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Patty's Euro Trip 2009

Live vicariously through my interactive travel page for the duration of my trip to Europe: March 11 - a tentatively scheduled end of May return. Check in regularly for photo updates and new blog entries. Please leave me messages if you wish to do so, but keep it PG as relatives and family members will surely be reading. Enjoy!

- Patty

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Location: Munich, Germany

A short trip from Vienna brought me into the capital of Bavaria, Munich. I arrived at another Wombats Hostel again conveniently located just off the major route surrounding the Munich HBF station. The weather had turned during my train ride over from one of quite pleasant weather into a rainy and kind of dreary mood. Despite the rain, I made my way around the community surrounding the hostel for a few hours and then made my way back into the common room where I would take a nap. I wasn’t asleep more than 20 minutes before I could feel someone standing over me. I opened my eyes and had to do a double take on both sides to realize that the pair standing over me were Sean O’Connell and his girlfriend Catie McDavid, the couple I met in Rome! What a completely unbelievable coincidence, not to manage pretty awesome too! Turns out that Sean and Catie had spent the weekend down in Munich, and were just about to head back up to Bamberg. They had left their bags in the Wombats luggage room for the day, and just happened to notice me sleeping on the couch. I was in complete awe, and still am that the world is such a small place that we could run into each other in such a way. I only had about an hour before my new friends had to make their way to a train station, but it was nice to catch p and to solidify my intent and their desire for me to come visit them in Bamberg closer to the middle of May.

I came back from dropping Sean and Catie off at the HBF and was filled with a really great vibe. It had been awhile since I had developed any serious friendships, and to my surprise, that is exactly what I ended up with after leaving Munich. I ended up meeting two couples from Canada: Mark and Katrina from Toronto, and Matt and Emily from Halifax. They themselves had just met earlier that day, but appeared to me at first glance as good old friends. Fortunately for me, I meshed right into their little group, and before long, we were remarking how we’ll we all got along. Emily couldn’t get over how alike Matt and I were, and I believe Katrina thought the same of our newly formed triple-bromance. I have only met a select group of people in my life that can make me laugh as hard as I did when I was with Matt and Mark. Quite possibly some of the most hysterical moments of my trip, which unfortunately would sound completely un-funny if I tried to explain them trough writing. However, for those of them who may be reading, need I remind you of pretzels the size of an angry teachers crossed arms, Kappa Psy Delta, and the Saddam Hussein Beverly Hills Cop. Our first night together, our group went to a place called the Augustiner Braukeller, just up the road from the hostel for some traditional Bavarian fare including Pork Knuckle, Potato Dumpling, German Tortellini, Mushroom Sauce, and Bavarian Burger. It was in deed delicious heart-stoppingly-good food and atmosphere to boot.

My first full day in Munich I spent on a free walking tour provided by the hostel and delivered by a guy named Aussie, an Afro-German Nationalist from Canada who sings R&B and who teeters the line of questionable sexuality in some very uncomfortable ways. Our tour group was small, Matt, Emily, Mark and Katrina were off doing something different as they did the free tour the day before. A sizable portion of the tour was spent wandering through old Munich, checking out the Central Catholic Church, the Glockenspiel, a beer garden, sausage vendor, and several small stops along the way. Aussie was very informed on Munich, and you could really tell that he actually cared about the city, and his job. In between numerous facts about Munich and reminding us to tip him at the end of the tour based on how much we enjoyed it, he managed to poke fun at almost everyone of the guys on the tour, usually making remarks about the size of our penises. Naturally I took the brunt of the jokes dished out, as I didn’t look completely mortified when he took shots at me… Just another day in the life of good ol’ Patty.

After the city tour, I made my way back to Wombats to meet my new Canadian Crew where we headed back in to the Old town for a few brews at the world famous Hofbrauhaus. Prices were definitely built for tourists in so far as they fiscally drained you of whatever money you had brought. With budget in mind, we collected and wandered our way back towards the hostel, marveling at the spectacle of several carts selling white asparagus and strawberries along the way. We got back kind of half-cut, and proclaimed another trip to the Augustiner was in order following a go round at the happy hour at the hostel. We are still not certain, but Emily was showing signs of Swine Flu, or so we liked to joke, so she decided no to come along for the night. Fatigue cut out Katrina, and so all that was left was Mark, Matt, and Me, until we met a guy from Martha’s Vineyard named Patrick Schule, who had just arrived in Europe. So the four of us headed out, and made short work of several MaB beers at the Brauhuas. Patrick was definitely a welcome addition to our cohort, and was a pretty intense character. Amongst other things, he told us of how he sailed a yacht to Norway last year, and talked about trips on his family yacht down to the Caribbean; Very interesting person. His hilarity stemmed from the fact that he was fresh to Europe and bursting at the seams with excitement about everything. He made a few off the collar remarks I won’t recall on here, but let’s just say that he was pretty funny.

I spent from about 1:30 am until 4:30 am watching a Flames game on the satellite TV in the lobby, and consequently spent most of my second full day in Munich sleeping, until later in the day when Patrick and I went to the Olympiazentrum, site of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. It was pretty grey, cold, windy and rainy, so it wasn’t as enjoyable of an experience as I had hoped, but still very cool. Mark, Katrina, Emily and Matt left that day to visit the Neuschwanstein “Cinderella Castle” with two American chicks they had made friends with who challenge to top my “stupidest and most annoying people in Europe” chart. We collected again that evening around 5:00 for a brief dinner before sitting in the common room waiting for their train to leave for Berlin. It was sad to watch all of them leave, but I had planted the seed of coming to Amsterdam for my birthday in their heads, and was certain that they would do their best to make it happen. Mark and Matt especially are two people I can see myself being friends with in the future, and having come to visit. They were both really quality people who were easy to get along with, and who also saw eye-to-eye with me on a lot of things.

On my final day in Munich, I traveled just outside the city to the former Concentration Camp in Dachau, which opened in 1933 while Hitler was beginning to weed out political and social figures that stood against his initial stages of his rise to power. I went with Patrick, which was nice as attending such a powerful place with no one to talk to it about would have been pretty hard to deal with. The camp now serves as a memorial site, and features several different sections dedicated towards various aspects of life and death within the concentration camp system. It also does a great job of explaining the situation in Dachau compared to others, explains the camps liberation by American soldiers, and describes the various functions that the camp actually served. For example, Dachau was not a death camp like Auschwitz; its main purpose was to serve as a work camp as well as a trial/test camp for those to come. Some of the most impactful parts of the memorial were the prisoners artwork, old categorization charts, and the off site gas chamber and kiln which although never used for mass killings, were still put into operation at times in the camp. It was an extremely emotional entrance to the camp, and interesting to consider how much history went on within the walls. The German government has also done a tremendous job of including several pieces of artwork within the camp to commemorate the Holocaust produced by survivors and artists the world round. It was easy to leave Dachau, but hard to forget. Visiting a concentration camp for the first time was beyond what I expected it to be. I thought it would be a gigantic reiteration of high school social studies followed up with physical evidence. However the feeling and atmosphere is something rarely considered that offers one an insight to how things worked and how awful it really would have been. Another experience in Europe I am glad to have had, and so thankful for the opportunity to learn more.

Munich is a beauty of a city, filled with a really great feeling and surrounded and encompassing so much history and culture. Apparently voted the number 1 city to live in the world in 2008, it undoubtedly lives up to that standard now in 2009. Munich is a city in Europe I think everyone should see, but sadly I think many skip over. So much of what we consider Germany originated and still thrives in Munich and the people there are proud to show you it. Bavaria and Munich are filled with great beer, amazing food, friendly people, old and new traditions, culture, art and lederhosen everywhere.

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Recent Messages

From brian
Hey buddy. Getting super pumped and owe ya a facebook response which I will get onto right away, but nice blog! You are steadily improving I must say. Sounds like you've met some beauty people over there as well. I'm pretty sure I owe your mother a call, so Kathy if your reading this I'll try and get back to you tomorrow but I'm sure you have been briefed previously by Patty regarding my awesome phone skills. Anyway, can't wait to stomp around Germany with ya buddy, less than a week!!
Response: absolutely man, looking forward to it...
From Ian
Ya, you're going to have to keep these posts a little shorter there pal. Call me soon, didn't bother reading it. Miss your voice, and the smell you leave on the pillow.

Response: hahahaha God forbid you do any reading! I miss your essence too man...
From SKI!
Don't know if this will fit at all with your itinerary, but I found this article about some cool sites in Europe in case you wanna check some of them out:

Hope the trip's going well fella!
Response: Thanks Chavo, I will definately look into it!
From Uncle John
Are we there yet?
Glad you are having a roaring good time. remember that travelling with two women at a time is optional but makes for great times. I hope you are going to touh base with all of yourcousins in law in Holland. We are shivering in late March, early april snow but the forecast for our first midget Colts game in Edmonton is for plus 8 and sunny. Imagine having to go to Edmonton for warm weather. Huh?
Take it easy and keep the local bars humming!

Cheerio and lotsa love,

John Boy
Response: Thanks a lot John Boy ;)! Definately having the time of my life. I will surely contact the extended family when I know when I will be heading north! Hope all is well with the McMahon Clan back home! Love, Patty
From Jessica

I AM living vicariously through you! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time! :)

I spoke with Julie and she said she'd be happy to show you around Vienna! Facebook if you need her email address!

Take care! Have fun! Be Safe!

-Jessi <3
Response: Haha, Thanks Jessica!
From K-Dog
Hey there Laddy..!!
So glad you liked Ireland !
Can't wait to see the photos of our "motherland" :)
Love, M/
Response: K-Dog, hahaha some Ireland Pics added today - Love Patrick
From Meghan Reyes
Wow! Fun times! Where all are you going to? I am jealous!
Response: I will be heading all over Western Europe, right now I am Italy (Florence) and am heading to Rome soon! Take Care Meghan! - Patty

p.s. How is Maddy doing?
From Arian
Please upload some pictures too. It make it a lot more meaningfull. Cheers:)
Response: Right on it Arian!
From brian
ever going to post again?
Response: ever gonna answer your phone?
From Dad
Hi Pat,
Was starting to worry that you were having too good of a time to write. W'e've been watching for more news of your travels and given the website to Auntie Delores and Suzanne, We're heading back to Calgary tonight. We took a picture of the stadium where the Cardinals play - looks like a giant Jiffy Pop container- supposed to look like a barrel cactus. Misss you lots!
Dad and Diane
Response: Awesome, thanks for passing it along. Things have been really busy here, and internet is often unavailable or really expensive. I will try and call soon and fill you all in on what I have been up to!
From Ski
I was reminiscing about our crappy job a couple summers ago and the day we spent smashing jars of food on the side of that house that burnt down. I especially enjoyed when Chris took the jar of mayonaisse in the chest when he was carrying all those fluorescent tubes up the stairs. What an idiot! Man, that was GOOD! Anyway, it's spelled armoury, not armery.
Hope the trips going good bud. Looove yoooou!

Should we grab some mini-burgers down at the Copper Tank?

Response: HAHAHAHAHAHA! I often go there in my mind actually! I find myself randomly bursting out in laughter thinking about the countless ways we go buck wild in the summer... good times.
From Steve
Hey, that is a funny looking London Bridge. It almost looks like the Tower Bridge. LEARN YOUR FACTS ABOUT LONDON!!!
Response: Yeah I guess I kinda dropped the ball on that one. At least I didn't try to spell it Lundan Towwar... Idiot! Miss you...
From Favorite Cousin Erin
You're funny. I will keep you poseted on being fat in Canada!

Hope you're having an awesome time.
Response: Ha ha ha Being Fat in Canada is a reality I know all to well! Things are going great over here, hope all is well with my favorite cousin Erin.
From Mariella McMahon
I am so jealous Patty! Sounds like you are having an amazing time so far! Stay safe, be cool, and have fun!
Love you, M
Response: Thanks Murr, Hope all is well with you back in C-Town!
From Peachland
Glad to see the first report and look forward to more

Response: Thanks S&T, I will be posting on Scotland soon, and Ireland along with pictures are up and going!