Munich life hasn’t been normal for a very long time now. Welcome visits from family and Hannah have left me with no free time and the time has just flown. For the past 2 weekends Ma and Pa Thorpe have been in Munich and were joined my Matty for the second weekend, which was (obviously) greeted with a great deal of hostility from the landlord, as he was to be staying at mine for the first night.
Weekend 1 – Sightseeing & Shopping
|The boobs of the Frauenkirchen|
To quote a massively overused phrase my parents’ visit was a tale of 2 halves. The first weekend was filled with glorious sunshine giving us a great opportunity to get out in the city and visit many of the attraction which I haven’t yet managed to see (or haven’t wanted to pay for)! This included a trip up to the top of the Rathaus, with it’s panoramic views which allowed me to pick out every landmark and give a brief history of my very brief knowledge of Munich! This was followed by a trip inside the recently christened ‘boob church’ or Frauenkirchen to you or I (my parents are quite childish). Saturday saw us sampling the shops of Munich, as my football boots which had been with me the for best part of 6 years finally gave up the ghost and fell apart – somewhat conveniently. With the sun beating down in felt a shame to take the U-Bahn around town so instead we ended up walking everywhere. By the time we made it to the alte Pinakothek my Mum and I were well and truly done for and in no way up for walking round a gallery. Instead, we parted ways with Dad and found ourselves a comfy, sunny spot against the Pinakothek and had a little snooze. For what it’s worth the Pinakothek is apparently very impressive inside too.
To say I ate well would be an understatement. My mum’s ‘2 meals a day’ holiday meal meant that by dinner time my Dad and I were ravenous and ready to try the many delicacies of Bavaria. From Würsts, to Wienerschnitzel via Spätzle, we ate everything – washing it all down with a few Weißbier. Monday came all too quickly and after a delicious greek meal (also huge) the rents parted ways and headed off to Garmisch to take rural Bavaria before returning the next weekend.
Weekend 2 – The Young Pretender Arrives
After weeks of mithering Mum and Dad were able to convince Matt that a free holiday to Munich wasn’t a bad thing. The objective was simple – I was to pick Matty up from the S Bahn stop near work and ‘look after him’ until the whole fam were together the next day. Everything ran incredibly smoothly (lucky, as Matt’s phone had run out of battery) and after a quick dinner and change we headed out to meet my friends at a bar for a few drinks. As I had taken the day off work tomorrow there was no need to keep tabs on my drinks and a couple soon turned in rather a lot. Big mention must go to Marcus, who was able to keep up with us AND get up for work at 7am the next morning. Friday was filled mainly with sleeping but we did manage to take in BMW Welt before heading to football and then meeting up with the parents at the hostel.
The second weekend was mainly overshadowed by our trip to Dachau concentration camp on the Saturday. The temperature had dropped considerably since the last weekend and was hovering around zero – with rumours of snow. After a 45 minute walk from the station to the ‘KZ Gedenkstätte’ we purchased our audio tours and headed into the camp.
It’s difficult to get a feel for the magnitude of the atrocities that happened here but the tour and museum paints a pretty gruesome picture which made me wonder how anybody could live in the area now, knowing what happened there less than a century ago. A short video showed us images of piles of bodies and gave us first person accounts of people held at the camp but still I couldn’t grasp the terror of the place. We walked through where the prisoners used to stay, through the roll call yard and to the crematorium. This is where it finally hit me. Standing in a room with 2 furnaces which you know have burnt countless human corpses is hard to deal with but as I walked through to the ‘waiting room’, a windowless room where the bodies were piled up, I felt a terror creep over me and I just had to get out of there. I felt dirty afterwards and had a sour taste in my mouth. My Mum was equally as horror struck and we left the camp soon after.
|On the corner of Manchester Platz|
Sunday was a relaxed day as ‘the boys’ visited Manchester Platz – a memorial to the tragic air disaster involving members of the Manchester United team back in 1958.
The snow was enticing us outside but the bitter cold was doing its best to keep us inside. We managed a quick trip around the englischer Garten before the fam collected their bags and headed to the airport.
The train ride back from the airport found me wishing myself back to England, to a warm, rural Pub with a blazing fire and Northerners. It’s a feeling that’s stuck with me for the past two days and one that I hope will pass soon otherwise it’s going to be bloody hard for me to return to Munich after a Christmas back home.