And now I come to you from the land of Oktoberfest and BMW- Munich!
Stepping into Munich from Frankfurt, I could feel a stark difference in the vibe. The lack of touristy attractions in Frankfurt is well compensated by Munich.
Munich has a public transport system which keeps all ends of the city well connected, the infrastructure is eye-catching, it is home to one of the largest film production houses in Europe and it is generally booming. It might come as quite a suprise to some that all this development took place post 1945. Under the Nazi regime, 88% of Munich had been flattened and had to be rebuilt ground-up. A lot more history was explained during the tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp. It might not be the happiest place to visit but it is an eye-opener and reminds you of the kind of brutality humans are truly capable of. Dachau Concentration Camp was established within less than two months of Hitler coming into power in 1933 and continued to serve as a site of severe punishment meted out by the SS until it was liberated by the American troops in 1945. Dachau served as a ‘model’ camp for the others established throughout Europe. Though it was mainly intended to house political prisoners, it went on to include anyone who wouldn’t/couldn’t comply with or contribute to the regime. Visiting Dachau is one experience everyone needs to go through in order to understand the true plight of the victims and the extent humans can go to in their quest for power.
The touristy attractions of Munich are many. The most happening place is around Marienplatz. It’s abuzz with shops and eateries and has an extremely vibrant atmosphere. The classical structure of the surrounding buildings certainly adds to the special feel of this place.
The city is well recognised for its beer and a trip here remains incomplete without a visit to one of the beer gardens. There are over a 180 to choose from!
The Nymphenburg Palace is a sight itself. The property is larger than you can imagine and sprawling with beautiful lakes and lush gardens.
BMW World and Museum is housed in this wonderful city so all the brand worshippers are in for a treat.
A little away from the BMW buildings is the Olympic Park, constructed to look like the Alps, which hosted the unfortunate Summer Olympics of 1972. When the park isn’t hosting Olympics, it is a great place to hang around with lots of activities and concerts taking place throughout the year.
And going further away from the city is Allianz Arena. And they also offer guided tours of the stadium.
If you happen to have an extra day in Munich and would like to tick another place off your list, a recommended trip would be to Salzburg, Austria. Merely an hour and a half away by train, it is the location where Sound of Music was shot as is as picture perfect as scene is in the movie. To steal a line from the Sound of Christmas, it’s as though the word ‘charming’ was invented to describe Salzburg. It looks just like a postcard with hills towering in the backdrop and lakes glistening under the sky. Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart with his house bring a celebrated attraction. Being located in a valley, the view of Salzburg from a height is panoramic and unmatched. A trip to the Fortress is worth the view. The Untersberg mountain offers a three hour climb and beyond that is Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. Honestly, Salzburg cannot be done in a day. It’s one of those places which consumes you. The stunning Mirabelle Gardens, the beer hall with its great atmosphere, the morning markets in the streets- they deserve your undivided time and attention.
And this was the last leg of my vacation. It’s time to dive head-first into reality and deal with life as it happens. I hope you’ve gotten to see Europe along with me and are ready to go have your own adventures. Or touristy vacation. Whatever your thing is. Europe is amazing.
Until next time!