyway, on Tuesday 05 October 2021, I woke up really early to take advantage of my Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Walking Tour with Guide from Munich by Train ticket. I was there by 10:00 am. For some reason, I am always amazed that these memorials don’t cost a lot more than they do, but a part of me is always pleased they are affordable. They should be accessible to the general public. As an educator, I am well aware of how necessary this type of visceral education is necessary. With their remote locations and the amount of public transportation visitors have to coordinate around, it makes sense that a $35.40 (USD) ticket would be a minor hurdle once you’re in Munich. I only highlight the importance this type of visceral education because, while I was at Dachau, I noticed a lot of German students were being guided through with their teachers in history-related field trips. It’s part of their government mandated curriculum and course syllabi.

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Memorial Sculpture by Nandor Glid.

It was very unfortunate that the actual memorial sculpture from Nandor Glid was covered by this huge poster because it was under repairs. Nevertheless, it was quite impressive to catch tiny glimpses of it under the construction cover. Overall, although I was very happy to finally visit Dachau, it was a very somber experience. Our tour guide was very informative and tried to make the experience less grim. Many of the facilities were taken down and/or burnt (I can’t quite remember which). Now, there is a huge empty space of land. Reflecting on how large the different blocks were and how many Jews were imprisoned here is daunting.

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Our group had a safe return to Munich. Altogether, it was a very interesting stay in Germany for me. While I had the pleasure of learning some linguistics in the past, especially about the Germanic languages that influenced the development of English, I realized that my German needed improvement. I felt like a fish out of water because I couldn’t read, speak, or understand it like other European languages. Thankfully, English is a common second language. So, that really helped. Munich was also the one place where I made some genuinely kind friends and went out with a couple of other girls to a local bar. We’re still friends on Instagram and hope to continue to be friends for a while. I meant to stop in Munich before heading into Italy. Through Omio, I purchased a 10:00 pm ticket from Munich’s central bus station on 06 October 2021 to Rome Tiburtina bus station, a connecting station. From Rome, the bust would continue onto Naples (Metropark Centrale) on 07 October 2021. As a sneak peak for the next post, Naples was no where near as fun as I thought it would be.

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