and unexpected success
26.05.2011 - 29.05.2011 70 °F
Our first Monday and bit of Tuesday of recovering from a "European traveling" journey, also can be referred as hectic and stressful, was a struggle and by Tuesday afternoon all of us had started to build our energy back up, just in time for the Peace Forum. We had woken up being informed that we had a field trip to go to and would be gone from 12 in the afternoon until 10 at night... with that we ate our lunches quickly and jumped on the bus for an hour and a half bus ride to Schengen Luxembourg. Getting there we realized we had a full days itinerary starting at 3 and going until 10 at night and with a short break at 5 and then dinner at 9. It was interesting yes, but definitely nothing for us business students and i believe the school had informed them we were all looking to do projects on peace since they kept talking to us about " helping us create our peace projects"... hm. Not that i am against it but they lacked informing us what that whole day was going to be about and through us into a situation where we should have had warning because we just came off stupid to some important people. After a long day and arriving home at 11 at night i was greeted by my host mom with a shopping bag in hand, she was so thrilled to have girl to show her shopping purchases and had me seated on the coach as she pulled out her purchased items. I was coming up with short quick compliments for each purchase, mostly with huge nods or thumbs up. at one point i had to stop my self with a compliment that i came up with quickly, that her new purple swim suite would match her hair perfectly.. but with not knowing if she is aware that her hair is purple, i quickly closed my mouth and just nodded with excitement. My host family is going well, for the most part my place is my "apartment" since i have rarely seen anyone in the family besides the mom in the morning for breakfast where she makes me delicious foods with ENDLESS options. The next morning the group of us were off to another head quarters of a bank in Luxembourg, BNP bank. This bank had a different feel itself, a lot less modern looking with a more airy and welcoming feeling from the BCEE bank, but equal none the less. we were put in a room that resembled a meeting room for high professional business men and after 2 or 3 talks with employees that were high up in the banking world. We were out of there. We arrived at a wine vineyard in Luxembourg that was high end, we were given a tour by a drunk man, with humor that he believed was the funniest in the world, and we got to do some wine tasting! For once i liked wine! i learned how to hold it properly too, and its not the typical way you would expect.
The week once again had rolled through quickly and it was already Thursday morning and we were on our way to Munich, with a smooth transition from train to train we arrived in a city that none of us had high hopes for, but none the less had heard good things and were excited to see what the fuss was about.. We arrived at our hostel after a nice 2 minute walk from the station, Wambats. If hostels had hotel rating this would be a 5 star! it was amazing to be in after the previous hostels experience. Everything was clean, we had our own sheets, breakfast, internet room, out door lounge, security was intact and everything was new and kept nice! First thing in the morning we awoke to experience the free Tour that the hostel provides that was highly recommended. The man was amazing, he was born in the Bahamas and moved to Munich 6 years ago with family history rooting here. He made the tour fascinating and never bored any of us at any point. Munich is amazing with its depth history and the nazi background, and i learned, its differences from the Capital of Germany, Berlin. He liked to state that he was always going to be comparing Munich to Berlin in a prospective way to show Germany's diversity but it was evident he preferred Munich, but i didn't mind since he was a great, interesting story teller. he showed us around town with first bringing us to the entrance of the town area, the West Gate. The west gate is one of the last 3 gates of this town to still be standing. traveling through the town we saw all these sites, the marianplaza, the boar in Harry potter, hofbrauhaus, and many more things that he packed in to a 3 and a half hour tour. The last picture is of the room at the top of the hofbrauhaus where the Nazi party began, it was weird to be standing in a place which was the birth place of everyone's brutal fates in the 1930's and 1940's.
The next morning us as a group all wanted to make it to Dachau, the concentration camp that opened in 1933 and was the first in Germany. after a train ride and a bus, we arrived at the gates of the gloomy remains of Dachau. we first saw the rail road tracks that were used to directly import the prisoners to the camp with no need for pick up at the original train station, and then we approached the gates. inside we were able to read the stories of many prisoners and learn of their fates, walk the halls of the Bunkers, and see the cremation rooms and gas chambers; all being a shocking experience for all of us. . An experience i will never forget.
To brighten our sadden moods we decide to explore the beer gardens that the tour guide and many others encouraged us to visit. The English garden was a walks away but it was a beautiful day out side and the walk was enjoyed. Inside this park that is twice the size of central park, was a huge lawn for doing any activity as you pleased. We witnessed people type roping between trees, break dancing, soccer and football games, volley ball games, picnics, and any out door activity you can imagine!. apart from the huge lawn there were the Chinese towers, a surfing pool, and miles of walking paths.
Munich had grown to be my personal favorite city in Europe, and suspect my friends can all agree. with our hopes not high walking in to the city, we left sad to see our time had ended in the beautiful, diverse, city of Munich.