We checked out, lugged our stuff to the car in the parking garage down the street, then strolled the city, past the lucky rings to turn in the fence around the decorative tower in the main square, past the Rathaus (Town Hall), then up to the Kaiserburg castle first since it was a hike up the hill, then everything else would be downhill walking from there. :) We found the disgusting & surreal rabbit sculpture Teje described (ugh!), strolled the gardens a bit, saw the view & ad our photo taken by a helpful tourist, but we didn't pay to go in since we were concerned about getting back to Munich in time that afternoon. We did finally find a small chunk of the city wall to walk, but it was closed off for the rest, so we headed back down the hill. We stopped in the St Sebalduskirche, seeing how it was rebuilt compared to the photos of the destruction from WWII, including a photo of Nazi flags covering downtown Nürnberg. We got back to the main square & checked out the market, pricing the various Lebkuchen cookies
to see which we'd bring back as souvenirs, but we'd buy them on our way out of town.
Hooray! We had made it back to the main square just in time to hear the 12:15 organ concert in the Catholic Frauenkirche on the main square! It was a modern organ so not that attractive to look at, but real giant pipes that sounded great. It was quite an entertaining 45-minute program, even for Andy, so I'm SO glad I finally got to hear an Orgelkonzert in Deutschland before I left! It was a quick run back over to the fresh Elisenlebkuchen stand, then over to buy small packets of Dominosteine & Spekulatius as Teje had also recommended. We got some muscat grapes as well, so our munchies for Munich were settled for the drive back. Since the biggest church in town, Lorenzekirche, is a Lutheran church, I really wanted to see the inside, so luckily it was close enough to the car that we went in with our snacks in hand. I sneaked just a couple photos without a photo permit - hey if their organ hadn't have been completely under plastic & scaffolding for renovation I would have considered it worth paying! - then we were on our way out from Nürnberg back to Munich.
Andy & Britta at Kaiserburg Castle in Nürnberg
Seeing how traffic had been so unpredictable & annoying the day before to get to Nürnberg, we had no idea how long it would take to get the less than 200km back to the Munich airport. We wanted to check in our luggage by 6pm at the very latest, and we wanted to stop by Dachau if at all possible, so we got on the road by 1:30pm. Finally some "real" Autobahn with no speed limit AND no traffic! That road was obviously built for speed, since once the poor Ford Focus had a chance to accelerate after several minutes, it was very easy to sail along at 170 kph (over 100mph!), feeling like probably no more than driving 80mph back home. The roads built for these speeds are not curved tightly, nice & wide with at least 3 lanes across, very smooth pavement, so it feels completely safe to drive that fast. That was fun! Andy even was able to take some photos of the Audi headquarters exit in Ingolstadt as I slowed down to only around 160 kph...heh! ;) So we easily got into the environs of Munich by 3pm, heading over to Dachau on the northwest edge before heading to the airport on the northeast edge.
Dachau was definitely worth seeing. We only spent about an hour & a half there before we felt we needed to get to the airport, but I'm not sure I wanted to see much more. I have seen the horrifying footage of the "living skeletons" cheering as the American soldiers arrived before, and it is ingrained on my brain forever. We were able to scan through the highlights of the very thorough museum displays inside the main buildings. We definitely saw the sights with the most impact, like the wide expanse of yard seen in the old photos of how the prisoners were forced to stand at attention, the Never Again plaque, the sculpture, and the famous entry gate that says Arbeit Macht Frei ("work brings freedom"). Of course the irony of the drizzle leading into town but the skies being some of the cheeriest sunny skies we saw all week made it all the more tragic to think about the horrors that happened there.
It was good that we had just the general travel stuff after Dachau vs. any more sightseeing. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Dachau as your last sight of Germany after such a nice trip, but I would have felt guilty if we had the time & did not go, so I'm glad we did. We got to the airport, turned in the rental car, checked in for the flight, all pretty painlessly. I finally got some postcards mailed before going through passport control, then we munched on more muscat grapes & more Lebkuchen for some dinner before the flight. We were delayed taking off & they had to bus us to the back 40 to walk up steps onto our plane, then even though we made up time in the air, something was going on at Heathrow so we circled the entire city at least once before finally landing. I tried taking some city lights photos but the plane moves a bit fast. ;) The most annoying traveling so far has been getting back to Andy's house! Andy had pre-bought combination tickets for both of us to get the bus to the Reading train station then the train to Newbury, but even though we got a bus quickly, the flight had been late enough that we had to wait well over an hour until after 11pm for the next train to Newbury...of course they kept changing platforms so we kept hauling our luggage up stairs & down! We finally got to Newbury station by about midnight, then had to call for a taxi to get the rest of the way back. The nice part was having separate rooms & separate bathrooms for the first time this trip! haha...Comfy bed & good sleep, with no schedule for Sunday except some lunch in Bath...
(full Day 10 photos start here)
One free day until leaving for Ireland...guess we'll drive Andy's MX-5 to Bath & back! :) Until next time!