Our last stop on the Russo Family Germany tour was Munich. My aunt had to return to Chicago, so after dropping her off at the airport, my parents, myself and my other aunt headed south to Munich for three nights. I think Munich is the perfect contrast to Berlin. While Berlin is great because it's a huge international city with tons of history, Munich has that German feel that most Americans think of.
We stopped in Bamberg halfway through our drive for lunch and some walking around. It's such a quaint, picturesque German town that it's hard not to stop. Of course, everyone fell in love with it.
That evening, we got to Munich around dinner time so we checked into our hotel and made our way into the city for dinner. We had dinner at one of the many Augustiner beirhauses in the city, which was a good taste of beer drinking culture in Munich.
The next morning, I played tour guide and we did a little sight seeing around the city.
That afternoon, I scheduled a Sandeman's Walking Tour for us. I've done them in a few European cities, but hadn't done the Munich one. Mike did it when he was right out of college and still describes it as the Holocaust Apology Tour. Despite his less than stellar reviews, I had faith and I'm SO glad we did it. Our tour guide Austin was maybe the best that I've had and he specifically said at the beginning that he was going to focus on other parts of German history other than the Third Reicht (Sandeman's does a whole Third Reicht Tour in Munich, so if we wanted that, we could have done that). He was hilarious, super knowledgeable and a great tour guide. The walking tours are such a good way to see the city and learn lots of random facts. This was my third time in Munich and I still learned a ton!
Our last day in Munich, we headed out to Dachau, where there is a concentration camp memorial. It was my third time going, but there is a ton of information and, once again, I learned something new. I think Dachau (or a concentration camp memorial) is such an important stop on a Germany tour because it provides such insight into the causes and times leading up to the Holocaust. While it might not be the most exciting or uplifting experience, it's an important stop so we can make sure that history doesn't repeat itself.
Afterwards, we came back to the hotel to regroup. We grabbed dinner nearby and called it a night. The next day was spent on the road with another stop in Bamberg before arriving back in Berlin. We ordered dinner to be delivered to our house and hung out with Mike for a little while. My parents and aunt were staying at a hotel that night, so they went there while Mike and I stayed up to watch the Cubs win the World Series! It made for an exhausting next day, but it was totally worth it. I headed to the airport with my parents and aunt early the next morning to say my farewells and tearfully headed home on the bus.
It was SO nice to have my family come and visit. On top of telling them about our new addition, I loved being able to show them my neighborhood, my apartment and my new city. I miss them so much every day, but it felt so good to have "my people" in my new home.