Another Winter Day Has Come and Gone Away…

Today is my last full day in Munich. I fly out tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.

I spent the day just walking around the city. I ended up on the waterfront in this beach area where locals were jogging, riding their bikes, and walking their dogs and/or kids. I walked in some neighborhoods before heading to the Old City to say until next time and pray for safe travels in the church I did the sacrament in.

It’s been a good trip. But alas, it is time to come home.

I get home Thursday early afternoon and have then until Monday to get myself together before returning to work on Tuesday.

xoxo

Regensburg

I headed to the train station this morning to go to Regensburg on a day tour.

On the way, I stopped by St. Michael’s because that was the one place I had not yet gone to that was on my list.

I got to the meeting point and discovered the guide for the tour called in sick, and they were not able to find a new guide. So the rep gave me a map of Regensburg with some suggestions on what to do. I bought my train ticket and was off.

I’m glad I went. The Celts settled in the area around 500 B.C. and the Romans came in AD 179, so there is a lot of history there. Charlemagne arrived at the end of the 8th center and made it part of his domain. The town managed to survive both world wars.

The best part was St. Peter’s Cathedral. It made going the 1.5 hour train ride more than worth it. It was magnificent! Construction began in the 13th century and dragged on for 600 years, finally finished by Ludwig I. The ceilings were high and the stain-glass windows were amazing in their detail.

I also went to the Stone Bridge which was completed in 1146! So many feet have trod there.

I walked around the Old City hitting up the the Old Town Hall, Emmeram Palace, Thur and Taxis Palace, St. Emmeram Church (which was very nice and worn), the Neupfarrplaz (which is the site of where the Jewish ghetto was, the Jews were evicted in 1519 due to superstition) and more.

Funny story, as I was looking at the palace, out walks a couple from my tour. They are from Calgary and are currently on a river cruise. It was so funny running into them. Then less than 30 minutes later I ran into Star and Ann from the tour. I had had dinner with them and their two friends during the tour. It was actually very good to see them. They were very kind to me. Ann, who is probably in her 60s or 70s, has never been married. So we were talked about marriage and God during our dinner together.

I meant to take an earlier train so it would still be light when I got back, but I missed it by ten minutes or so. So I had to catch the next train and they run every hour. So when I got back to Munich, it was dark. But I just walked by instinct and soon saw the dome to one of the churches and just headed that way.

Tomorrow is my last full day here! It’s kind of bittersweet. I want to go home, but I also want to see more. This is the part where I think I should have come home Saturday and then had Sunday and Monday to recover, but I think coming home Thursday will be good. I need to reset and I want to clean out my closet.

Third Reich, English Gardens

Today began with a walking tour of the Third Reich Munich. I had the same guide as yesterday. The Nazi party began here so we were able to see some of the spots of where it all began. The thing is that Hitler was a passionate exhorter, and I know that people are swayed by emotion. When the economy fell, people were looking for a scapegoat, which became the communist and the Jews. And the Nazi party did a good job using propaganda to sway the people. It’s like little by little, and it seems like at first they weren’t completely open with their final plan of world domination.

Not sure if I have mentioned this or not, but Germany blames Austria for both world wars. I can get WWI. The world was already on edge and when the Austrian emperor’s nephew was murdered by Serb nationalists, he reacted and Germany took their side. Then people began taking sides. When the Treaty of Versailles was complete, Germany had no say and they were pretty bitter that some of their land had been taken, and they had to give financial amends to the French. So some say that WWII was just a continuation of the first war. I think I mentioned last year that all these arbitrary borders were created. People who were together were separated and people who were enemies were put together.

Hitler’s ideas was to retake all the German speaking countries (he actually wanted Eastern Europe). He annexed Austria. Was given then Czechoslovakia to appease him by some world leaders. It wasn’t until he invaded Poland that the powers at be stood up.

But again that this idea that an Aryan race is superior and everyone else needed to be wiped out or enslaved. Really? Anyway, I could go on but I will save you the rant that I can feel coming.

One of my tour mates is actually a traveling nurse who has lived in Seattle for I think seven months. She is from Florida. I gave her my information, hopefully she contacts me. She said she had not met any friend in the area yet.

I ended up hanging with a couple I met at the tour, Samantha and Mark. We walked in the English Gardens for a while. It was nice having someone to talk to. So we also passed by the palace and through the royal gardens.

Tomorrow is Tuesday so I have two whole days so sight see. I am trying to determine if I should go to Regensburg tomorrow or just stay local. If I do, it would be an early start. We will see. I will play it by ear. Sleeping in sounds good too.

I need to find something to eat then I will spend the evening reading.

Dachau/Munich

I started the day by joining a tour going to Dachau. The guide is a PhD student and was very knowledgeable. I’m doing a walking tour tomorrow on the Third Reich, and he is leading that as well.

As you know, last year I went to Auschwitz. Still the same questions linger. Why? Who decides that someone is subhuman, and then who follows suit and treats fellow humans like they are less than an animal? How is this ever okay? I knew from last year that the camps in general were for Jews, POWs, dissidents, gypsies, and homosexuals. I did not know that they was also for Jehovah Witnesses because they would not bow down to Hitler as all powerful.

Dachau was the first concentration camp and was originally for dissidents who did not follow the party line. Toward the end of the war, people were brought in from other places. So Dachau was the first to be established and the last to be liberated. Dachau was also the footprint for the camps that followed.

I remember a man high up in the Nazi party being found when he was old and sick but people wanted him to pay for his crimes. It’s kind of a question of whether all the good you attempt to do is enough to wipe out the bad you did. According to the Christian model, none are above repentance, and I try to keep that in my mind. But it doesn’t mean that there is no consequence or reaping our actions. And that is true for all of us.

The people of Dachau acted like they didn’t really know what was happening, but how can you not smell bodies burning, see prisoners who look like death, and see people coming in but not going out and not know something?

Then how do people who survived recover from something so horrific? How do you all of a sudden find your humanity when it has been stripped from you.

All throughout the camp are memorials saying we will never forget, but has it not repeated itself and has not the world still remained silent?

There was a film that showed people who survived the camp. It also showed piles of bodies. It was so disturbing, yet people deny that it even happened.

On the tour with me was a woman from South Africa. We were talking about issues of race. People ask her where she is from? South Africa. Where are your parents from? South Africa. Where are your grandparents from? South Africa. Her family has been there for generations so how could anyone tell her to go home?

I also met a young guy from Miami. He’s 24, quit his job, cashed in his 401K, and is traveling until the money runs out. I’m like, I wish. Maybe during my mind-life crisis :).

After the tour, I went to some nice churches. I went to St. Kajetan, which is awesome. It’s the church the king built after his wife had a son. The ceilings and walls appear to be carved. I also went to St. Peter’s, St. Ludwig’s. I went into another church that was having mass so I stayed for the sacrament.

I have burned a many candles this trip and visited a many churches.

I have a desire from God. We will just have to see what the answer is.

xoxo

Some Munich, Linderhof and Oberammergou

Started the morning off at Nymphenburg. The palace was closed but the grounds were open. It was built for a king to thank his wife for having a son. The couple had been married for ten years or so and only had a girl, then they prayed and I think did a pilgrimage and a son was born. The original portion is smaller but then it was expanded over 200 years. The area around it is residential and where people live, but a more expensive area. Very nice. Love the architecture.

Did a drive by of the Olympic Park. There was a big flea market so it was cool. Also near the BMW plant.

Spent some time in the Old City, but I took it easy as I will have tons of time to explore over the next four days. Did hang out in Marienplatz and spent some time in the Church of our Lady. Caught a bit in the Victual’s Market. Will do a repeat and expand what I saw.

Then to Linderhof, which was quite nice. The rooms were complete, and they were breathtaking. Ludwig II did spend a lot of money! He spent the last years of his life living there alone besides his servants. Depending on who you ask, he was mad. Sounds a bit eccentric, artistic maybe. Not equipped to rule, but he was born to the spot.

Also went to Oberammergou, which is where the Passion of the Christ is staged. Had time to do a quick scroll, get some ice-cream, and visit a wood carver’s shop. Nice work.

Tonight was the farewell dinner for the tour. I’m tired or I’d write more.

Thank God we fall back tomorrow. I could use the extra sleep. The next four days are kind of unknown. I have some ideas, but I’ll just roll with the punches.

xoxo

Salzburg/Eagles Nest

Forgive this entry. This keyboard is possessed and nothing is where it should be!

I forgot to mention crazy wind in Innsbruck. I think my guide called it the Fonn Winds. He said it comes from the Med and sometime West Africa bringing sand. Apparently when the winds come it is followed by rain or snow. And people start acting crazy. The suicide rate goes up. Accidents increase and people become more aggressive and the animals get restless. It doesn’t impact everyone, but it sounds like it impacted his son when his son was young.

Started with a walk in the new and old town. The Sound of Music put Salzburg on the map. The Austrians did not like it when it came out (and was taken out of theaters after three days because the Hollywood portrayal of the true story was over the top), but then after people started visiting because of the movie, they embraced it and love the free marketing. Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart. Apparently Mozart hated the place and people. Mozart said the city lacked culture and had narrow minded people. He moved from there and died in Vienna where he is buried.

I don’t think I have ever seen the Sound of Music, but we saw a lot of places that had scenes from the movie. We started in the Mirabell Gardens. A Catholic bishop had the palace built for his mistress and mother of his many children. It was built outside of the old city. Saw where Mozart was born and where he lived a lot of his life in Salzburg.

The first Starbucks opened about a month ago. The younger kids like it because it’s hype but it kind of kills the culture of going to a cafe and lingering for hours.

Went to Mozartplatz to see the statue.

Went to St. Peter’s Church. There is a restaurant that Charles the Great ate at from around 803. There is also a nice cemetery behind it. That church and the Salzburg Cathedral were both dark and damp.

Oh, and tomorrow is a national holiday in Austria so the military was out in Kapitelplatz so the chessboard was covered. They had a band and were giving tours and boat rides. A lot of families there. It was cool. Kind of like our Seafair but with tanks and stuff like that.

And oh my, has the weather been good. I have three layers but am ending up just in my tshirt. The weather has bee nicer than I could have imagined. I have had some rain, but it’s really just been so nice. The sun has been hot.

I spent the afternoon at the Eagle’s Nest which is a place the Nazi Party built for Hitler to celebrate his 50th birthday. He had a house lower in the hill but it was destroyed after the war. The Eagle’s Nest was a spot where Hitler and the party would entertain foreign delegates. I’ve heard that the French ambassador termed the phrase as the Nazi’s called it the Tea House, but I read that the Americans termed the phrase. In today’s dollars it would have cost $120M Euros.

The drive up was amazing and the water was so clear. And the view from up there was amazing. Really amazing but it was weird riding in an elevator that Adolf Hitler had ridden in. It’s like where does that much hate come from.

Currently in Munich. Tomorrow is the last day of the tour and I will be hanging out here from Sunday to Wednesday, returning Thursday. What will I do? Nothing.

Tired of running around. I will plan each day as I go. Maybe I will do a day trip or two. I know that I will sleep in on Sunday. Oh, and they fall back Sunday so I will get two fall backs again.

Fairy Tales and Mad Kings

Same thing as previous entry, I need to edit and run spell check.

I spent most of today at Neuschwanstein Castle, which is one of the castles built by Ludwig II. Poor guy. It doesn´t sound like he was prepared to rule by his parents. We learned of his schedule, which included 30 minutes each day with his mom. Then his dad died and he was made king. He spent the money it had taken centuries to amass in 22 years. His death is mysterious, either murder, suicide\murder, suicide, or accident.

His castle was awesome. Apparently it inspired Walt Disney.

I have been promised a castle and prince (and happily ever after) and am still waiting for both!

Arrived in Salzburg in the evening and took a walk along the waterfront with some tour mates and had dinner. It´s nice from what I can see.