Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hi everyone, and welcome back! :) 

Hope you've all had a great week so far; Wednesday is always a good day in my opinion, especially since its' closer to Friday! So today's post is a continuation from last week! I wrote an intro on my experience of traveling to Europe and highlighted some fun stops in Amsterdam. You could check it out here, before you read this one if you like. 

So today we are traveling to a country that I've always been curious to visit: GERMANY! So after the second night in Amsterdam, we packed our bags again and headed for our first city in Germany, which was Frankfurt. In this trip, we mostly traveled by fully equipped coach buses or train rides. It was pretty tiring, but it was a great experience to really see the country side as you reach the next city! There is greenery and farms in EVERY corner you would look, it was so refreshing to see. There were countless fields that you could see being prepped to grow crops, picture-esque windmills in the distance, and we also passed an area where there were many solar powered panels; Germany is working on only being able to utilize renewable energy! That's also part of the reason you also see windmills as well! I thought that was very interesting to point out. They are totally more advanced than the United States in that aspect. 

Anyways, when we arrived in Frankfurt, it was such a beautiful day, and even though we only stayed one night in Frankfurt, I think we were able to do a lot. I still remember that day because we walked so much and I had a really bad back pain. LOL (I'm not complaining now, but its the truth!). Also,  we stayed at the Ibis Hotel, which I learned that it's quite popular in Europe because I saw it later on during our trip and also stayed in one in Paris! I really liked this hotel. The rooms were for two people and it had pretty good amenities and A/C (I only emphasize this because our hotel/hostel in Munich didn't have A/C! ugh, well I'll talk about that later lol). When we were settled in Frankfurt, we were able to walk around for a bit. The city of Frankfurt is VERY modern. Tall buildings everywhere, businesses, nice parks, etc, but it still has it sense of history. After that we took a train to the "city center", which I learned is called "Römer Platz". In this area you could really feel and see German culture. There was an amazing church called St Paul's in this area too. We weren't allowed to really explore it because they were in the middle of a mass, but this is a church to definitely explore when you go to Frankfurt. Not to mention, Römer is a fabulous area to go shopping. It's filled with local shops, well known American stores, amazing places to eat, street artists, and many other things I can't think of right now lol. Overall, I really liked Frankfurt, but it wasn't anything amazing. Maybe I'm biased because I only stayed there for one night, but its a beautiful city mixed with both old and new metropolitan vibes. 

Römer Platz !

So now, we are jumping back on the bus and headed to Munich guys, but first we are stopping for a couple of hours in Dachau, to visit Dachau Concentration camp. Although it wasn't really one of my happiest moments on the trip, it was really interesting and moving at the same time to be able to actually set foot into a concentration camp. Especially since to many its a sort of taboo to talk about, all of the terrible things that a human race is capable of. And it's crazy to think that to some, it was all made up and "never" happened. What's your take on that? I personally think people are sometimes really insensible and should do some research before judging, but hey, that's just me. So we were able to walk the grounds for a couple of hours, we saw the barracks where the people stayed and "lived", the area where they were killed and then burned. As well as where all the medical facilities were; now its just bare and full of pavement and rocks. I did take some photos here, but honestly it didn't even feel right to take them. All in all, it was pretty interesting and now I'm able to say that I went to one, even though it felt weird and creepy, and ironically, it was a really beautiful day. 

These are the gates to enter the concentration camp. It reads "Arbeit Macht Frei", which when you translate it, it ironically reads: "Work sets you free". 

These were the grounds where the medical facilities were! As you can see its a massive area!

Also just beyond this sign (below) was the place where they burned the bodies of the victims, as well as the gas chambers. I didn't really feel like I needed to take photos of that.

So, we are now closer to our current destination: Munich! I must say, I was pretty excited to visit here because I knew Munich still has strong ties to their roots and old traditions. I really do feel that Munich is quintessential Germany, and that's why so many people visit every year. It is full of beer halls, art, music, beer, and yeah, more beer. Lol. We stayed in Munich for two nights, so it was a decent amount of time to explore. When we arrived, we checked into our hotel and little did I know it was going to be a hell-hole, literally. I don't even want to sugar coat it because this hotel stay just wasn't pleasant at all. And to make matters even more unpleasant, there were five other girls in the room with one shower and toilet..oh yeah, AND NO A/C! Yes, some rooms were set up like hostels and there was more than 2 people in the room (everyone from our group tour though, no outsiders!) I didn't mind that at all, it was actually nice to have some bonding time with the other girls, but having no air conditioning on a scorching hot summer day was straight up torture! I'm not quite sure if all hotels in Munich do not have A/C, but the Meininger hotel/hostel didn't! It was a great hotel, but it failed in my book because of that little aspect. Ok guys, other than that Munich was nothing short of amazing lol. When we were settled into our rooms, we had time to "freshen up" before we took the train to the city center. In every city we visited, there's an area that if referred to as the "city center" which is basically where all the action is and great spots to sight-see and eat.

Here in Munich, their city center is located in an area called "Marienplatz". Here you see the most amazing and breathtaking architecture, and amazing places to eat and drink (DUH!). We had the chance to go to Hofbrauhaus, a very famous beer hall in Munich; it's also where Oktoberfest takes place as well! Complete with long tables and a total "Dutch" vibe, it was great. There was also live music and people dancing to traditional music. There was also a lot of beer drinking......and yes, more beer drinking. I did not mind it because I do like beer myself. I had a giant mug of their most popular beer called "Radler". Whoa, it was huge and it was so good! I've never seen a mug that big, but I did finish it by myself! Needless to say, I had to use the restroom more than five times! ;) Here are some photos! I have some really great videos too, I'll try to edit some and post on my face book!


Gigantic Radler beer for one, please. LOL


- Knodel: Dumplings with potatoes or bread 

-Weisswurst: Its a tender minced-veal sausage, steamed and served with sweet mustard and a crisp roll!

- Drink a Radler; half beer and half lemonade, SO SO good!

-Apfelstrudel: Fried pastry shaped like a donut, yum!

So here we are, we are almost done with Germany. Now we travel up to the most majestic and luxurious castle, ever: Neuschwanstein! This is a total tourist attraction, but it is definitely worth it! It's a lengthy hike/walk up the steep roads up to the castle. I literally felt like I was out of breath and had to stop several times. There are carriages with horses that take you up if you'd like; but of course, I tried to just hang in there and walk, it was worth it, I promise! Also it is best to go in the early morning. Although there's still many people there already, the lines move incredibly fast. You get to view the property from the outside and a guided tour inside. Unfortunately, you couldn't take any photos when you're inside, but I think the outside views are convincing enough to make you book your ticket. More info here

With views like this, who the hell needs a city scape!? lol 
This was on the way to Neuschwanstein castle! 

Beautiful views before making your way up to the castle. 

I really hope you enjoyed this little inside scoop into Germany. It really is an amazing country and I would really love to go back and stay more days in Munich! The people, the culture, the food; everything is much more beautiful when you travel.

Until next week!

Traveling is the only thing that we have that sets us free.