|We took an overnight train from Venice to Munich, taking just over 7hrs. We didn’t have a sleeper seat, just a normal train seat, so 7-hour journey wasn’t particularly comfortable, but somehow I was excited being on a night train for the first time in my life. It made us feel “we are travelling”. Just listening to the music on the Ipod on a night train and staring at dark scenery passing by outside the window the moment seemed so special.
Anyway we arrived in Munich early in the morning, quite exhausted. Coming from Italy we felt like we’ve just come back to civilisation from ancient time. Munich is very modern and clean city, and we liked it here straight away. We were very lucky to be able to check-in early at our hotel, so we had a good rest in the morning.
To be honest I didn’t have much expectation of Munich, but it is actually really cool city. The city centre offers cosmopolitan shopping but they did a great job preserving old buildings and mixing them with modern architecture. Beautiful gardens are everywhere in the city, people look happy and cheerful, Munich is a great city.
What makes Munich even better is its famous beer halls and gardens. They are literally everywhere in the city, and they normally serve 1lt beer if you don’t ask for a small one. As you can easily imagine we had beer quite often, our excuse is “it is cheaper than a bottle of water”.
Another great surprise was German food. The food is great and we loved it!! Pork Roast with gravy, German sausages with lots of herbs inside, sauerkraut and Klosse, oh they are all yummy!! Klosse is a ball of mashed and raw potato that is then cooked into a dumpling. It is soft but chewy like Japanese rice cake, but tastes great and goes really well with pork roast.
One day we took a train to visit Dachau, lovely Bavarian countryside town, but it is also known for its first Nazi Concentration camp built in 1933. Jews, political prisoners, homosexuals and others deemed ‘undesirable’ by the Third Reich were imprisoned in the camp. More than 200,000 people were sent here and more than 30,000 died at Dachau and countless others died after being transferred to other death camps. Just like other cruel historical sites we visited such as phonm Penh or Hiroshima, it was chilling and heart-breaking to walk through there. We walked into the gas chamber, which was signed “shower room” at the entrance door, so that prisoners wouldn’t get panic before entering this room. There was a museum inside and it has massive amount of information about the camp, war and Nazis, and it took us over 3hrs to look around. It wasn’t fun but we are glad that we visited there.
We also took a train to Garmisch, a beautiful town surrounded by the mountains. We went on a cable car up the mountain and had nice views of the highest mountain in Germany and other mountains. This little countryside town was very scenic with nice shops and traditional houses with a lot of flowers. One thing we noticed here is they love flowers, they are just everywhere and so beautiful.
Munich was unexpectedly great and I would come back for longer next time. I’ll miss German food and beer… Anyway now we are saying good-bye to Germany, and another painful night train is waiting for us to get to France.