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Friday, January 29, 2010


On Tuesday morning Reneé, Laura, Ryan and I headed to the train station. For 30 euro up to 5 people can purchase an unlimited days worth of travel anywhere in Bavaria. It also includes Innsbruck and Sazlburg in Austria. It takes roughly 1 1/2 hours to get to the München Hauptbahnhof (the main train station in a big city).

Thanks to Ryan's handy book about day trips in Germany he knew there was an information place at the Hauptbahnhof where we could get our bearings and a map. From here we headed straight to the Frauenkirche. This is were my relative Cardinal von Bettinger is entombed and there is a statue of him on the wall. It was so incredible to see these things. I found his statue at the back o the church. Ryan took a picture of me in front of it. I think it looks like he has his fingers in the peace sign, I wonder what is means? And then I found a man who was some sort of curator who spoke just enough English that he understood I was a relative and was interested in seeing the crypt. He led us down the stairs and unlocked two gates and turned on the lights. At the very end of the crypt chamber he led me straight to Cardinal Bettinger's stone. It was incredible to see his name engraved there and know that I was connected to this person who had been in the same building I was standing in at that moment. I was very excited to be able to share with my Grandpa that I was able to see this special place. But at the same time an overwhelming sadness that I would not be able to tell my Grandma. She was so excited at this opportunity I have to live and work over here and I can only imagine how excited she would have been to see my pictures and hear my stories of the Frauenkirche and seeing our ancestors statue and tomb. I lit a candle for my Grandma upstairs and said a prayer as I held her rosary. I can't wait to tell her all about this adventure someday in Heaven.

After that we were all hungry and were not offered lunch as Aunt Sally's friend was at the Frauenkirche, so we headed to the Hofbräuhaus not too far away. This is a huge beer hall and restaurant serving traditional Bavarian food and lots and lots of beer. I believe it gets quite lively at night packed full of tourists, but while we were there in the afternoon it was a nice atmosphere with a fair amount of locals. Ryan and I split a boiled fish that came with rice, a white wine sauce, and "seasonal" veggie that turned out to be only cabbage and carrots (very German). Ryan has a side of potato dumplings. This is sort of like gelatinous potato in a ball (yuck) and I had a side of sauerkraut. I am sad most restaurants mix bacon bits in with their sauerkraut, so I had to pick those little bits out, but I do love my kraut. And we shared a bread basket that came with two pretzels, a roll, and a slice of dark bread. For our beers all four of us had Radlers. This is beer mixed with lemonade. Weird, right? It is actually really good, although it is fairly sweet. I had a Rassner, which is wheat beer with lemonade. Ryan and Reneé each had the dunkel radler (dark beer with lemondade) and Laura had the light beer with lemonade. They were all good, but I think Ryan and I each prefered the dunkel radler. The options for size in Germany are mass or half. This is a liter of a half liter. The radlers did not seem to be very alcoholic probably because of the lemonade, but it seems like an entire mass is just so much liquid my stomach can not hold that much with my meal. Ryan was the only one of us to order a mass.

After or delicious lunch we decided to take the subway to Dachau, where there is a memorial of the Nazi concentration camp. This was quite and experience. If you ever want to kill all conversation go to a concentration camp because as soon as you are there everyone stops talking. The first building we entered with a long hallway was just heartbreaking to walk through. I imagined the prisoners in their small packed cells (some were standing cells packed full of people) and hearing the footsteps approaching on the hard brick of the hall floor. Never knowing when or where or why the steps might stop. We learned about the "roll call" that happened at least twice a day when the soldiers would be required to stand in lines at attention, silent, and without any movement for at least an hour or more. For those not strong enough to stay standing they would collapse and punishment would come to them and anyone who tried to help them.

It snowed most of the day and by the end of our time touring Dachau it was getting dark and was very cold, so we headed back to the Hauptbahnhof to catch a train back to Garmisch. When we arrived Reneé and Laura decided to get off and go back to the Abrams. Renée had to work the next day and Laura unfortunately lost her military ID card at work and had to go through the process of getting a new one the next day. So Ryan and I were left to finish or travels by ourselves. We looked at the train scheudle of where we could go before our day ticket ran out and decided on Sulzberg. We figured that must be Salzburg since German maps often spell the names of town differently. So in less than an hour we boarded a train to Sulzberg (that is in Autria, right?)

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