Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We have departed Germany and are heading towards Paris as this post comes together. Our weekend in Munich was a blast as we enjoyed a night at the infamous Hofbrau Haus, a walking tour and a trip to the concentration camp at Dachau on Sunday.

Heading to the Augustiner Beer House on Friday night seemed like an appropriate way to kick off our time in Germany. 5 liters of beer, a few shots, 3 different kinds of meat (for Joe) and a huge plate of Spatzle later we were in good spirits. The brauhouse is setup for two things, drinking and eating. The singing, conversation with strangers and a giggling walk home were just a bonus for us. We met fellow travelers and a number of locals that night. Most of it was spent in conversation with two German guys who had been given a reprieve from their wives to have a night out on the town. They were most definitely taking advantage of this and gladly welcomed us to join them. Its a bit hard to recollect all that we talked about, but we found each of their business cards in our jackets the next morning and the pictures in our camera filled in a few of the blank spots. There was a brass band playing and Deb even got to chat with the trombone player who was more interested in sipping out of everyone's beer than he was playing his instrument. We got back to our hotel around 10:30 and it felt like 2 in the morning for us. The lesson we learned; our college years and the “abilities” we had then are long gone...

Saturday was spent nursing a headache and enjoying the many sites that Munich has to offer. We toured a number of churches, marketplaces and shops for a better part of the day. Joe finally got his wiener schnitzel as Deb enjoyed potato salad for dinner. A couple of pretzels and sweet treats fueled us as well for what turned out to be a day of serious city walking. Sunday morning we went to Dachau and took a sobering tour of the first concentration camp organized in Germany during WWII. It is hard to describe what one feels while walking around a place that's only purpose was to kill people. Germany has done a very good job of turning the camp into a place of remembrance and education. The memorial's to the victims are beautiful and we are very glad to have spent the better part of a day there.

We headed to a small town outside of Stuttgart on Sunday evening, where Joe's dad grew up, to visit his cousins. Uncle Helmuth and Aunt Marianne showed us around the area for two days. Stops included the old cities of Rothenburg, Esslingen, Ludwigsburg and Linden. It was good to meet more Wronka's and even a bit entertaining to listen to Joe try his best to speak German. His ability to order beer and pretzels is good, but it goes down hill from there...Anyway. We had a great time with the family and enjoyed some very good meals and sharing of stories. They wanted to see our pictures and may have regretted asking as we dropped about 4 megabytes of photos on them!

Germany was good to us and the best part was visiting with family that we rarely get to see. We want to get back to the northern part of the country at some point, but what we saw these past few days will be pretty hard to beat. The travel itinerary is getting short now, only Paris and London remain. One week from today we will be back in Chicago, hopefully we can find a way to slow time down!

1 comment:

  1. We went to Dachau last summer and your words are very true. We happened to be given a book before we left called "Priestblock # ??????" and it was about a Catholic priest who spent two years in Dachau which was the camp that most Catholic priests were sent to. It was an excellent and simple read but really incredible with the ability to compare it to the experience of being there.

    the ?? are numbers I just can't remember them, but you can look it up on amazon! :)