Hello all ! After many technological issues, I have finally established a solid internet connection in mein Wohnungszimmer. I can now blog from the comfort of my single room in Würzburg!
I recently returned from a short weekend trip in Munich. The two hour train ride only mounted our excitement. After spending about a week in a mid-sized German town, it was time for the big leagues. Munich is a city that is about ten times larger than Würzburg, with a population of about 1.4 million proud citizens. Add the almost 5 million visitors YEARLY (most for Oktoberfest), it’s safe to say that this is a very busy, bustling area of industry mixed with old-fashioned buildings and culture. Talk about an interesting combination!
On the first night there, after settling into our Hostel-Hotel — which was far nicer than I imagined it would be — we made our way to the English Gardens, a gigantic park that rivals New York’s Central Park. In the heart of this green labyrinth stands the Chinesischer Turm, which is essentially a gigantic pagoda surrounded by outdoor booths providing people with traditional food and drink. There, I had my first Weissbier, which is what Munich is known for. It was absolutely delicious:) We sat around listening to the music and voices permeating the air, and spent the remainder of the night taking in this environment.
Saturday was filled with much sight-seeing, and in the afternoon, a few of us traveled to Dachau, the infamous city of one of the most well-known concentration camps. The town is only a half hour away from Munich’s main train station. Never having been to any sort of Holocaust memorial before, it was a very sobering experience. Most of the buildings are open to the public and virtually restored to what they resembled during WWII. Each place was filled with testimonials, artifacts, and historical information all surrounding the town and camp. It was definitely worth the trip. Despite the sadness that weighed down on our hearts, it was good to finally recognize and reflect on these events from not so long ago.
We returned on Sunday, exhausted from our travels. Most of that day was spent recovering. But Monday brought a pleasant surprise: all of us felt a new-found sense of direction for this town we temporarily are calling ‘home’. Finding stores on side streets isn’t nearly as difficult, and German conversation occurs much more readily. It’s an exciting development for all of us:)
Today was the closest to home I’ve felt since arriving. During an early-morning tour of the town, our group passed a Nunnery that a sister was unlocking. She overheard bits of our tour and inquired if we wished to come inside. We agreed, and as she was opening the door she asked where we came from. Upon our response, she told us that many of her sisters came from outside of Philadelphia… Huntingdon Valley, to be exact! The exact town I’ve lived in all my life. Sister Teresa and I spoke for a while about it, and it was really a ‘small-world’ experience that I’ve never internationally experienced. I loved every second of it:)
That was much more long-winded than I expected. So I’ll let you all go for now, and I finally found my camera cord, so pictures will be here within the week !