Life on the Train - Germany
From party, to peaceful, to party! Leaving the party in Amsterdam, Moselkern and Bacharach were sleepy little towns that were closed down by 9:00 if not sooner. Munich however, turned out to be a bit of a surprise to us, and the party was back on!
Saturday after our ferry ride down the Rhine River we boarded a train headed to” Munchen”. Munchen is the pronunciation of Munich and the kids couldn’t figure out why I kept saying that “weird word”.
We have spent a good amount of time on the train so I thought this would be an appropriated place to post our train video. I will try to post the video link of “Life on the Train” sometime tomorrow.
Despite the amount of time spent on trains we have never really felt rushed and train travel has been quite comfortable. We did have one train delay on the way to Munich that provided a bit of humor. We happened to board a carriage with 7 or 8 German fellows that seemed to be on their way to a party. Actually, the party had already started as they had been pulling beers from a cooler they had with them. Ali thought they were cute and looked for excuses to move closer to the action. Anyway at one of the stops we seemed to wait for ages to continue the trip. After a 20 minute wait they announced there would be a short delay due to a malfunction. A number of people including a couple of the “cute boys” got off for a smoke and to stretch. After about 5 minutes the train suddenly started to pull away from the station.
Ali Happens Upon a Bachelor Party. - Munich, Germany
Eyes of the passengers got big and a few panicked as they thought their friends and loved one’s who had gotten off were being left behind. Turns out we had to pull forward and then backward on a different track to change engines. At one point as we passed by the “cute boys” (when moving backwards) the “cute boys” standing along the dock gave us a soccer cheer and a wave. We did return for those that had stepped off. The train ride through the German countryside was beautiful! Lush fields and forests of green with little towns built upon rolling hills in the background.
Rudolph at the HB - Munich, Germany
As mentioned above Munich was a bit of a surprise. Going into this stop none of us really had any expectations. Munich was essentially a stop that would allow for a visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site and maybe a beer at the “Hofbrauhaus”.
Stepping out of the train station it became apparent we were in for a treat as the city was alive with people. We checked into our hostel “The Wombat” that happened to be a party in itself. The Wombat offered a bar with a pool table, loud music and an adjoining lounge. We found out quickly that for the first time we would be sharing a room with two strangers. Based on their belongings strew about the room they appeared to be young boys. We locked up or items and headed in search of the Hofbrauhaus.
Sam & Ali with a liters of "Radler" and Dark Beer. - Munich, Germany
The Hofbrauhaus is the world’s most famous beer hall and it didn’t disappoint! The Hofbrauhaus is a multilevel hall with large rooms adorned in heavy wood tables and benches. It was packed, loud and a place where you can expect to share a table with strangers.
We were denied a spot at one table, but a kind old German gentleman named Rudolph offered us a seat at his table. Rudolph was a sweet old man full of character that quickly grew fond of Christy. Rudolph had polished a few drinks prior to our arrival. We asked him to point out what beer on the menu he had been drinking and he appropriately put 4 X’s on the menu next to his beer of choice signifying, 4 down! The beer was outstanding!!! I started with a liter of something called a “Radler”. It was a lemonade beer that tasted like an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea). So tasteful even Sam and Ali were fond of this one! Christy ordered a dark beer while we shared a sampler plate of bratwurst (sausage and kraut). Everything was excellent! Side Note: So much beer is consumed at this place (10,000 liters per day) that they have a special “vomitorium” next to the urinals (see pictures).
Vomitorium at the Hofbrauhaus
Original Fence - Dachau, Germany
Outside the Hofbrauhaus, down the street, and headed back towards the hostel a couple of kids tried to hit us with water balloons from a 2nd story window. That’s where they made their mistake! One of the baseball size balloons didn’t break and Sam was able to put his pitching skills to use and threw a strike right above their heads inside their 2nd story window. USA 1 – Germany 0 (For Ragsdale’s benefit, Carl won this battle!)
Returning back to the hostel Ali and I joined the party downstairs at the bar while Christy and Sam headed to bed. Our roommates came in between 2 and 4 AM and were very quiet. Wish we could say the same for our departure at 8:00 AM.
Sunday morning (June 21st) we took a guided tour of the former concentration camp at Dachau.
It would be a waste of time to try and express the experience of visiting one of these camps as the atrocities have already been well documented. Why visit? As citizens of the world and “Ambassadors of Good Will” I believe the visit will leave Sam and Ali with a deeper appreciation for the value of human life and a greater tolerance for what others believe in.
Jewish Memorial with a Stance of Defiance - Eyes Looking Upward and Hands in Pockets - Dachau, Germany