On Friday we flew from Paris to Munich to begin the Germany section of the trip. The flights had been booked for us, and we got to take Air Berlin (check out the picture). I was very impressed by this low-cost European carrier, and will certainly fly them any time I can in the future. Upon arrival, we got checked into our hostel and only had a few hours remaining in the day. A few friends and I headed straight for the city center of Munich, known as Marienplatz. It was definitely the liveliest area in the city, and had a lot of things to see and do. After a nice dinner we headed back to our comfortable room to get prepared for the next day.
Saturday (July 11) was our big workday while in Munich. That morning we went out to the Deutches Museum northwest of Munich that is dedicated to aviation. The museum had a lot of interesting aircraft and information. Some of my favorite displays were the agricultural-use aircraft, as it showed a different side of aviation we had not yet discovered. Another cool display was not an aircraft at all, but rather an experiment. There was a propeller driven by pedals that, when gaining enough speed, would move the seat around in a circle (see picture). This was a very cool way to learn about how propellers work, and provided our group with a reason to lose concentration for about 30 minutes.
Saturday afternoon, we headed back into central Munich to the main Deutches Museum building, which included airplanes but had also many other displays. At this museum, we got to see many different military aircraft from Germany. Also, there was a Lufthansa Boeing 707 cockpit that you could see into. It is very cool to notice the huge differences in cockpits from many years ago when compared to cockpits of today. Another interesting display was the section on German air traffic control. Aside from the aviation part of the museum, we were encouraged to stay after the session and check out the rest of the exhibits. This museum was certainly one of my favorites and housed exhibits on nearly any technological advancement you could imagine. Some things covered were aviation, space exploration, boating and navigation, nuclear energy, computers, assembly lines, robotics, and thousands of other items. The never-ending array of information was fascinating, and I could have spent a much longer time at the Deutches Museum.
After a long Saturday of work, we were rewarded with a free day to end the weekend. I started my day on a free walking tour and saw a lot of the city. Some of the better sites included the Hofbrahaus, Glockenspiel, Frauenkirche, Mozart’s temporary home, and the City Hall. Although those sites were quite breathtaking, they didn’t even compare to what I was about to experience. That afternoon I hopped on a train and decided to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich. From the moment I arrived I felt the power of such a devastating place. The barracks, the showers, the washrooms, and the museum were almost too much to handle. And then, when I thought I had seen it all, we stepped into the gas chamber and crematorium. The entire time I visited the site I couldn’t help but feel saddened by certainly one of the low points of the human race. However, it was quite a sobering experience, and I certainly will never forget how I felt and what I saw at Dachau.
Munich has been a great way to begin our visit in Germany. I have really enjoyed the city’s liveliness and culture. The German language is very different, but I am having fun trying to use some of what I learned prior to leaving. I am excited to head out to Traben-Trarbach, where our group will take a glider flight. I hope you have enjoyed my Europe journals, and if you have any questions about the trip or something else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.
Tchüss from Deutschland,