My how this week has flown by! It’s already Thursday?!? I feel like just yesterday I had a case of the Mondays. This past weekend, 3/8-3/11 I went to Germany. It stole my heart! We left Thursday night from the Florence train station and took off for our 8 hour bus ride. We arrive in Munich at 3am to our hostel, Jaegers Hostel. For it being my first hostel I ever stayed at, it was a great experience. We roomed with a total of 6 girls. It was just Kristen and I that went, and all the other people on the trip were from Gonzaga in Washington. It was nice to meet a new group of people.
Friday morning we woke up at headed to a beer walking tour at 10am. We walked around Germany and had a wagon with a keg following us all day. Throughout the tour we played drinking games, such as shark out of the water and hand grenade. When ever the tour guide would call shark out of the water we had to jump up onto some statue or anything. At one point I just sat on a vespa for a good five minutes. It was pretty fun.
That night we went to starkbeer fest at the Lowenbraustubern beer hall. It was AMAZING! The beers were 12% alcohol, and surprisingly good. We ordered a basket of pretzels, and a plate of brots; it must have been one of the best meals I’ve had! I have a new found love for sauerkraut and beer. At the festival there was a huge ballroom filled with people. We sat at the second level looking over the crowd. On the stage was a band of older men that were playing all night, great music. The crowd was all dressed in traditional German attire, and were singing the traditional German songs! If there was one thing I learned this weekend was how proud they are to be German! It was a blast of a night.
We called it an early night Friday, and headed to the Neuschwanstein castle the next morning. The Neuschwanstein castle is a large 100+ year old castle in Fussen, Germany that the Disneyland castle was modeled after. We took the 2.5 hour train ride to Fussen, and passed miles of beautiful, snow covered countryside. The town Fussen is adorable, small little town. The castle is on the outskirts of the town and we took a bus there. We then walked up a large hill to get to the castle. The 30 minute walk up the hill was beautiful every minute. We were in the woods that had just received a few feet of snow. We passed forest and a waterfall and had amazing views. The castle was a great experience and was well worth waking up early. Fun fact: the castle last year almost made the top 7 wonders of the world, it ranked 8th.
That night we went to the Hofbrauhaus, right in the center of town. It is a huge beer hall that Hitler used to hold meetings in. If you look close you can see in the mural on the ceiling swastikas hiding. It was such a weird feeling to know you sat where he once was. The beer hall is set up with large benches, where you sit next to strangers, but after a beer or two, they are no longer strangers, they are your best friends for the night. We sat with a really nice group of people, who spoke amazing English. One group was from Spain and the other Portugal. The couple from Portugal were the kindest people, even offering to share their food with us. It was a nice relaxing night, and a great time!
The next day was Sunday, the day we were going to head home. We decided to wake up early and head to Dachau, the former concentration camp. That was a humbling experience to say the least. I never realized how many people were effected by the horrifying event. They turned the concentration camp into a museum, with some original buildings that are set up to demonstrate the conditions the prisoners were subject to. It was a sad note to end the trip on, but I am so grateful I was able to witness it, and learn so much more. It made me so grateful for my life, and my heart aches for those that had to go through that torture.
We left Germany around 3 in the afternoon and got back to beautiful Florence around 12 midnight. It was a great trip!