Kathy and Melissa's Trip of a Lifetime! travel blog

View of Berlin from our apartment window

Berliner Dom

Brandenburg Gate

Branderburg Gate at the end of WWII

Brandenburg Gate when it was behind the Berlin Wall on the Eastern...

Reichstag

Reichstag at the end of WWII

Memorial to the Murdered European Jews (just completed)

Berlin Wall

Checkpoint Charlie - Area dedicated to those that died while trying to...

Checkpoint Charlie

Dresden - on the Bruhlsche Terrasse

Dresden

new jeans, new haircut, yipee!

Unlocking the door to our new place for two nights in Bamberg,...

Inside the bar on a Sunday afternoon when it's closed

drinking a beer in our new home

Beautiful town of Bamberg

half timbered homes of Klein Venedig (or Little Venice) in Bamberg

Munich- inside the Residenz, a huge palace that housed Bavarian rulers from...

bling, bling

reproduction of hallway in Vatican

beautiful open market in Munich

During a beer in the middle of summer, unfortunately it's raining

Main entrance to Dachau concentration camp "Work Means Liberty"

Watch tower and rear entrance to concentration camp

prisoner shot dead while trying to escape in WWII

sleeping quarters

Walkway between sleeping quarters that no longer stand

What it looked like then

Building that housed gas chamber and crematorium

gas chamber disguised as showers-was used for experimental procedures before mass killing...

crematorium

Hotel Weinbauer where we stayed while visiting the castles in Fussen

Schloss Hohenschwangau castle-originally built by Schwangau Knights during the 12th century

Melissa singing "the sound of music"

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Bavarian Alps

Bavarian Alps

River that runs along the City of Fussen, check out the water...

Bavarian Alps

Bavarian Alps


Well we finally made it back to Europe. We started in Berlin where we had this great apartment which overlooked the entire city of Berlin. Quite beautiful at night. It was great to finally be able to cook and eat all our own meals. Nothing like rolling out of bed and getting a hot cup of coffee. We did some siteseeing in Berlin and also got a chance to finally see "Star Wars"!!!. You know me and movies.

We rented a car so that we could travel around Germany to see the countryside. It is so green and everything is starting to come into bloom. Needless to say our allergies are killing us, but it`s well worth it.

Our first stop was the town of Dresden which was pretty beat up at the end of WWII. It was also on the eastern side of the wall so the cleanup and restoration was much slower. Actually it didn`t really get started until the beginning of the 1990`s.

The next town was Bamberg which is this old beautiful European town with medieval churches. We got the opportunity of spending two nights in a room over a pub which is also a micro-brewery during the day. Really kind of weird to be in this large pub/brewery at night with no one around. It was back to normal Monday morning with the regular crowd of retired guys having their first beer by 0900 hours. They serve their beers large and very cheap. Needless to say the place is usually crowded the entire time.

From Bamberg we headed south to Munich. Driving the autobahn is a frightening experience. Trucks are going about 50 mph while everyone else is between 80 and 150 mph. So it is a constant effort to move back and forth between the lanes without getting a BMW, Mercedes or Audi flying up you're ass.

Munich is a beautiful city and the last day on our way out we stopped by Dachau which is only about 20 minutes from the City. For those of you who may not recognize the name, it was the first concentration camp set up by the Nazi regime. Originally it was an old abandoned warehouse which was converted into a concentration camp for "criminals" and those with an opinion other that Hitler's. It eventually either housed or was a stopping off point for many of the Jews, Soviets, Poles, Gypsies, and handicapped from either Germany or other occupied countries. Most of the original buildings have been destroyed, but were restored to look like the originals now that the area is a memorial site and a museum. I found it hard to grasp what had transpired in this concentration camp from 1933 until the US Army liberated the camp in April 29, 1945. They estimate well over 31,531 people perished. Out of the 10,000 Jews from Munich that were originally imprisoned, only 200 survived. We have some pictures to show you what it looks like now and how it looked back in 1945.

We made our way that afternoon to the beautiful Bavarian mountains and the City of Fussen where the most famous castle in the world exists, Neuschwanstein Castle. This is definitely a fairytail castle. It appears King Ludwig II, was a very sweet gay man, even though history doesn't really go into detail much. He lived in the older castle, Hohenschwangau, which we also visited. While living there he built this romantic castle and decorated it with numerous wall frescos and paintings for his friend the famous composer, Richard Wagner. He unfortunately ran out of money before he could complete several of the floors, but at least got to live in it for 172 days before four doctors, three who had never really even seen him, declared him insane. They removed him from the throne and took him to lakeside residence where they found him and his doctor floating dead in three feet of water the following day. Hmmm, for some reason it is still a mystery today how he died.

So we are now off to Heidelburg!!



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