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Munich

sunny 80 °F
View Germany/Czech 2023 on amikulski's travel map.

Day 5
Today was mostly a travel day. We caught an 8 AM high-speed train to Munich. Unfortunately, it was delayed an hour. The silver lining was that by the time we had lunch and arrived at the hotel, our room was ready.

As luck would have it, the U-Bahn line closest to our hotel is having construction done to it. For us to take it into the city center, we have to take a replacement bus for several stops. It was especially chaotic at evening rush. Nevertheless, we managed to get to the Viktualienmarkt for dinner in the beer garden. My host family took me here back in 1992, so it was fun to be back.

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Day 6
Today we went to Nymphenburg Palace. Our original plan was to tour the inside, but the grounds were so impressive that we decided to walk through them first. I’m not even sure we saw half of everything there.

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It was such a scenic place that we spotted two couples getting their wedding pictures taken there! Here's one of them.

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After lots of walking, we decided that we didn’t need to go inside.

Later that day we watched the glockenspiel show at Marienplatz and had dinner at the Hofbrauhaus.

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Day 7
For the first time in our travels, we split ourselves into 2 groups for sightseeing. DD1 and I headed to the Dachau concentration camp. DH and DD2 went to the Museum of Transportation. We did this split because we weren’t sure that Dachau would be age-appropriate for DD2: both the Dachau website and Rick Steves recommend it for ages 14 and up. I think it was the right call for us. Although there were some younger kids there, the interpretive information is very detailed and often disturbing. And it is really hard to walk through the buildings knowing what happened there. We talked with DD1 about this before we went (DH had been there on the past, so he could speak to the experience of it firsthand).

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Although Dachau is not a fun visit, DD1 and I did find it really thought-provoking and worthwhile. We started with the museum. It is text-dense, much like the Topography of Terror in Berlin: the font and formatting looked the same, so they must have hired the same design firm. DD1 and I started reading every single caption. The museum really does give excellent explanations, but it is a lot to read and emotionally process. Then we watched the 38-minute documentary in the cinema. Afterwards, we realized that we had much more to go in the museum. We tried reading less to go faster. We found ourselves a bit pressed for time to see everything before closing (we skipped the bunker and only checked out the crematorium briefly, which was about all I could do in that moment). If I could do it again, I would skip the film and visit at least some of the other buildings before the museum.

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I saw some people taking pictures of themselves on the grounds. That really didn’t feel right to me. I did get pics of the plaques for the liberators of the camp, in addition to the ones above, though.

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Meanwhile, DH and DD2 enjoyed their time at the transportation museum, which covered everything from snow shoes to trains .

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(photo credit DH)

Day 8
We woke up early to take the train for our day trip to Salzburg. Originally we wanted to stay there a night or two, but train connections from there to Prague were pretty long, so we opted for the day trip. Given our limited time in the city, we chose to do the hop-on hop-off (HOHO) bus. It was good for getting to some sights outside of town, but if I were to do it over, I would consider a taxi for the specific sights outside of town that I wanted to see.

The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg. I would say that we are fans of the movie: we enjoy it and wanted to see the filming locations. In Salzburg, we discovered a next-level fandom. We saw a bike tour pass by singing “Do-re-mi”. I tuned into the Sound of Music audio channel on the HOHO bus and only lasted a couple of minutes: there was all kinds of talk about the awards the movie won, but nothing about what we seeing out the window! Even though we learned that we are just casual fans of the movie, we still enjoyed seeing the houses used for the von Trapp home exterior (here's one: they never lived there in real life)

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and the gazebo/pavilion from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” at Hellbrun Palace. Fun fact: it’s locked because too many people have hurt themselves trying to dance on the benches like Leisl!

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I also learned that some of the places we took pictures of also made cameos in the movie, like the Residenz plaza and the Horse Pond (DH got the pic of the latter).

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My favorite Sound of Music sight was the Mirabell Gardens, the setting for “Do-re-mi”. Not only was it easily recognizable, it was really pretty.

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We saw other things not related to the movie, like Mozart’s birthplace

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and the Hohensalzburg Fortress,

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which had amazing views of the town below and the surrounding Alps.

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This day was the hottest one yet on our vacation, with highs in low 80s. Even though it was not terrible, all the walking with limited opportunities to hydrate left us feeling worn out by around 4 PM. We set out for ice cream, but the only 2 places we saw were cash-only, and we were a bit low on Euros (and hadn’t told our bank that we might cross into Austria). We decided to walk towards the train station in search of ice cream that we could purchase on our credit cards. Unfortunately, we reached the train station without finding anything. The only place in the station selling ice cream also was cash-only. We settled for cold drinks that were not very cold (drink coolers seem to be kept at higher temps here than in the US).

Because we were trying to maximize what we could see, there were things we didn’t do, like go inside Mozart’s house or check out the trick fountains at Hellbrunn Palace. I would like to go back to Salzburg someday and see even more!

Day 9
We took it more slowly today because we were tired from Salzburg. It was another hot day, so we also wanted to pace ourselves. Our main activity was visiting the White Rose memorial and exhibit at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. For anyone who doesn’t know, the White Rose Society was a student activist group that protested the Hitler regime by publishing and distributing a series of pamphlets. If it doesn’t seem as daring as the actions of other resistance fighters, keep in mind that even having the supplies to make the pamphlets (e.g., large quantities of paper) was a serious offense, never mind telling readers to rise up against Hitler. Six students and one professor were executed for their participation in the White Rose Society, and others served prison sentences.

The memorial was housed in the building where members Hans and Sophie Scholl distributed pamphlets. They would arrive before classes started and scatter them around the atrium.

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One day a building caretaker saw them and ratted them out.

The atrium now contains memorials to the group.

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Beneath the atrium, there is a small museum about the White Rose Society.

And outside the building is a memorial in the pavement. We missed it on the way in and had to ask the museum staff about it, but the idea is cool. It is made to look like the pamphlets and make it feel like you are a student encountering them on the ground.

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On our last trip to Europe, we met friends from our town on Barcelona. For this trip, we one-upped that: we traveled even farther from home to have dinner with our neighbors! It was a fun way to wrap up our time in Munich.

Posted by amikulski 00:46 Archived in Germany Tagged children salzburg austria germany families munich

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