So as you all know, I went to Munich and attended Oktoberfest. I did not just drink beer while I was there, I also got to do a walking Third Reich tour to see the famous landmarks that were important for WWII; I also visited Dachau Concentration Camp and the Neuschwanstein Castle (the muse for the Sleeping Beauty castle)!
First off, Oktoberfest in Germany was probably the craziest and memorable party that I have ever attended. There were people, both adults and children, dressed up in traditional Bavarian attire. I had done some research prior to my trip and I managed to somehow lose my cheat sheet on how to say things in German for Oktoberfest but luckily my tour director was at arm’s length to be able to translate for me. We had reservations in the Lowenbrau tent and after drinking half of my beer that first day I realized that German beer is way stronger than American beer.
Later on in the week I would go to Hofbrauhaus tent and Augustiner Kelly and I personally prefer the latter; Hofbrauhaus was too bitter for my taste. Going to Oktoberfest during the day is really calm compared to going at night- at night it gets really wild. When I went one last time the final day I was in Germany my friend and I managed to get into tents before they were shutting down (FYI:Oktoberfest tents shut down at 11) and snagged a few beers. It was funny going back to the hostel because we failed to realize how hard the beer had affected us. We used the buddy system and got back safe and sound! I kept in mind that I should not exceed my limit so I drank only 2 for most of my trip – I never got a hangover because I drank water in between drinks. I was surrounded by so many different cultures in Oktoberfest, yet I never managed to meet a German native!
Now, into a more serious tone, I went to Dachau Concentration Camp and boy was it heartbreaking to be in there. I tend to have a vivid imagination and while I was walking the place I imagined what it must have been like for the people who were forced to be in there and how horrible it must have been for them. I would never know the full extent to what the people that experienced that went through and I thank God that I have not been through something like that. It made me realize that we really do live in a broken world and that only Jesus can heal it! I admit that I teared up seeing the pictures of the people and it still haunts me.
History should not repeat itself and I believe that everyone should go to a concentration camp to understand why it’s important to study our history – to prevent another Holocaust.
The last stop on my tour was the Neuschwanstein Castle. The Swiss Alps are definitely breathtaking and the countryside of Germany is so green! It was a big contrast from Spain, where it’s brown. I wanted to get on top of the mountains and be like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music!
It was such a trek getting to the top of the hill to get to the castle- I seriously thought that I was going to have a heart attack or something. I was and am physically unfit at this point in my life and this trip has motivated me to get fit again because my next trip is going to be an adventurous one and I want to be able to have cardio endurance. 🙂
Overall, this trip was both educational and entertaining. I never thought that I would actually be in Germany while Oktoberfest was going on – just goes to show that our life gives us pleasant surprises to help us continue to grow. All I hope is that I was able to was to shine the light, even if by the smallest of actions.