A Travellerspoint blog

Heat rises

sunny 35 °C

Got to Frankfurt freezing actually, because for once the bus air con was actually turned on, and I was there the whole night in shorts hahahah. Nothing new there. But I was still tired, didn't sleep much on the bus, stumbled out bleary eyed.

Got to the hostel, bummed around a while in the lounge and finally decided not to sleep in the middle of the breakfast crowd, so I went for a walk around town, seeing all the major stuff. Paid for the Goethe museum/his old house. Had pizza lunch in the garden/cemetery of St Peters church. Read a book I'd borrowed from the hostel (A Christmas Pudding by Christie, upset that it was short stories, I always get short changed by her) at the river til about 5? When I finished it. Very chill day. Except not chill. Very hot. But anyway.

Then went back to the hostel. Checked in, and was very very happy to find out that they offer free dinner!! Like when does that ever happen?? Then again I paid 2 eur for a locker in my room.

For the rest of the evening I showered and washed my tanks (only brought two. Mistake.) and read (started on lady Chatterley's lover) and had dinner (oily and vegetarian but tasty penne) and basically tried to stay alive. The heat is killer okay. You have no idea! Same as SG la except without fan, without air con, without respite. I even showered twice because I got so sticky just waiting in the lounge for dinner. Dyingggg. Can't wait for Wednesday, it's supposed to get colder then. (how am I gonna survive July? With lots of shorts and tanks and showers I'm guessing)

(HALLELUJAH ITS RAINING NOW and strangely for Europe, I see lightning? Oh shoot I think it's gonna get more humid now)

Oh and it's day 100 by the way! 56 more to go, what a milestone.

Posted by seaskimmer 14:55 Archived in Germany Tagged germany hot frankfurt Comments (0)

Dachau

On the last day... Ugh it's been a while, I have to remember now. On the last day we went to Dachau.

Woke up, then got myself breakfast and lunch from lidl with the girls, while the guys stuffed themselves with buffet brunch at the hostel. Then we waited and got on to a train with the whole of Munich. No, seriously, that train was so crowded it wasn't even funny.

Very happy that the train (s bahn actually) was cheaper than expected, so we all got the audio guides (another factor was the free entry).

Pretty much spent the entire day there walking around, listening to the audio info, and reading the written info.

It was kind of weird that it was a brilliant day, bright and sunny, but I didn't feel like I should be celebrating that! I read account after account of brutality and death, and learnt rather interesting things about how things were then. Stood in places where people had died, the barracks where they'd lived in misery, the plaza where they had to endure daily torture.

I thought I'd saturated myself with sad things, but then after close to 5 hours later, nearing the end of my visit, I walked into a room in a building. 5s later I realised it was where they'd stored mounds of bodies before they were shovelled into the crematorium (just furnaces). But it was only then that I suddenly felt a bit sick and I just had to get out of that room! Really couldn't stay there, stand in that room where so many had just been stacked there like cattle.

I don't think I yet understand God's plan in this. I mean, I know some of the prophecies and the basic reason for all this, but how could the punishment be so terrible? Hmm. Actually, thinking further it only serves to illustrate the seriousness of what the Jews did so long ago. Nonetheless perhaps I should dig a little deeper into the word.

We ended off the day pretty chill. We had a long dinner, relaxed. I went back to get my bag, then met them for a last few hours, and then caught my bus back to hamburg. So ended my Bavarian trip!

Posted by seaskimmer 11:26 Archived in Germany Tagged germany jew dachau münchen concentration Comments (0)

Museums

Woke up early on Sunday intending to climb. I don't know why. I'd planned on it the night before. So I woke up early to get to the gym at 8. When I woke up I was still tired from not sleeping enough, and I also decided to go to a museum instead of to the gym! Haha. That made much more sense.

So I got out, got to Frauenhofstrasse and walked to the Deutsches Museum. It was a very peaceful walk, along the Isar. It was about 9 plus, there were only some cars on the road and some runners and cyclists. Shady beneath the green trees lining the banks of the river. Let me repeat, it was a very nice walk , so peaceful and serene. Ironic how on the first day I'd tried to enjoy greenery but somewhat failed because I was tired and it was cold. Then on a random day I end up finding what I had sought. To me, that's partly what travel is about.

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There was a memorial to something near the museum
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Museum map with scribbled notes on what I want to concentrate on and roughly times to get to places
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Cool clocks!

Okay so I spend many hours at the museum. It's a science and tech museum, let me tell you, I got bored. There was fun stuff like the two heat imaging devices, that was really fun hahahaha but I don't need to see Carnot engines and machine elements and computer chips and engines and astronomical stuff I don't understand. Along the way I got a little jaded, like THERE IS NO MEANING IN SCIENCE until I got to the pharmaceutics area. There I was reminded that science reflects society in so many ways, and it's not just what's in history and sociology books that reflect that. So I tried to appreciate everything a little more haha.

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At the maps section. Reflecting a different world view.

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Porcelain eye!!!
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At the environment section, a solar collection system. They all reflect towards the collector tower. This was cool cos I'm learning about it in my renewable energy module.
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The mirror of a big reflector haha
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thermal imaging device #2, with temperature monitor too!
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model train
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thermal imaging device #1
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carbon fibre is really really light

Then I met the rest at the Altes Pinakothek, until they decided they'd rather go to the modern Pinakothek. So there's an old, a new, and a modern Pinakothek. The age they focus on are in that order from past to present. The modern Pinakothek consisted of architectural pieces, paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and furniture design. It was not too bad, and although we laughed at some of the paintings like the uncultured neanderthals that we are, some of them were really pretty. The architecture stuff was cool but I only took photos for KK haha. Furniture was kinda bla I guess, nothing really spectacular.

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Greetings monkey

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Ended off the day at a Chinese restaurant haha. First Chinese place I've been to here, I had lamb soup with carrots and potatoes and then FRIED RICE woohooooo. Then I chilled at their hostel for a while and headed back to mine.

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While there M and I discussed for the longest time ever whether to go to the Dachau concentration camp with Ms, L and WH, or to sit on the Alpsee Bergwelt Alpine Coaster!!!!!!!!! Honestly I've been looking forward to the coaster ever since S told me about it last year. The longest in Germany, and one of the longest in the world, and the chance to have a different experience from others by not braking??? Would've loved to. Unfortunately it's far away and pretty hard to get to, whereas Dachau can be reached by the S bahn and entry is free. Sigh. Maybe if I'd stayed an additional day? Sigh. Next time I MUST go. :'(

Posted by seaskimmer 07:09 Archived in Germany Tagged germany walk museum münchen Comments (0)

Disney

So. I met them at their hostel. Since I'm the one with data and their hostel is really near the hbf. Was cool to see all of them again! We quickly bought tickets, bought breakfast and lunch, hopped onto, or rather squeezed into the train. It's like the whole of München suddenly decided they wanted to go see Neuschwanstein (here, NSS).

So the train goes 2h to Füßen, basically an ulu part that most people just pass through to the castle. Except for hikers because the area is beautiful!

Some history: there used to be 3 castles in the area, all ruins though. One day a king decides to rebuild one of the castles originally called Schwanstein castle, and renames it Hohenschwangau. His son later builds on the two remaining ones, which are basically called the Front- and Back-Hohenschwangau castles and renames it Neuschwanstein (where neu means new). In a nutshell the castles swapped names. That's weird.

Mad King Ludwig (the son) really liked the idea of a fantasy castle. He built a lot of castles (so many that the country went into debt), and had NSS built in the romantic style. He wanted to eventually live there, however died before it could be finished.

It definitely has to be the prettiest castle I've ever seen! I liked how some other castles were built purely for defensive reasons; that gives authenticity, atmosphere and grimness. On the other hand, NSS was truly built for the scenery and Ludwig II's idea of beauty. I mean, even the Trianons at Versailles and Buckingham Palace itself began as hunting lodges! NSS appeals to the l'art pour l'art (art for art's sake) notions in me, and my unrealistic desire for an idealistically beautiful and simple life.

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From the bridge
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From on high

Tool a bus to Hohenschwangau, then walked 20-30 min uphill to the castle lol. We decided to go round by the right side first, and that eventually led us to Mariensbrücke, a wood-platforned Bridge from which the whole of München stood on to take photos of/with the castle haha. From there we walked further, and then began to scramble up unmarked pathways wheee. That involved some really steep steps, some slippery organic peat underfoot, lots of tree roots and rocks. L and I went ahead, then waited for the other three. Went down a little way but didn't see them. So we just went up all the way, took photos here and there. It was so fun but so tiring! Legs were like jelly, I was breathing hard, that was a real good workout. And fun too. I need to exercise more :/

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By that time, however, we were a little worried. So we didn't stay long. Went back down to find them, eventually went all the way back to the castle but to no avail! So we actually went back mariensbrücke, and walked in a little more. And then we finally found them! Turns out they'd gone the long and winding (read: less fun) way up to the same place we'd gone to. While we thought they'd be waiting below, they thought we'd be waiting above haha. That's why it took so long for us to remeet.

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Inside the castle
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Anyway I was all tuckered out by that time. All the fast uphill walking had taken its toll. Whewee.

Went to the castle, M and I took some videos for a friend's birthday video. Walked back down to Füßen, bought some souvenirs, then took the train back to München. The train was almost as crowded, but thankfully not as bad. Had to change train, everyone got off and waited. Train was close to 15min late!

Went to an Augustiners near karlsplatz, apparently it's pretty good. We ordered the 3 meat platter (chicken, pork knuckle and something else) and a sausage platter to share. Then M and I shared something called jellied meat (just to try) and goulash, while wh, ms and L got err something I don't remember. Haha. And three of us got Augustiners. The jellied meat is kind of like sliced roast pork (dryish kind) in agar. But the agar is pork brothy and savoury, nor sweet. It was interesting, wasn't really weird. But I would have preferred the meat on its own haha.

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Then we just went back and I slept as early as I could cos I was tired!!! After the quantity of walking the previous day and the quality of the day itself. TIRED.

P.S. Mulan has got to be my favourite Disney 'princess' and movie. I've watched it like 10 times maybe. And Pocahontas my second favourite :) Annoyingly they're never included in the common Disney princess list (or maybe that says something lol)

Posted by seaskimmer 04:05 Archived in Germany Tagged beer germany castle hike münchen Comments (0)

München

Bavaria is supposed to be really different from the rest of Germany. So far, though, I don't see much difference, except that they love beer more and they have cool traditional wear that they now only wear when they go drinking. Okay.

I got to Munich on Friday at 8.30 am, 45min after the scheduled arrival time of 7.45 because the bus left Hamburg and hour late. Ridiculous.

Was a on a tight schedule, walked over to my hostel and checked in, then made my way asap to the Ostbahnhof where boulderwelt is. S says that boulderwelt is the shiz and that a trip to Munich would be nothing without climbing there. So my shoes and chalk bag came along with me on that cold cramped bus. It took me a while and a little bit of help from a kind Turkish German guy to find boulderwelt. Despite having data and Google maps. But don't judge k, the point was totally in the wrong place!!!

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Very helpful that pretty much all buildings in Munchen are marked with numbers and arrows indicating which way the number increases! For this sole reason Munchen already got into my good books. They should have this everywhere. There would be a lot less confused people.

At any rate, I got registered after queuing TWICE, and changed up, and prepared to take on the world. Okay, no, I know I suck now so I was just hoping to have some fun at least. Slowly went up the difficulty ratings til I settled on orange, then went around trying to conquer all of them. Some were okay flashes. Others had really bad holds that I would once upon a time have been able to actually use sigh. But I got pumped really quickly and then got properly tired soon too. So despite intending to leave late and cut into lunchtime (after all the delays) I ended up leaving on time. Boulderwelt is cool though, it's pretty huge. Lots of problems to work on! Unlike nordwandhalle sigh, it's so small.

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Made my way to Marienplatz, or the center of the Altstadt (old city) and walked over to viktualienmarkt for lunch. It's this big daily market that sells lots of fresh produce and normal food. One of the online recommendations was this soup place, with a famous bread stall next to it. Good bread to me is just... Good bread I guess, but soup comes with a halo and fuzzy feelings.

Most of the soups were normal soups so I attempted something weirder and hopefully Bavarian. I didn't even know what it was, so as I stood in line, I quickly googled it and the first result said veal light. I'm like, what is light, but I see veal and think it sounds good and I order it. When I get it, my radar goes up and I check another source and it's veal lung. What on earth. But I bought it and I must eat it. I had most of it, and it really just tastes like slightly chewy flour I guess. Not that I chewed it properly. The more I ate it, the more I thought about what I was eating, and the sicker I really felt. I'm the end I ate most of it but not all. (Pretty much the second picture, without the meatball) I'm sorry, the soup was nice (sour and thick like si chuan soup but not spicy) but I'm really not one for innards. I honestly felt a bit sick at the end.

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I also passed by an 'exotic fruits' stall. And GUESS WHAT. I actually found durian there!!! The fragrance of it wafted up to my nose, and I looked down, gasped, and took a photo of it. This German guy near me glanced amused at me and I just gave him a thumbs up, a huge crazy smile, and a 'SEHR gut' (very good). Didn't seem very impressed though haha. He and his wife just pointed confusedly at the jackfruit yonder and then left lol. And so did I, I think I'll wait to gorge myself on durian when I get back.

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I then made my way back to Marienplatz for the sandeman tour. Which was interesting and she was pretty funny but she just didn't seem to know as much history as the first few tours I went on right in the beginning. Maybe it was a novelty at first. Huh. Randomly ended up chatting with a Chinese guy studying at ntu but on exchange in Sweden.

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Maybe I'm a noob because I have data and I still take time to figure out directions haha. I spent a minute or so staring at Google maps deciding on the best way to get to the Fraucht. And this kindly old man came up and asked if I needed help. We chatted a bit, turns out he's Austrian and he's been to sg for 2 days en route to Japan for a business trip. He works for Canon. He looks quite old already though so I didn't expect him to still be working. Anyway to the end of our conversation (in the middle of a busy shopping street lol) he asks if I want to guang yi guang with him basically (Chinese A plus), an offer which I politely declined. But what a cute old man haha. (and by the way, all this in German, he said I was pretty good hehe)

Walked pretty much 7 or 8k along the Isar to the Fraucht. The walk along the river was really nice, and I'd intended on passing through some shady green glades before tucking into some cheap Bavarian dishes. Unfortunately the weather was grey and a little cold, and as it turns out the recommended shop only opens when there's good weather (how do they define good weather?).

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So I randomly ask a guy for help lol and he tells me all this, and when I ask for cheap Bavarian food he scratches his head and suggests an Augustiner rather doubtfully. Same as the tour guide. Doubtfully because it's pub food, there will be Bavarian dishes but it's not gonna be awesome and it wouldn't be that cheap either. But I was starving by then and didn't care so I went to the nearest one. Which incidentally had a lot of Chinese or Japanese umbrellas around. Weird. But I had a schnitzel (breaded fried chicken) which I can get in school anyway. The potato salad was pretty good though and I had a small glass (0.2) of local beer, Augustiner. The beer was pretty nice at first (not like I can tell) it at the end of my meal it was really bitter. I don't think I took that long? And why would it be bitter anyway.

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Anyway I got back, showered, talked to the other girls in the dorm. Sitting here waiting for my portable battery to charge before I plug my phone in for a little while. There are only 4 plugs in this room for 6 girls. It's ridiculous. So I can't leave it in. Oh well, it's a really clean place and the shower is actually of a decent size. That's awesome. Oh my, I'm so tired.

Meeting ese peeps the morning to go to neuschwanstein, haven't seen 2 of them since November, and the other two only when they stayed at my place. Wow. K.

Posted by seaskimmer 01:51 Archived in Germany Tagged beer singapore germany climb münchen nicepeople Comments (0)

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