Oh wow, long time since I made a post on this blog, it looks like I’ve abandoned it but I haven’t !
Now that summer is over there’s only one more thing that will probably keep me away from making decent updates on this blog until October…..a trip to Egypt !!! Fun, fun, fun!!!
In case anyone is wondering and since travel posts are cool and entertaining, since my trip to Poland I’ve also been on a 2 week trip to Germany in the second half of July. Yes, I do love going to Germany ! In my trip I visited a few new places like Nuremberg, Heidelberg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden + a day in Munich. Anyone care for specifics? Yes? No? You get them anyway cause maybe someone will benefit from them and because I have an exam today that I don’t want to study for !
So, we boarded a Lufthansa flight to Munich one beautiful summer’s day in July . From Munich airport (which is not exactly close to Munich city center) we took (and you can too ,dear reader, if you ever decide to visit) a train that goes to central Munich and the train station where we needed to go. There are, if I remember correctly, 2 lines that go to the airport from the train station and they take about 40 minutes.
Once at the central train station ,I ate a quick Kasekrainer and then we took a train to Nuremberg (the journey takes a little over an hour) using the one country Interrail pass. After we got to Nuremberg and checked into our hotel right across from the station, we went around the center of the city. BTW, the train station in Nuremberg is right at the edge of old town so hotels around there are perfectly located.
In Nuremberg, during the next couple of days, we visited a lot of World War II/ Third Reich related stuff since the history of that particular time is such a big interest of mine. We went around old town, walked on all the streets and the surrounding area too. What I think you can’t miss when in Nuremberg :
a) Old Town of course
b) Reichsparteitagsgelände aka Reich’s Party Congress Land where the big Nuremberg party celebrations took place, stuff you can see in old footage and that is also featured in Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. Now some of the stuff aren’t there anymore but you can still see the unfinished Congress Hall where there’s also a little museum, some of the original layout of the place as you walk towards the Zeppelinfeld and ,of course, the actual Zeppelinfeld which remained almost as it was. You can go up to where Hitler spoke and take a funny picture or something haha. It’s very interesting, like it or not history was made there and, as bad as it was, it is a fascinating one.
c) The Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials took place. The Palace still stands and looks the same, it’s also still in use. There’s a small exhibition and you can visit the actual Room 600 where the court sessions were held. The room looks almost the same, slightly different layout and furniture but you’ll see the many resemblances. It will also look smaller because during the trial they actually made it bigger at the back by removing the walls and expanding it . Being there was pretty amazing for a WWII history nerd like myself and in the exhibition you can see two of the benches they sat on, one of them is the one Goering, Hess, Ribbentrop and Keitel sat on.
Pictures here :
2)Rothenburg ob der Tauber
From Nuremberg we decided to go on a day trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This is a beautiful ,small medieval town famous also for its Christmas decorations. The town is gorgeous, very beautiful streets and houses, a positive, joyful, relaxing atmosphere, good food, very nice, highly recommended . From Nuremberg you can get there easily although it wouldn’t seem so on paper. You have to change trains 2 times but trust me, it”s easy and it doesn’t take a long time to get there.
After Nuremberg we went to Heidelberg. To get there we took a train to Frankfurt and then one to Heidelberg. I don’t remember exactly how long it took but probably around 3 hours in total,not more than 4.
Anyway, Heidelberg is very beautiful ! Settled in the valley of the river Neckar, flanked by wonderful green hills where it has also expanded with beautiful residential areas, this town I’d gladly move to at any moment ! Just walk on the streets and up the hills, go to the castle area, have a nice meal at one of the many restaurants ,you can’t go wrong here. I also went to see Albert Speer’s grave, that was interesting !
From Heidelberg we then took the train to Garmisch. We had to change the train in Munich which ,again, was no big deal, don’t let these stuff scare you haha. The whole journey took a little less than 5 hours.
In Garmisch the hotel gave us a guest card that you can use during your stay to get some discounts at different attractions in the area and also to travel free of charge on the bus. Very useful thing, I liked it very much !
Here we weren’t very successful with the weather, it rained ALL day during the first day but we went to see the ski jumping hill platform (we’re big ski jumping fans and have none to see around here) and then to a beautiful gorge. We also walked around the central areas. There are some very beautiful houses with murals ,very typical for this area. The second day we went to the Zugspitze (highest peak in Germany), it was very nice even though the clouds were obscuring the view all the way down. There was also snow, I love snow :D. After that we went down to the Eibsee , a very beautiful, quiet lake close to Garmisch, where the cable car goes down from the Zugspitze . We took a pedal boat or whatever they’re called in english and spent some time on the lake, ate a great meal, walked around on a trail that goes around the lake and got on the last Zugspitzbahn train to Garmisch. The next day the weather was acting up again so we decided to take the train to nearby Innsbruck(approx. 1h20 min). There it was sunny and nice and we went to see the Bergisel ski jumping complex. In Garmisch we couldn’t go up to the top of the platform but here you can visit it ,I loved it and then we went to the place where the coaches stay during the competition and suddenly a jumper appeared on the platform and jumped. This was a first for us, we’ve been watching ski jumping on the telly each winter for 10 years now but it was the first time we got to see someone jump “in the flesh”. When we got down to the foot of the hill, I immediately recognized the jumper, a famous Austrian one, Andi Kofler, so I said hi and politely asked to take a picture . He was very nice and then we saw him jump a couple more times. After this we went to the old part of town. Innsbruck has a small and quaint old town, very crowded
From Garmisch we went to Berchtesgaden ,by train, via Munich . Let me say this : I love Berchtesgaden ! The area is BEAUTIFUL ,there are some great lakes nearby ,great views and lots of things to see ! The center of the Berchtesgaden is small but beautiful and up the hill so there is also a place where you can see a bit of a panorama. Here we sadly had one day of rain, rain, nothing but rain so we took a bus to Salzburg(40 min away) to eat at Demel and walk around. The other 2 days we went to the Obersalzberg ,the area where Hitler had his famous Berghof retreat/vacation home and where most of his closest collaborators had homes. The Berghof isn’t there anymore, all that’s left is a wall but it’s a must see and then go down the path to the Zum Turken hotel and do yourself a favor, enter the bunker under the hotel . This bunker is part of the network of bunkers built by Hitler. Most of the bunker system is either gone, collapsed/damaged or closed to the public and the one at the Documentation Center is so touristy some of its charm is gone. The bunker under the Zum Turken hotel ,on the other hand, is almost unaltered . Yes, there are no doors ,it’s not really water proof anymore ,it’s cold inside and they wrote directions on the walls in some places so you don’t get lost ,but otherwise it’s intact and offers a genuine experience . Plus, it’s on more than one level. It also connected with Bormann’s bunker and Hitler’s bunker. After that you can walk around the area and find many related ruins and such if you look online and look carefully. You can go to the Intercontinental hotel and walk around cause that’s where Goering’s house was located. A total must see is the Kehlsteinhaus aka Eagle’s Nest ! The house was built on Bormann’s order as a gift for Hitler’s 50th birthday. It sits upon a mountain top with great views in all directions and you get there by taking a bus or a long walk. Even the road up the mountain is breathtakingly beautiful ,up a steep ,narrow road. Once at the end of the road, you can take the elevator built inside the mountain, a work of art in itself, designed by Speer as his present to Hitler on his 50th birthday. The house itself looks pretty much like it did back then. The main room looks the same only it’s furnished as a restaurant now and you can still see Mussolini’s gift to Hitler, the fireplace. There’s also the option to walk around on the outside, near the house, there are splendid views to be seen and paths to be walked.
The next day we went to 2 lakes, the Konigsee and the Obersee. These are 2 gorgeous lakes everyone should see ! You can take a cruise on the Konigsee to the last stop ,Salet, and from there take the path ,1km, to Obersee and walk around it . The Obersee is just fantastic ! A small-ish lake between mountains, no boats, no houses ,nothing but crystal clear water that acts like a mirror. On the other side of the lake there’s one small cabin like structure that serves as a sort of shop where you can get fresh milk, bread and locally made cheese and butter ,beer, stuff like that. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been to, there’s nothing like the Alps ,what can I say ! Oh yeah, btw, fun fact, Hitler liked that lake too and there was a rock where he liked having his picture taken, u can go take a picture there too lol, I did !
From Berchtesgaden we went back to Munich ,walked around, did some shopping ,drank more beer and the next day we got on a plane back to Bucharest.
If you want to see pictures, click on the thumbnails that take you to my picasa account ! 😀