Day 3 – Munich, Dachau, Chiemsee, Salzburg
As I had said in the last post, when we picked the Star Inn München Schwabing it was because of it’s proximity to a side trip we planned to make from Munich, which was Dachau Concentration Camp.
We wanted to take advantage of the morning hours to see more of Munich before we needed to check out of the hotel and head to Dachau, so we got up early on Tuesday morning, walked a couple blocks to the metro station, and headed into Munich on the metro for some breakfast and a look around. The trip from Schwabing to the main station Hauptbahnhof took around 20 minutes.
We walked around Munich’s City Center for a couple hours then we made our way back to the hotel, got checked out, and drove northwest over to the small town of Dachau, Germany about 20 minutes away.
Dachau is a Bavarian town of about 45,000 people and dates back to the 9th century, but is unfortunately probably most famous for the Nazi concentration camp which was just east of the city.
Dachau was the longest operating Nazi concentration camp, lasting nearly 12 years between 1933 and the Allied liberation in 1945, and was used as a prototype for other German concentration camps during the Nazi rule.
The Dachau camp site is now a somber memorial to the nearly 41,500 people that were ruthlessly murdered during the Holocaust.
It was a sobering day for us on our otherwise fun filled road trip, but the memorials and the historical exhibits were something we wanted to experience.
Admission to the Memorial Site is free, and there are numerous monuments, memorial stones, commemorative plaques, and gravesites located outdoors, while indoor areas are filled with educational and historical exhibits explaining and remembering the suffering and death of the prisoners interned at Dachau.
We spent a few hours taking in all the exhibits and walking around the grounds, but taking photos just seemed disrespectful, so I only actually took this one photo.
Here is an aerial photo of the Memorial grounds, from the Memorial’s website, with the 34 rows signifying the locations of the prisoner barracks.
Here is another photo of the famous main entrance gate into Dachau, during the Allied liberation in April 1945.
After leaving Dachau, we headed south around the west side of Munich city, and then east toward Salzburg, Austria about 2 hours and 180km’s away.
After a little over an hour on the road we made a stop in Bernau am Chiemsee, on the shores of Lake Chiemsee. We walked around a bit, and had some lunch, and read a little bit about the area.
Interestingly, there is a Benedictine nunnery dating back to the year 782 on one of the islands in the lake called Frauenchiemsee, that is said to have been one of the repositories (along with Neuschwanstein Castle and others) for stolen Nazi art, which was earmarked for Hitler’s planned Führermuseum.
After a stop of about an hour at Chiemsee we were back in the buggy motoring toward Salzburg.
Once again we were using Choice Privileges points for our one night stopover. We chose the Star Inn Hotel Salzburg Zentrum, by Comfort for 16,000 points. Breakfast was free, but parking was €16 for the night. The location ended up being perfect, just a short walk through a tunnel to the city center.
On the way to Salzburg, we had intended to make a detour just about 30 minutes south of the city to Hitler’s Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany, but it was getting late in the day, and we figured it would be closed, and most likely would have been a wasted trip, so we continued on to our hotel.
My advice – plan a day around the Eagles Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) and Berchtesgaden if you will be in the area of Salzburg! We missed it on this trip, but I was fortunate enough to see it on a later trip, and it is one of the most spectacular areas of the world I have ever been to! Look for a post dedicated to Berchtesgaden soon!
We arrived in Salzburg, Austria around 6pm, got checked in, and we were excited to walk over into the historic city center to see the sites, and grab some dinner.
Unfortunately, I had a couple mishaps that evening that were less than fun and somewhat embarrassing. While walking along the sidewalk near Mozart’s birthplace I stumbled and fell headfirst on the sidewalk. I scraped my knee and my hand, but other than that and a bruised ego I was fine.
A few minutes later we decided to have some Chinese food for dinner, and as we headed up the stairs to the restaurant, which was located on the second floor of an old historical building, I walked head first into the arched doorway, which was made of rock, and was obviously not built with anyone much over about 5’-0” in mind. The headache was a doozy! My two friends had no trouble fitting through the bizarrely low doorway by at least a couple feet, if you catch my drift. 🙂
It seems I have my share of mishaps when I’m traveling, as this reminded me of the time I stepped into a pothole in Costa Rica and probably broke my ankle trying to get the attention of an Uber driver! Ahhh memories! 🙂
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for some aspirin and some sleep, and planned to spend the next morning checking out more of Salzburg before heading back out on the road.
Day 3 was an action packed day, even though we missed the Eagles Nest! Salzburg is an absolutely incredible city, and quitessential Europe!
Next up – Day 4 – More Salzburg, and then on to Vienna, Austria