Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Germany Trip... Part 5 - Dachau

Friday 8/14
I woke up really early in the morning with a stabbing pain in my right calf. Worse than one of those foot cramps that can knock you down! Really bad! It eased up after a few minutes and I was able to get back to sleep. But it ached the rest of the day. I tried stretching it out, but nothing really helped.
Anyway, we had breakfast at the hotel again (we figured out that they alternated between boiled eggs and bacon each day. I preferred bacon-they don't boil their eggs long enough.)

We took a train to the town of Dachau. We're told the living in Dachau is really expensive. We then got on a bus to Dachau-the memorial site . (history)(photos)(someone else's blog & photos-worth a look) (We have NO pictures from Friday. Fortunately for Wes, he's already been there once.) Walking through the gate gave me an eerie feeling. (Yeah, that gate.) You see videos and documentaries on TV all the time. Being there is a different experience. Thousands of people died there. Grief kind of sneaks up and you don't know why, but you feel remorse.
Wes said that the memorial site had been changed from when he'd been there last. We walked through the museum inside what was the administration building. (It was long but interesting.) Then we walked through the prison building (where they kept special prisoners.) (another image) The cells seemed average size (not that I would know). There was one cell that had six smaller cells inside called "standing cells." They were about the size of a phone booth. This building was long with one narrow hallway down the middle. We walked around the area in between the admin. building and the prison. The wall connecting the two buildings was used for executions. (map) We walked into the barracks (Two replica buildings are standing. The others are marked where their foundations were. The original barracks were made of wood and deteriorated over time and excessive use). (This site has a lot of good info and photos....) We walked to the back of the camp and found the Crematorium and Gas Chamber. This was really eerie to me because of all the pictures you see of dead bodies piled up around the building. This was that building. We saw the crematory ovens. Very creepy.

We encountered lots of people from all different countries. Throughout our trip, we never really felt like a fish out of water. There were Asian and Middle Eastern people. We saw lots of women wearing burkas. Lots of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. (It was easy to spot us foreigners because we were all carrying travel books in our native languages...) Almost everywhere we went, someone spoke English and were friendly. (except in France...) I don't know how people speaking oriental languages did, but we did pretty well. We learned a lot of German words (especially train and airport related words) along the way. A lot of the words I learned with Rosetta Stone helped too. (I've only done 12 lessons...I need to keep going. I intended to do more before our trip.)

So after Dachau, we went back to the hotel and rested a bit. (My calf was hurting.) Later we walked around Munich for a few hours. Went to Marienplatz and then to Viktualienmarkt. We did a little shopping. I found a German Bible for Dad. We ate dinner at an Italian place near Viktualienmarkt. We had an easy afternoon and evening. Both of us were tired from constantly going and coming. Went back to the hotel and crashed...

1 comment:

Knight Shift said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful experience. We do seem to learn things the hard way. But since you kept a journal, you will always remember the scenery. Besides, you'll go back and visit the good stuff again one day. I enjoy reading your posts.