While on a trip recently I was sending emails in a travelogue form to a few close family and friends – have represented some of them here with some edits and removing personal details. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed the trip.
(For reference, S here refers to the husband who was with me on the trip)
Today we went to visit Dachau. Its around 40 min one way by train/subway from Munich. We didn’t take any tour, just went by ourselves. There we took an audioguide which had all the info. It was quite thrilling (and chilling). I think more for S because I’ve read many WW II and concentration camp stories and knew what to expect (and also because he probably feels for ppl more than I do!). It’s a huge area most of which is empty now…all the barracks were razed to the ground when the US troops liberated the camp. They have created a sample barrack with the bunk beds and rooms exactly like it was. I kept imagining how many million stories there must be in this place which noone will ever know! There was also the crematorium and a room with holes on the walls and ceiling – the gas chamber (although they say it was not used in Dachau). But apparently there used to be an old man who claimed he was a Dachau survivor, who would come and stand at the camp entrance till few years back, and contradict what the guides were saying! Ive forgotten his name but there’s a book about him too. And according to him the gas chamber was used here. The official count of death was 48000, and probably double that was unaccounted for. So we had a sobering interlude in the middle of all the fun…but I really wanted to see it.
We were there for around 3 hours and were starving by the time we finished, so had lunch at the train station at McD ( I can hear M and baba objecting already, but I assure u later days have description of yummy ‘proper’ food). Then we took the train to Wiesbaden in the evening. It was the first of our eurail journey…we got into a first class coupe for 6 but we were the only 2…what luxury! We kept exclaiming at the view…why can’t Indian trains have picture windows? You could order food but we weren’t hungry. It was a 4 hour journey to Frankfurt where we changed trains for a half hour ride to Wiesbaden. Hauling the luggage across trains is the only hassle about the eurail travel…but S manfully did most of it while I trotted along. We reached Wiesbaden after dark…and the taxi refused politely to take us to the hotel since it was just 300m. So we chugged along to it (it was just 2 buildings away)…and got into the warmth since outside was quite chilly. It was a really good one, with a huge comfy bed.
Went down for mojitos and snacks – chicken wings, “pomme frittes”, pork medallions, wasabi nuts…yumyum!
Will continue with the Wiesbaden chapter in the next mail…