Sunday, July 27

We got a late start today (yesterday was very exhausting!), checked out of the Sepp Hotel in Marktoberdorf and headed to Dachau, just north of Munich. This is the site of one of the first Nazi concentration camps, and was used as a model for all future camps. Dachau was a "work camp" that the Nazis used to acquire labor to support war-time activities. It was established in 1933, and during the war became one of the most feared camps because of its reputation for torture and its brutal living and working conditions. The Nazis would work the prisoners until they were too weak to be productive, and then the prisoners would either die at Dachau or be shipped to extermination camps such as Auschwitz. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people died at Dachau.

Paula and I had both been to Dachau before, but the exhibitions have been greatly expanded and are extremely well-done. The combination of the museum on the grounds, and the ability to walk throughout the camp and see many of the original buildings (including the crematorium) bring this horrible history to life. David and Katie both said that they came away with a deeper understanding for what the Holocaust was all about.

We left Dachau in the late afternoon and headed to Bad Tolz, about an hour south of Munich. This is where Paula's Dad lived as a child, and is a charming town. We hope to spend a couple of "down days" in Bad Tolz, relaxing and exploring the town (and the kids are excited about the water park which is connected with the hotel!). This is not a tourist destination - we're planning to simply spend time here walking through the streets, talking to people (we are meeting a local woman tomorrow who we contacted through Servas), We've decided that we'll need to build in these kind of "down days" into our travel plans. It gives us all an opportunity to relax and take a break from the day-to-day travel and sight-seeing. It will hopefully also give us an opportunity to interact with local people and learn about their lives in the cities we visit.

Another thing we did today was to stop by villages that we saw along the road. We took several pictures in one of these villages (Ketterschwang), which was very typical of what you see. The focal point of each of village is its church, which is clearly visible from the road as the tallest building in the town. There are also many charming homes, gardens and streets in each village. We love to simply stop by and explore these places!


Distance Walked: 1.85 miles












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