(don't) leave me in germany

What an eventful weekend. I arrived in Munich for Oktoberfest on Friday, the biggest beer festival of the year. Marcy, Lana, Rachel, Allie, and I went. After experiencing it, I know now that it is not as good as I was expecting. The people were crazy, singing and shouting things from their nationality. The Italians especially! It was extremely crowded the entire weekend; you could hardly walk around the festival. You literally had to push through. We waited in line for a tent for two hours, only to literally get pushed away by guards for no reason. I did not understand what was going on.. so we never got a table in a tent. However, we walked around and explored Munich. It seemed to me like a pretty small city, with some really beautiful buildings. We sat down and ate at a restaurant, where we were actually able to enjoy a stein. I picked up some postcards, for my travel journal of course, and walked around the city. Sunday morning, I got stuck in the bathroom at the campsite. It was probably the most scariest and funniest thing ever. The door wouldn't shut, so I slammed it. Well then there was not a lock, it was broken off. I could not get out! I yelled for Marcy, and then two seconds later I hear tons of people outside the door. It was so funny, but I was honestly scared I would not get out. They went to get the people in charge at the campsite to maybe get a screwdriver to open the door, but Rachel used a pen and got the door unlocked! Picture me in there yelling to get me out, hahaha!

We all ventured out to the Dachau concentration camp. This definitely was the best part of the weekend, mostly because it did not involve the beer festival. As I walked through it, it became real to me of the actual things that happened there. We walked through the barracks where bunk beds were lined up in the entire room. Everything in the rooms had to be perfectly clean. If there got to be any type of stain, like a coffee stain, the victims were beaten. We walked through the rooms that they told the victims were showers, but were gas chambers. Also, the place where they cremated the bodies because there were so many. There was a church located in the concentration camp, where there was a very small service going on. We walked through the museum, which was huge. We saw lots of different items that victims had brought to the camp with them, like photos of family. There was a whip in there that they were beat with, and it was wooden. It showed the reality of what really happened in these camps. There were 20 major camps, and then so many sub-camps in Europe. I was shocked to see the number of the sub-camps. This whole experience opened my eyes to history that I hardly ever think about. As I saw people crying while they were walking around, I thought about the families that are still being affected by it because it was not very long ago. The way that I am blessed in my life today is incredible; I should never complain about anything. As I was walking through, I tried very hard to resist complaining about the extremely heavy backpack I was carrying. Dachau was one of the most powerful things I have experienced.

After this amazing experience, I then encountered one of the worst experiences. At the train station, Lana did not know we could not pick up our tickets in Germany. She had bought them on her card and received the email about it. We found out that we could not get our tickets, nor get on the train, because we had to pick them up in Paris before we left. You should have seen Marcy and I (we were the only ones without printed tickets because Rachel printed their three). I actually remained calm, while thinking about solutions. We ran to Starbucks and used this guy's laptop to find numbers for the train station in Paris. We though they maybe could try and send them over to Germany. The number would not work. After, we tried canceling our tickets so we would not be charged, and that would not work. I was thinking that we would have to stay in Germany to find another train because they said the next train was 700 euros!!! Ridiculous. Of course this was happening, everything goes wrong when you're in a different country. Marcy told me to start fake crying when we went up for one last attempt to get on the train. The guy there, by the grace of God, did not care that we would get on. I was telling him, we have to get back to Paris! Marcy had the email confirmation pulled up on her phone. We ran on and sat de-stressing for a long time. It got worse when we transferred trains because the guy on there was not as nice. He made us buy new tickets and told us we could get refunded for our original ones. I did not want to believe him, but Marcy was convinced. This was the only choice because he was forcing us to buy new tickets. When we got back to Paris, the place was closed where we needed to go and try to get a refund. We went early yesterday morning, and what do you know? Of course the guy on the train was lying about a full refund from the Paris train station. However, I only lost 40 euros because we got refunded most of it. It could have been worse. Now that I have learned for the millionth time not to assume, I am just thankful that we made it back to Paris on Sunday night.

It was quite a weekend, but I have checked one country off my travel list. :)

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