Yesterday, we heard from 7th grader Astrid, who wrote about her exciting visits to Switzerland and Austria. Today, her adventure continues, this time in Germany! Of course, mini Tofu-San is along for the ride.
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Day 5: Driving and Neushwanstein Castle
Finally, we were headed for Germany, the main focus of our trip. But first, we had to make a few stops. The first one was Neushwanstein Castle. Neushwanstein Castle is a very popular attraction that many tourists enjoy visiting. The building of the castle began in the mid-eighteen hundreds but was never finished. The king at that time was Ludwig II, and it was him who ordered for the castle to be built. He wanted Neushwanstein to be “In the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles”-Ludwig II. The castle was built for many years but construction was halted in 1886, when the king died. And, due to expenses, it was left unfinished.
Day 6: Dachau and Munich, Germany
The second stop we had to make was the concentration camp at Dachau. Before that though we took a quick look around Landsberg am Lech. Landsberg am Lech is where Hitler dictated Mein Kampf, his autobiography, while he was imprisoned. From there, we headed to Dachau. We took a tour and our tour guide was very good at explaining what happened at/in Dachau. Dachau Concentration Camp was opened on March 22, 1933. It was originally for political prisoners and was used to practically brainwash them into thinking the same way as Hitler and the Nazi Party. They were doing this to that the government would be mostly Nazis. Throughout the 12 years that Dachau was in use, over 200,000 were taken prisoner there.
As they walked through the gate, three words would greet them. “Arbeit Macht Frei” which means, “Work Makes Freedom”.
When Dachau was mostly political prisoners, those words meant that if you worked hard, you may be set free. Later, those words meant that you would be worked to death, and that death was freedom. On April 19, 1945, Dachau was closed after the survivors were liberated by U.S. Troops.
Later that day, we took a train from Dachau to Munich, Germany. Once we settled in, we took a look at Marienplatz and went to get dinner.
Day 7 – 10: Munich, Germany
We spent most of our trip in Munich, Germany. On our first full day in Munich, we went to the zoo. The zoo was huge and had tons of animals. There was a small petting zoo but I didn’t go in because there was a school group there when I passed by.
The rest of the day we spent looking at street art, but not all of it was on the street. There was a little Shepard Fairey (creator of ‘OBEY’) exhibition in a place called Positive Propaganda Artspace, so we went to see that. It featured lots of Shepard Fairey’s works, and the man working there actually knew him personally. He told us all about the meanings behind the pieces and also recommended a few places for us to visit.
The next day we went to Museum Brandhorst. The museum had a room of Andy Warhol pieces, which we were very happy to see. After the museum, we went to a small cafe called Cafe Marais. It used to be an old drapery store, but a bit more like a haberdashery. They still had many of the goods that were sold, with shelves lining the walls. Then, we went back to Marienplatz and shopped for a while (but didn’t really buy anything).
We headed to Marienplatz early on our last full day in Munich. After waiting around for a while, the Glockenspiel, a large old clock with life size moving statues, starting playing its music and moving. It last for what seemed like forever, but was really only a bit over 5 minutes. Then we decided to head to an area of Munich that had some great shops. But, when we stopped in the subway station to get breakfast, my dad and oldest sister ditched us. My mom, second oldest sister, and I didn’t know the name of the area, but after wandering around for a few hours we managed to find it. The first thing we did was visit the Viktualienmarkt. The Viktualienmarkt is similar to a farmers market but it is way larger. It has about 15 rows with around 20 stands in each row. We didn’t buy anything since it was so crowded but we did look around. Then we went to get lunch in a big beer hall. It was early afternoon though, so it was pretty empty. After that we went to the Alte Pinakothek. It had many paintings by The Old Masters (great European artists working before the 1800’s). Finally we headed back home and packed up our stuff.
The next day we were heading home. We drove back to Zürich and went to the airport. The flight was about nine hours, and by the time we got to Boston it would have been 2 in the morning in Switzerland. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was two hours after that when I was finally able to sleep. But, the trip had been long and I was happy to get back home. And that entire time, Tofu-san was right by my side!
Categories: Guest Posts
Astrid-san, from your report, we learned a lot ! Your travel is not just for sightseeing . Thank you again for sharing your experience with us.
Ooh, this is fascinating! I’m particularly intrigued by the castle and the concentration camp. I remember learning about Dachau last year in History; it’s so sad how many prisoners died there.
Anyway, it’s interesting how the castle was never finished, could you see the unfinished parts? Was it mostly finished or mostly unfinished? What was it like in the castle? Do you know of any other castles or buildings in the world that haven’t been finished?
I’m glad you had fun there!