Eurotrip 2012- Munich

So we started the next day in good form with a free breakfast and a later departure time. We made our way really early to the pick up point as we knew the bus would already be filled with passengers who didn’t stop in Grunau or Salzburg on their way from Vienna to Munich.

We’d lucked out the whole way and never had to sit separately but of course at some point we knew some asshats would thwart this luck. There are a lot of solo travelers on this trip. So the thought that two solo strangers who’ll always sit next to another stranger would negotiate separating a couple for no real reason is frustrating.

This bus was packed. There was only one person who’d get two seats to themselves and of course this one solo girl who’d been with us in Grunau went entirely out of her way to separate us. I may sound like a conspiracy theorist but literally when Roisin and I got on board asked politely if these two solo folks would mind sitting together (to which they both said they wanted a window seat- no bother! That’s cool) -we took our seats and then watched before us as about 5 different people laughed and switched seats from empty ones- including a guy who was holding the second spot next to this girl to ensure she kept both seats to herself. Classy. Considering we were the only two people who weren’t Australian on this particular bus… I can’t help but feel that this may have played a role.
That as well as the fact that this girl had visibly shown distaste towards us at the Treehouse because we were part of the vast majority (of mostly staff and locals) who were smoking indoors as she huffed and made faces while opening all windows and doors at all times and scowling.

So this was a bit of a shenanigan and began the epic worries and stress that accompanied “getting seats together” for the rest of this trip. (We were sharing headphones and media which is why it was important to us (along with enjoying each other’s company)… Roisin had the music, I had the videos.) We hadn’t thought that people would be capable of such crap but apparently so. And I can’t help but mention that this never, ever happened to the many straight couples that were traveling. And this is throughout months of travel.

So I watched as the girl beside me who wanted to peek out the window- fell asleep for the entire trip and we made our way into Munich for about 6-7pm.

We checked in to our hotel which we’d end up staying at more than once- so I feel quite attached to it heh- ran across the street for a quick McDonalds meal and then the fun began!

My friend Alan from University divides his time between Munich and Iceland while he completes his studies. We’d taken German together along with a Communications course (taught by the best professor on this planet Barry Joe)- not to mention did improv together as well. So I got in touch with him when I was planning this adventure. (Got in touch with Professor Joe too and he gave me awesome Germany tips!) Sure enough we made some plans and he invited Roisin and I out to meet his lovely girlfriend and friends at a pub quiz at Augustiner Hexenkessel we’d also invited our Australian pals that’d we made in Vienna Tim and Erin to join us as well.

We had a lovely evening- I found it a wee bit hard trying to divide my time between the two groups (there was no room for all of us to do the quiz) but it was so lovely to see a familiar face and to catch up with Alan as I’d not seen him since my time at Brock.

There was a weird moment outside when this creepy older German guy tried to invite Roisin and I to his place once he understood we were a couple… but beyond that- a lovely, lovely, evening!

The next day we’d booked another excursion- this time to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp. I highly recommend taking a look at that link because it’s fascinating and I’ll likely mess everything up if I try to chat too much about our experience.

Dachau was the first concentration camp opened in Germany and it served as a template for all others- it was for political prisoners.

Interesting Canadian fact for you Geddy Lee (lead singer of Rush) his father is a survivor of this camp. So there ya go- thanks wikipedia.

Our tour was incredible and our Irish guide Gordon Hogan who has been living in Germany for years- was fantastic. He gave everything context, he was clearly passionate about his work. If you’re in Munich and want to do this tour I recommend making sure Gordon is your guide. So impressed with that entire day. So informative.

In the photos you can see the “Arbeit macht frei” (Work makes freedom) gate, the mass grave, crematorium, the massive memorial, inside a barrack and where the rest of the prisoner barracks used to be, showers that doubled for torture etc.

We became fast friends with Gordon and we made plans that evening to hang out with him- so once we returned to our hotel we had a quick nap then went out to get Roisin’s hair chopped. She’d been wanting to shave her head before we made our way to Italy so- no time like the present.
I wish I could express the shock and excitement of this fella at the salon. “You want it shaved!” so funny. And then he charged us 50 euros… *puke*

I don’t think I can stress enough how much we love Germany. WE LOVE GERMANY. (Even their overpriced salons!) And one of the coolest things that you can find in Munich (well it’s hard to miss) is the Englischer Garten (English Garden). It’s one of the world’s largest urban public parks. It’s bigger than central Park in New York… he is massive and perfect! We told Gordon we’d meet him and a pal by the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) in the heart of the gardens and decided to take a long walk through them to get there. There’s wave pools and sculptures and massive lovely trees. Ahhh I just love it. Europe does parks so well. So, so, well. And on a sunny day they are jammed with people. I bloody love a good park.

So we grabbed some tankards of beer and joined Gordon and his pal Jamie and had one of the best chats of our entire trip. This was easily one of my favourite nights. We had such a good time, I look forward to our next trip to Germany and an opportunity to see them again.

We stumbled home, extra chipper (drunken proposals eh Roisin?) and slept like babies- Looking forward to day 2.



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