«Wednesday, July 5, 2000»
Ich kann nicht Deutsch sprechen. But that doesn't matter so much
here in southern Bavaria, everyone is very friendly and very helpful,
wether they speak English or not.
we got up and biked to the Olympic park (built for the 1972 games) in
München before having to return the bikes. The architecture was
absolutely fabulously beautiful (as were the huge swans that were
nearly the size of a European car). Then we checked out of the Tent and
visited the Englischer-Gartens (gorgeous streams and fields, but too
cloudy for nude sunbathers).
lunch we caught the next train here to Garmisch (among a cluster of
towns like Füssen, Oberammergau, etc.)... and it has been fantastic.
Not overly touristy in the least. We hiked up the woods on one of the
mountins to a waterfall, and ate dinner at an Italian joint in Oberau.
Being July 4, Mike and I made a toast to our nation's independence by
being independent from our nation.
the youth hostel here in Garmisch had an 23:00 curfew, we caught the
next bus back and began speaking with some of the high school students
that were staying there on a one-week summer program/camp thing. They
only spoke German and Russian, so we were lost for the mostpart, but
sooner or later their bedtime came and their teachers (one of which was
originally from France) invited us into the teacher's lounge for wine.
There we spent the next two hours talking about politics (ugh!), puns
(yay!), and vocabulary lessons. And sharing travel stories. Sooner or
later we wobbled up to the top floor to our room and went to sleep.
morning we ate a monster breakfast: cereal, eggs, sausage, bread, pear,
coffee!! Now it's nearly 14:00 and neither of us are really hungry for
lunch yet. We've mostly wandered around the village and hung out with
the store merchants; freshly pleased every time we set foot outside and
see the great green moutains peering over the streets from every angle.
Mike and I found a bottle of "Teacher's" brand Scotch Whiskey at the
supermarket today, so I think we'll buy a bottle to share with our
teachers friends tonight.
the next few days we're setting up headquarters here in Garmisch while
we seen the castle at Füssen and the Passion Play in Oberammergau on
Friday (pray that we can get there early enough to get tickets Friday
morning). And, with crossed fingers, and thinking about running up to
Hanover for the Expo 2000 (World's Fair)!!! That's all for now...
«Monday, July 3, 2000»
5:12 PM... Still
in München. Yesterday I went to the concentration camp at Dachau with
Mike, two folks he met earlier this week (Max, a German-Canadian thug,
and Ken, his college buddy) and two students from Wheaton College (Amy
Hillis, who incidentally went to high school with me, and her travel
buddy Nathan). The experience was overwhelming. For the first 15
minutes just looking out on the expansive institution of confinement I
almost cried because fo the scenes I imagined... but I ultimately
toughened up. I kept having to remind myself that this wasn't even an extermination camp.
This was just a place to encarcerate and enslave, but conditions were
terrible. I took photos of some of the memorials on the grounds, but I
couldn't bring myself to photograph any of the barracks or the
crematorium or the fences. I don't know why I would want to remember
them. But all in all it was a good, humbling, troubling, growthful
experience. (I had no idea so many Christians were imprisoned, too...
zealous Christians and liberal leaders in politics were among the first
to be locked up, followed by the capturing of Poles and Belgians).
cheer ourselves up after that, we then walked (and walked and walked)
to the mideival city in the West side of town and walked through the
gardens of the castle that king so-and-so built (it was less of a
historical sight and more of a ritzy neighborhood with restaurants and
such, so there was little info posted on the history of the area). we
then stopped for ice cream sundaes and found our way back to Munich.
After some dinner there (pasta with either pork or lamb in a yogurt
sauce - pretty good), a slew of us walked to a festival down the street
and then caught the tram downtown to find a good bar to watch the
futball match. I was rooting for France. The only place we could find
that was open but not dodgy was in Munich's "Little Italy." I was all
alone in my cheers for the Bleus, but they pulled through amazingly
there at the end.
midnight we made it back to the Tent and I talked at length with Amy
Hillis (the girl from high school whom I did not know, but we had tons
of mutual friends) before finally crashing around 1am.
morning Mike and I rented bikes (only 12DM, which is about $6, for the
whole day) and have been biking around town all day. Ninety percent of
the streets have bike lanes here, so it's really quite nice and safe.
Now it's about 17:00 and we're going to try to find some food and go to
mass at the "Notre Dame" church here (I don't know the German
translation... it's a huge gothic church with twin bronze spires that
was damaged in WWII, but recontructed and is currently active). Tonight
perhaps to the Bier-Garten and tomorrow to the Englischer-Garten (nude sunbathing!) before heading on to Füssen en route to Oberammergau for the "Passion Play."
Editor's note: Just as I got used to the French keyboard I have to go to Germany, where it's completely different. Drat.
«Sunday, July 2, 2000»
I will be brief because access here at The Tent is slow and expensive.
But I arrived here yesterdaz (after about 15 hours of train riding) and
my college buddy Mike Adams arrived last night. This place is literally
a huge circus tent (one side is people with mats on the floor, and for
a few more dollars you can buy a bunk bed on the other side, and for a
few more dollars you can camp outside with your own equipment, but
breakfast isn't included with that). After going to bed around 3:00 in
the morning after long talks by the bonfire (Mike and I ran into a clan
from Wheaton College, one of which both went to my high school and knew
Mike's high school valentine's dance date from college), we finally hit
the sack and the rain dripping on the roof of the tent was wonderful
white noise to drift off to.
we go see the Nazi concentration camps at Dachau and tomorrow Mike and
I are renting bikes to tour the city (see museums, go up in the tower,
looks for faster, cheaper internet, etc.). More stories (including some
funy ones from over the past few days) forthcoming.