Wooohoo! Last weekend, myself and about ten other USAC students visited Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest which is a huge, beer fest with a fair-like atmosphere including rides, bratwursts, carnival games and so much more German food!
We camped for three nights in the cold forests of Munich, but that was part of the experience and it made it that much more exciting to go into the city each day. The first day we got there, we got settled into our campsite and headed to Oktoberfest for some bratwursts complete with mustard!
The public transportation was super convenient because no one actually pays for it, you just get on. The facilities are extremely clean and easy to figure out (for some of us haha). Here is a picture of the massive, complicated metro system! It was mostly difficult because none of us knew how to pronounce any names of the metro stops….
The next day we explored the city more, starting from the city center and walking to the English Gardens, which I would compare to NYC’s Central Park. It was massive and parts of the park were open to nudity (which was very shocking at first hahaha).
Here are some pictures of Nikki and I exploring Munich and later you can see the pictures from the English Gardens! On our way we stopped and ate meatball sandwiches and some hungarian spicy stew at a pub with many locals. It was SO GOOD and it felt like we were being taken care of by our German mom. We also found some unbelievably delicious chocolate and coffee while we were walking around. Later that day we went back to Oktoberfest and rode rides, ate more food, and sang popular American and German songs in one of the more international friendly beer tents. Below are some pictures from near the city center.
The third day we visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site which was a Nazi concentration camp that was ran for 12 years. Dachau was used to set the standard for all other concentration camps. Visitin the site was very heavy and heartbreaking. The most eerie part was being in the gas chamber rooms where camp prisoners were told they were going to “shower” when in reality they would be killed by gas. It was sickening to see the areas where people were killed and the rooms that so many bodies were stored in. The most emotional part, for me, was seeing and entering the Jewish monument created after the liberation of the camp, to honor those Jewish lives lost at the concentration camp.
Visiting Munich was amazing and it was interesting how the customer service was almos the opposite of Spain- they ask you to pay right when your food is served (instead of staying at the restaurant for hours and then asking for the check as you leave) and it isn’t normal to stay at a restaurant for very long. Leaving Spain made us miss Bilbao and helped us realize how much we love it there! Stay tuned for a recap of my weekend in San Sebastian!