We got up before the crack of dawn in teenager world, about 7:30 am. At 8 we left our luggage in the rooms and walked towards Rothenburg’s village square in search of ‘snowballs’ and coffee.
The snowballs, called ‘schneeballen’ are a pastry dough, cut into strips, folded over, placed into a snowball shape by shaped tongs and then deep fried.
This ball of wow is then dusted with icing sugar, cinnamon sugar or dipped in melted chocolate.
We bought our snowballs at a place that advertised coffee but apparently not till 9 am,
so we stepped back into the rather brisk morning in search of a place to eat our breakfast. The church steps in market square were perfect.
Over the next hour we browsed through Christmas stores, the like of which I have never seen. Photos were not allowed, but the stores were chick-a block full of ornaments that were priced insanely. The 10 year old and I put our loose change together to buy the cheapest ornament in the whole town. This co-operation made him so happy, he talked about it for another hour. Sweet kid. 🙂
The boys also found a medieval weapon shop with a dungeon.
One shop DID sell coffee early and it is the best coffee I have had in Europe! Just what I needed.
All too soon, though we were back in our monster car, driving towards Dachau concentration camp memorial and Munich.
Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp to be set up in Berlin, originally planned to only hold political prisoners.
In the end though, living quarters which were meant to contain 200 prisoners each, were crammed with 2000 prisoners each.
Below, people are walking past where two rows of 15 bunkers stood, housing prisoners well beyond reasonable capacity.
Even though this was not an extermination or ‘death’ camp over 40,000 of the 200,000 inmates died from the extreme living conditions, torture, gassing or being hung.
Escape was near impossible:
Just a few minutes in, I couldn’t see the youngest. He was here where the inmates had to pull rail carts by hand, praying for them.
When U.S. Forces arrived to liberate survivors they found 9,000 dead. I can’t even begin to comprehend this.
Walking through the actual site, I did not take photos inside the crematoriums where the murders were carried out.
This is the new crematorium, built after the first one couldn’t keep up with the amount of people being killed.
My heart was beating hard throughout our visit and my insides felt weighted down.
The 10 year old only saw the living quarters, roll call area and different church memorials. He clung to me most of the time, sensing the evil carried out. Despite all of us being prepared and knowing the facts, being physically confronted with Dachau was a shock. To see first hand a place where such vile acts were inflicted on fellow humans forced a physical response.
At one point as I was sitting outside the atrocious crematoriums, I noticed the air was full of floating snowy objects. They were furry seeds, rising skyward. My beating heart and the heavy knot in my chest lifted as I rose and tried to catch one. Could I catch even one? No- I tried several time, but the little seeds squirmed away and floated freely. It was powerful to see new life drifting like blossoms in a place that once knew so much death and terror.
I am very glad we went.
It was a quiet trip for the next little while.
We only had half an hour of driving before we were in Munich.
I had booked us into a mega-youth hostel. The brochure photos were glossy and bright, so we drive right past the dingy exterior first time around !
Ugh! It did not look like the brochures!!!!
I walked in and waited behind a long line of backpackers.
Inside it is actually quite nice. Clean and modern. The facilities are great, the wifi is brilliant. We were given an upgrade to two separate rooms with towels and TV. Yes!!
However- I got overcharged. I am NOT paying for my upgrade people!!! Also it would appear that they have added the deposit I paid online, rather than subtracting it. I will talk to them about it in the morning0