May 31 - June 3: Bier and Brezels

Three-ish days in Munich was definitely not enough! We arrived mid afternoon on our bus from Vienna--the one that actually showed. It had been such a long day(s) that we just had the energy to unpack, find dinner (at the bierhalle across the street), and relax for the rest of the evening. The next day started off bright and early with a trip to Allianz Arena, home to FC Bayern Munich. I was only a little bit excited.

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We bought tickets to both the museum and the tour. We also splurged for the audio guides. If you're doing the museum, the audio is pretty much unnecessary because everything they tell you is also on the information boards.

The museum was really interesting and I learned a lot about the history of the club! I didn't realize how much I didn't know but it was amazing to learn so much more.

I'm also not saying the best part of the museum was the cardboard cutouts of the current players, but uh, it might have been.

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After the museum (where I only cried three times and then once more at my gift shop total, thank you very much), we went on the arena tour. We got to tour the arena, sitting both high in the stands and in the VIP area by midfield before heading back to the media areas where the team does press conferences and into the players' locker room. I was totally fine, I swear.  

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It was so incredible. The team has always represented Munich for me and seeing the arena was the perfect way to start our stay there.

After, we took the Metro out to the Deutches Museum. It had been recommended by several sites but we were not fans. It didn't seem to have a cohesive theme aside from the general "science and technology" (the nuclear power section was next to the tunnel building, which was beside marine navigation), the building was confusingly laid out, and most of the information signs were in German. We stayed long enough to use the bathroom several times and fill up our water bottles--it helped justify the € 4 we spent to get in.

To recover, we decided to take a trip to Hofbräuhaus, which is where Oktoberfest started. When in Munich, drink like the Germans?

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The next day, we took the Metro out to Dachau Concentration Camp. I've been to the Holocaust museum in DC multiple times and always been very moved and shaken by it, but the camp was a lot different. I'm not sure what I expected, but being at the site was surreal and heartbreaking at the same time.

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The hardest part, I think, was moments when we'd be reading about how little the prisoners got to eat while in the kitchen area or when we toured the barracks where they were forced to pile in on top of each other. It made it feel so, so real in a way that I'd never experienced in a museum before.

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The feeling made us all a little bit out of sorts. It was an emotionally taxing day, but we all agreed we were glad we'd done it.

To help decompress, we made our way back across Munich to the English Gardens and walked around for a while. The gardens were gorgeous and it was great to see yet another side of Munich!

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We've been working on learning to eat later, like so much of Europe does, and finally managed to wait until 7:30, but then couldn't get a table at the biergarten near our hostel. So back to our trusty bierhalle and auf wiedersehen to Munich!

More on Paris later. Someday, I will actually be caught up, I swear.