Wow! What an incredible weekend!!!!!
Almost all 43 of us left on Friday to take over Munich, Germany. We left Lugano at 4:30 pm and had a nice 6 1/2 hour train ride ahead of us with 2 transfers. When we were finally on our last third of the trip, Caroline suggested some games for us to play and they turned into competitions, and then eventually "Carolympics." We had the whole train watching, laughing, and even participating with us. Smize.
When we arrived at our hostel, Wombats, it turned out that everyone, except for Ashley and I, had accidently booked their rooms for the weekend before. Wombats was completely filled for the night, so they all decided to go check to see if there was any room at the place next door, while Ashley and I went up to our room, 101 (dalmations) to get ready for the night. Our room was a "mixed co-ed 6 person dorm," and when we walked in there was a bunch of boy stuff everywhere but no one in site. We got ready and made our way down to the Wombar.
We heard the girls had gotten a room at the place right next to ours so we ran over there, just in time to celebrate Carla's 21st at midnight! We were told by locals to go to the "Milchbar" and that is exactly what we did. Beer in Germany is cheaper than water in Switzerland. We made friends with everyone we met and it was a great first night to the best weekend!
When I woke up at 7 am to go to the bathroom, I heard Ashley saying "Michelle.....Michelle...Shelly," and saw four unknown males in our room. Surprise! I went over to Ashley's bunk and she informed me that she hadn't fallen asleep yet and didn't know what to do. I told her to count sheep and her breaths and hopped back in bed for another 3 hours. When I woke up again, there she was, still awake. Our roommates were so funny, three from Whales and one from some part of northern Germany I could never understand him saying. The room was full of accents and was hilarious. Ashley was delirious, I was starving, so I went downstairs to get breakfast with the boys while she tried to sleep some more.
When we came back up Ashley was STILL awake, but we decided she had to push through it and we had to get up and tour Munich. Robin, our German roommate decided to come with us and we all left to head to the Marienplatz, main square, where the New and Old Town Halls both stand. Sure enough we found a free tour group and jumped right in to explore the city. Our tour guide was amazing. She had the perfect way of engaging everyone in all of her knowledge about the the extremely historic city we walked through. We saw the Rathaus-Glockenspiel which performs at 11 am and 12 noon daily. Our tour was at 1 so we didn't get to see it, but Stacey, the tour guide, gave us a pretty authentic acted out version of her interpretation of the whole thing.
We next saw the Munich Church, Hofbrähaus, many statues, the concrete wall where Hitler's plaque used to be nailed to, memorials to the Holocaust, stopped to buy a thicker pair of socks, ate a bratwurst, and found a Starbuck's! Everything was so rich with history and information that I had only ever read in high school textbooks. It was so cool to see everything first hand; the actual memorials, churches, and buildings. It makes it so much more memorable and meaningful. I'm so interested in everything and want to know more and learn about everything I possibly can. I LOVE HISTORY!
We went back to our hostel after with Robin and napped. Ashley's first sleep since Thursday night. We woke back up and knew it was time to further check out the Hofbrähaus, a 400 year old beer hall - location Mozart used to go to back in the day, and where Hitler made a bunch of his infamous speeches. It was just what you are picturing. A huge hall with high ceilings, a live band playing German music, little German men and women all dressed up in official German dresses carrying boxes of pretzels and liters of beer everywhere, all around the HUGE haus. It was a fun experience and good taste of German night life.
On Sunday morning we woke up and went to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp. The entrance gate to this concentration camp carries the words "Arbeit macht frei," meaning "through work one will be free." It was a pretty incredible and astonishing experience to learn so much about what actually happened there. It was sicking yet eye opening and very informing to learn and see all of the horrific details. Definitely an important site to visit, and something to be acknowledged and learned from.
When we got back we got lunch at a different beer haus and walked around enjoying the city. The buildings and scenery have such a strong feel to them. Everything looks so sturdy and powerful with tall gothic architecture. All of the different shades of grey and brown buildings during the day, magically lit up at night. Munich has definitely been my favorite city so far!
I went for the most epic run again yesterday. Made it up the hill this time!
Back to Italy this weekend to visit Florence! Trying to get through this hectic week. We started Italian today. Quiz tomorrow, midterm Thursday, then more travels!
Mi chiamo Michelle. Buona notte.