What an unforgettable day.
We started our morning by taking the tram to the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich. I’m an absolutely huge soccer fan, so this tour was especially cool. Even though I’m a fan of Chelsea FC, I still love going on stadium tours of other teams. One of my hobbies is collecting soccer jerseys, so I was able to wear my Thomas Muller Bayern jersey to the tour today, which made for some great pictures. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell our tour guide that I’m a Chelsea fan, and after I was able to name the entire FC Bayern first team (I watch a lot of soccer, ok?), I guess she thought I was a lifelong Bayern fan, and was giving me special treatment throughout the tour! I just figured, “Oh well, why not go along with it?” and embraced my inner Bayern fan for the day. Some of the highlights of the tour were hearing the champions league anthem while walking down the tunnel, and being able to sit in Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann’s chair on the sideline.
The afternoon took a much more serious note as we headed from Allianz Arena to Dachau concentration camp. I was familiar with Dachau from history class, but actually being here brought a newfound gravity to my understanding of what took place here. We learned that Dachau was the first concentration camp, built to house political prisoners of the Nazi regime. Essentially, they tried to cut down anyone who opposed them early by sending them to so called re-education camps. In reality, there was no leaving these camps, and thousands who stepped through the gates into Dachau would never leave again. I think a very heavy moment for me was seeing the Catholic chapel at Dachau. As a lifelong practicing Catholic, seeing the plaque on the side that said this chapel was dedicated to the 3,000 catholic priests murdered at Dachau really hit me in ways I didn’t expect. I am a big believer in the idea that I will never truly understand a place until I go there, which is part of the reason why I signed up for this trip. Our guide posed some very interesting questions to us at the end of our tour, but I think the one quote that stuck with me the most was when he told us that, “We already know what happened in the past, we already know what’s happening in the present, and now it’s up to all of us to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future”.
We left Dachau feeling very emotional, but we went out and had a fun night anyways. One of the most fun travel experiences I’ve had in recent memory was a street food tour of Istanbul. I had noticed all of the street food in Munich, and knew I had to give it a try, so some friends and I went around central Munich eating different street food. I had fish, olives, some fruit, a pretzel, and a döner kebab. We left central Munich feeling very full and very tired, but excited for tomorrow nevertheless!