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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MUNICH (DAY 1)

I'm not really sure how this keeps happening, but I opened Blogger today and realized that my last post was a full month ago... oops. Time is seriously flying by, and I can't keep up with it. The other day it occurred to me that I have only about a month left in Ireland, and it was not a pleasant realization - I don't want to leave!


But, I don't mind leaving for a weekend, and in this case, I didn't mind leaving Ireland for Germany (and Austria!) at all. ;)

One of the extreme joys of budget air travel is that you don't always end up with the *best* flight times. But, either way, on Friday morning I was awake at 4 AM and in the shower, getting ready to hop over to the airport and make my 6:50 AM flight. However, this early morning ended up giving us almost a full day in Munich, since we arrived at 10:15. After taking a cab from the airport into the city centre (which was far more expensive than I expected, so next time I'll be taking a train!), dropping our bags at our hotel, and taking a minute to chug some water and freshen up, the two girls I was traveling with, Tyler and Abbie, and I ventured down to grab some lunch before our walking tour at 2.

We used a free walking tour through a company we found on TripAdvisor, and our guide, Jovanny, was absolutely fantastic. He was hilarious, informative, but also serious when he needed to be, such as when we stood in the square where the Nazi party began or when we saw the very building where the orders for Kristallnacht were given.

If anything, those moments were the most surreal parts of the trip. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II, and my dad's father, who I unfortunately never met, was actually stationed in Munich as an engineer for the American army. As a self-proclaimed history dork (I actually went into college thinking I wanted to become a history teacher), it was both fascinating, appalling, and so much more looking at these buildings and town squares where people changed the fate of the entire world.

Although those moments were a mix of strong emotions, during the tour, it was utterly freezing, and our guide decided to give us a 10 minute break in a coffee shop to warm up. As the time winded down and we got up to leave, a girl came up to me and asked if I knew where our tour was supposed to meet outside again. Picking up on her American accent, I asked her where she was from, and after talking with her during the tour and over some beers after (I'm legal in Europe, don't worry!), we realized that not only did she know my best friend, but she also knew a guy who went to my brother high school and had just proposed the night before. It was downright weird, but also amazing to see just how small the world really is.

Sadly, she had to jet off to meet some other friends, but my crew and I continued eating our way through Munich, trying pork knuckles, schnitzel, pretzels, and more before retiring to our hotel before catching the train to Austria the next morning. More details (and photos) on day two coming soon!



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