A city with a different flavor and vibe, compared to the others that I have visited. It has similarity to the others though, beautiful art amazing buildings big gardens and of course great beer, arguably the best beer around.
As other places that I have visited, history has left its mark on the place for both good and bad. The good is all the amazing architecture and the exploration of the arts under kind Ludwig the second and sadly even though what stands today is a reconstruction due to large parts if the city being destroyed in WW2 and yet what stands to the day really inspires us and gives us our ideas about what we think to be typically German, even though its actually Bavaria.
Sadly though like everywhere else it has it dark parts, because it was in Munich during the 1920’s that the Nazi party grew and had its base and as we know they expanded gained control of the country and the rest is unhappy history. However even though this was the origin of the Nazi movement not everyone fell in line, indeed some chose to passively resist by doing something as simple as avoiding a monument where it became law to give a Nazi salute as you walked by. Over time though the nazis found was to deal with these people and those who were resisting the regime were sent to Dachau concentration camp, not surprisingly one of the first to be constructed.
Anyway that’s all the unhappy stuff out the way. So what else did I see. Well I managed to get round the old Olympic Park truly amazing and massive place, but that in itself has its own sad story, where by some Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Israeli athletes and sadly these athletes lost their lives along with the terrorists when attempt was made to free them. Yet it is amazing how despite this the games continued to honour the spirit of the Olympic games, namely to bring people together through sport and fair play.
Also saw the beautiful castle of Neuschwanstein, (new Swan Stone). A wonderful creation of King Ludwig of Bavaria. This really is a fairytale castle, designed as a means of escape and a place where he could escape from reality.
There was also a day trip back into Austria to Salzburg, (salt fortress). Another beautiful place, in which parts were used in the filming of sound of music. Though the Austrians are not the biggest fans, which is a shame.
Finally to end on a really happy not let’s talk about beer. You can’t go to Munich without experiencing the beer. Its plentiful and it tastes great. The city boast the world’s largest Beer has and beer gardens and has a seemingly unique drinking culture. Where you can turn up to a place; sit down with strangers, share stories, drink beer and sing songs, not forgetting to say prost and smash the glasses together at then (top tip, ensure you make eye contact throughout the whole process)
Final point, the traditional clothes are epic.
Next and final stop Roma
Vienna or Wein, as it is pronounced in German, is a city of great beauty. Amazing palaces, beautiful gardens, extensive art collections and a city which gave the music world the likes of Mozart, Beethoven and others.
It’s amazing going around all these different places and seeing how they shared roots and ideas. The down side is, you can can find things become slightly repetitive. To deal with this I took a different approach to this one. Instead of diving in everywhere, a trying to assimilate as much information as possible: I decided instead just to go round sightseeing and just get the I overview.
One thing that struck me most over the past couple of days is how beauty is so subjective. You can go around and see amazing art collection, buildings and architecture or just really amazing views of a city. Then as you move to the next, you can then be quickly inspired by the next set of amazing sights and completely forget what you have previously seen.
But bizarre and maybe thinking a bit too much into it, but the joys of this trip is that I have had a lot of to think and reflect. Which is nice. Anyways the journey goes on, next stop Munich in Bavaria, Germany.
Well it’s been an interesting few days. Manage to tick off a few firsts; saw my first ballet, Swan Lake and attended my first classical recital, vivaldi’s four seasons. As well as all this had a great opportunity to explore and see another of Europe’s great cities.
This particular story seems to be one of resistance, against repression. Originally this city grew like any other into another European hub of culture, with all the fancy buildings, wealth and art that usually go along with the status.
But then unfortunately at the turn of the 20th century like many other places, Prague or Praha as it is said in Czech, was crying out fir reform. People were desperate and the established order was not doing much to help. In their desperation people turn to extremes.
But before these could take hold, Prague and the whole of Czechoslovakia was invaded and occupied by the German third rich and suffered greatly under is tyranny. Before the whole of the country was taken, large parts were annexed to Germany, a decision which was made at a meeting that the Czech people were not represented at.
They struggled to be recognised as a nation, having split from the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the first World War. The Czech people had to fight to be recognised. This can be seen through operation anthropoid, the SOE mission to assassinate Reinhard Heinrich by. Czech agents, with the assistance of the resistance.
For this the agents, resistance members and country as a whole paid a terrible cost. As they did after the war when they were occupied by the soviet Union. Under this regime the Czech people lost a lot of there freedoms and suffered under a regime which exploited its wealth, indoctrinated its people and imprisoned anyone who complained or resisted.
Yet again these people did not give up. They continued to voice there opinions and protested despite the risks and the costs. Finally when this regime crumbled the Czech people again, quickly embraced change and eventually grew into the nation it is today.
An amazing city, an amazing people and an amazing story.
So that’s the first city done and finished. Just a few thoughts from the the visit.
Dresden itself is a wonderful city, it has a story similar to many others. It started with people settling down next to a river and over time it grew. As it grew, it took inspiration from
other cultures ideas, thus it be am known as the city Florence of the Elba, as renaissance ideas traveled to the city and under the its princes these ideas were massively incorporated into the city.
Yet the story is not all fun. It’s a city like others that have been marked by war, having being destroyed in 1945. Yet this amazing city rose from the ashes of destruction and deviation into the city it is today.
A city that today remembers a proud history and continues to grow and develop with people from every nation being drawn to its wonderful buildings and skyline.
Thanks for joining me!
So today the journey begins, like any good journey in started at around Nice and early, 06:00 to be precise.
A taxi ride to the station, then got on a train heading to Hannover, the final destination for the day is Dresden in Germany.
Before starting this trip I was really excited, now today as I am finally on my way, I feel nervous not really sure what to expect.
But still here I am, can’t go back now. So I guess I’ll just have to make the best of it. The general concept of this whole thing is to:
See and explore a bit more of the world.
Learn some new stuff
Meet some different people
Enjoy and relax for a bit
Escape normal everyday life for a bit.
So there it is laid out and so it has begun. Hopefully if you are still reading this by now you will stick this journey out with me and follow this blog (I won’t be upset if you don’t). Then maybe you might just learn something from what I share or just escape life for five minutes whilst you read some random persons blog.
Anyways Hope you enjoy.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton