Friday, 16 December 2011

Through the Austrian Alps to Deutschland

"The hills are alive with the sound of music..." I could literally hear Julie Andrews singing as we drove through the Austrian Alps, not just because of the majestical scenery but because we actually had The Sound of Music soundtrack playing on the bus :)

We did not stop in Austria at all, but had to take in as much as we could through the bus windows. I was sad we did not, but it made me vow to come back to Austria some day very soon. Words could not describe how beautiful the mountains truly were. 

Then onto Germany for the very first day of Oktoberfest!!! How lucky were we to arrive at this very momentous day. I have always wanted to partaking in this glorious beer-drinking, pretzel-eating extravaganza, my dreams were coming true! Munich was a really cool city, but seemed like such a drastic contrast to the previous European countries we had been travelling through. I could say more "Americanized", although I do not mean this in an offense way or want to imply that there was a lack of German culture. The city itself just seemed less foreign compared to the others. I really liked it though, and I loved the beer-halls! :) That was a very cultural experience!

To completely change pace, the next morning we made our way to Dachau. Those couple of hours spent in the concentration camp will always be one of the more important events in my life. Describing how I felt during that raining morning is very difficult. The words "sobering" or "overwhelming" come to mind, but neither do it justice. A mix of "mournful", "eye-opening" and "haunted" are also mixed up in there. Needless to say, it is an experience I feel that everyone should experience. It is easy to learn about the holocaust through books and videos, but when its reality is so far away, time-wise and geographically, the severity can be overlooked. One cannot ignore the massive tragedy when standing exactly where hundreds of thousands of prisoners were tortured and killed.

At this point, I feel that the photos need to keep talking for me.



Austrian Alps.

Can you not picture yodelers and goats here?

Picnic lunch in Munich, "Gluten Frei" bread!

Oktoberfest: "Where even 10 year olds can chug a stein of beer."

The Glockenspiel!

Entrance to Dachau.
"Arbeit Machi Frei" - Work Sets You Free
This slogan was seen on most concentration camps.

Nazi soldier tower.

Ever step along the grounds evoked a new feeling.

Toward the end of the war they crammed thousands of prisoners in these beds.

The majestic Rhine Valley River.

Tasting some Rhine Valley Riesling 

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