June 2, 2009, Tuesday
1st day in Munich
I knew and told myself that today would be a great day. The train stopped in Munich at 7:30 am. Starbucks was the first shop we saw in the station. We had mapped Amsterdam to find not a single one. There had been one in Paris and now there was one to welcome us to Germany. Our new bus driver Harry picked us up from the airport. His English is okay, but his character overshadows it all. He has been kind and great so far. Friendlier than our last driver, that is for sure. We have all associated busses with sleep at this point. We drove to a corporate visit with Audi, which was sick. The layout and design of the whole property was spectacular to the eye. We toured the process of production. We saw the creation of a car from beginning to end; it is amazing. There were lots of robots as well as a lot of people and it was incredibly high tech –at least to me-. We toured the museum and ate lunch at their fabulous restaurant. I now was an Audi.
Afterwards we headed to Dachau, a WWII concentration camp, one of the first. I was expecting it to be super emotional, heart breaking, devastating. It wasn’t at all what I prepared myself for. We were allowed to wander by ourselves, which I did. Signs were sad to read and pictures took your breath away, however I found the Holocaust Museum in New York to be more devastating. I did almost get sick to my stomach when I saw the cremation buildings. It was so disturbing. I was struck by how beautiful the land around the area was, beautiful property and there were churches built after liberation out skirting the property, which I was very surprised about. There were pictures from the time if liberation –by the U.S. which makes me incredibly proud to be an American- that were wonderful to see. Something I found shocking was that they had special cells for ‘religious prisoners’ where they were allowed to pray and par take in certain customs. How the Nazis would allow God while practicing such brutality and torture makes next to no sense to me.
Following that we went to dinner. The majority had sausage sorta things which they did not enjoy but were recommended by our driver. I had pasta, which was bomb –lots of people on this trip say this, it cracks me up-. Terrell and the instructors were the only others to order something besides the sausages, except for a group who skipped out for McDonalds. Our bread was pretzelish and was yummy for sure.
We then drove to the hostel, which we will be staying for the duration of our time in Munich. I am rooming with the same group as I did on the train. To me the hostel is sketch and I haven’t been one to share such thoughts on the trip so far. A group: Jon, Terrell, Grant, Tyler, Mary, Lisa, McKenzie, and myself took the metro took the city center and explored. Germany has been a lot of fun, however the people I have come across aren’t smiley friendly, but it’s okay. We got back to the hostel around 11:30 and I showered & slept.