Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A walk through History ..Dachau Concentration Camp

Sometimes I can just be walking down our posts cobble stone main street and I am just amazed that my family has been given this amazing opportunity.  We are surrounded by so much history and wonderful places to visit either as a couple or as a family. One of the places we chose to visit was Dachau Concentration Camp when you walk through the entrance you are just taken back by the sight. Amazingly some of the buildings are still standing and are used as a living museum where you get a glimpse of history. 
This is a model of Dachau Camp it was interesting to see what it looked like when the buildings were still standing. Strolling through the main building which houses the museum you see everything from where the prisoners were brought when they first arrived giving the Nazis there names and information, you see what their uniforms looked like, their food bowls and where they bathed. There are hanging wall displays with the history of Dachau a time line from start to finish.

Walking through Dachau you start to think about what life was like back then for the prisoners, for the Nazis as well as just regular people who lived in the community outside of Dachau. I wasn't bothered too much by the barracks where the prisoners slept pretty much was like a bunk house or Army barracks.
I thought the bathroom area was primitive a little disgusting but still that didn't bother me much either...
I think personally when I really started to be bothered by the place was when we walked to the disinfection chamber

After the Disinfection chamber they would then bring the prisoners to the waiting room
After the waiting room they were ushered into a room that they were told was a shower in reality it was the Gas Chamber
After leaving the gas chamber the prisoners bodies were then taken over to the Krematorium
The last thing that I found disturbing while walking the grounds of the concentration camp was something hidden off the beaten path it was over grown and if you didn't take the time to read the plaque you would completely over look it.

The prisoners were lined up against the wall and shot repeatedly you can see the bullet holes in the wall.
Dachau Concentration Camp offers walking tours for a fee but you can walk through Dachau and the buildings reading the signs and history for free. My personal advice as a parent not really a place for small children with the big open spaces they will have the desire to run. My thoughts are out of respect for people who have lost family or who themselves were prisoners of a concentration camp only bring older children who understand it is a somber place. I would definitely suggest visiting Dachau it is an enlightening educating experience one that I will always remember.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Real Oktoberfest Munich many people can say that

October is my favorite month the seasons change, my favorite colors are in abundance, the wind picks up, the air gets a little chill to it, leaves fall to the ground making a crackly sound when you step on them. It's my moms birthday, it's my anniversary, it's Halloween, no excuses not to eat candy, oh candy corn and green apple caramel lollipops how I look forward to you.  Another wonderful event that happens is Oktoberfest churches do them, communities do them how awesome is it to have a little bit of German culture in hometown USA bring on the kielbasa, kraut and beer yes what an awesome experience for people who can't experience the real Oktoberfest.
Ahhh which brings me to our experience at the real Oktoberfest in Munich Germany. I admit when my husband got orders to Germany I was jumping for joy my funny 13 yr old daughter loves to tell her friends how her mom went running around the house squealing " OMG we are going to Germany, guess where we are going? OMG we are going to Germany" it is true I was beyond excited I was already making plans for all the places here I wanted to see and things I wanted to do..oh what an opportunity..I said to my husband, girls and friends I am going to be in Germany for the real Oktoberfest.
As you can see I was and am still very excited lol so we are really tame people so leaving here at 4AM to line up at a beer tent wasn't a priority for us we just wanted to go for the experience and so I could take alot of photos. Being as we are adventurous we drove our own car so we could control our comings and goings I like having my own wheels ..people had told us we wouldn't be able to find parking but we easily found parking less then a block away in a parking garage..could be we just got lucky but so did about 50 other people who came in before us and after us :D
Now as I have mentioned before life here is so much better when you have friends to hang out with who enjoy the same things so in this case we traveled with our awesome friends the BeSexys. We arrived around 10AM found parking, then followed the huge crowd of people figuring they were headed to Oktoberfest luckily our guess was right lol we entered under the big Oktoberfest sign
and strolled the boardwalk which was jam packed with people pushing and shouldering their way through no leisurely strolling for anyone people were boisterous and for the most part in good spirits...A trip to the ladies room was a learning experience Kelly B and I joined an upside down V shaped line of drunk women all converging on one tiny little door with a little entrance. It was a sight to see  a mass of drunk women shoving the ladies in front of them towards the door the ladies coming out were practically trampled. At one point Kelly and I were squished so hard that I said I am pretty sure we are going to die here lol amazingly we made it into the tiny entrance and coming out we had the same experience being stampeded by other ladies in a rush to the toilet. lesson learned  probably should try to go to the bathroom prior to entering Oktoberfest or use the bathroom by the entrance since there are less people there.
A popular beer garden the lines out side of the tents are crazy I do suggest if you want to get into a beer garden to arrive early but always be prepared to wait.
Another popular attraction at Oktoberfest is the amusement rides there are a ton of them they do cost money so be prepared for that extra expense..
One of the coolest things we saw was Germans dressed in traditional attire
Now you might notice that giant Kielbasa wiener in  his hand well after seeing people walking around with them we searched out the booth selling them and I have to say it was absolutely delicious...we had to take a photo of ours so we could show it to people..

ok so if you are like us you probably will stroll Oktoberfest, eat, ride some rides, buy some souvenirs the beer steins are awesome and inexpensive then you are wandering towards the exit so you are in Munich its early in the day you can stroll the streets of Munich or other near by attractions.
I guess my biggest advice on Oktoberfest as a parent I would never bring my young children there maybe my teenager but definitely not a place for impressionable kids it's crowded, rowdy and not kid friendly..I do know they have kid day but I haven't seen how that goes so I can't speak about it..