Salzburg, Austria

Being close to Munich, another good destination to travel to is Salzburg, Austria although it’s probably better to fly there (if coming from another location) or better yet, take the train from Munich to Salzburg. You almost don’t recognize the difference when crossing country borders as both countries speak the same language, German, and their cultures are almost identical particularly when comparing Bavarian and Austrian since both are associated with inland hilly/mountainous terrain life… and of course, beer. The city is most well-known for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for being the setting of the Sound of Music movie.

salzburg street strasse in der stadt province ciudad austrian osterreich

If it looks old, then it didn’t get bombed! Finally, an old street that didn’t get destroyed!

salzburg plaza church building baroque

Walk around and you see the splendors of Salzburg. Even though there was some bombing in the area during World War II, most of the nicer-looking buildings survived.

church iglesia protesant religious catholic christian mozart austrian

I can’t remember which church this was but I think it was the one that Mozart went to or contributed money for.

Festung Hohensalzburg High Salzburg Fortress austria military army medieval castle

You can peak out and see Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background. This fortress didn’t really see that much action compared to other places as they made this place thinking that the Turkish Empire would go all the way that far to them but never did.

Mozarts Haus house doma dom home casa lugar de nacimiento

Mozart’s house is quite small so don’t get too many ideas thinking it’s a lavish, grand place. Mozart spent more time and money in Vienna trying to drain the Austrian Emperor’s coffers rather than stay in a place that he wasn’t a big fan of – his hometown.

salzburg city town overview lookout army military observation garrison

On top of Hohensalzburg Fortress, you can easily see why they built it there.

forests trees salzburg southern view

Again, on top of Hohensalzburg Fortress, you can see the southern side as well in case an enemy came up. The garrison could easily spot a marching army and make preparations.

Tip: You can do the so-called Sound of Music tours in Salzburg, but I’m not really that much of a fan even though I like the movie. They’ll even take you to the spot where Maria (played by Julie Andrews) was singing during the beginning part of the movie. Of course, the tour will take tourists to other locations that are real or were based upon in the movie…. but I’ll pass and you might too when you find out that the movie had some historical inaccuracies. You can find out if you wish to do so. But as a friend always said, “Ignorance is bliss while the truth sets you free even at the cost of happiness.”

Tip: Try to visit the city outside of the high tourist season (mid-May to end of August). The city is big but it is not that big for the masses of tourists who invade the city causing the residents to get choked out every summer. It’s best to avoid it because you’ll never get to see some of the better known locations of Salzburg due to the banshee tourist hordes.

Austria boasts that it produces some of the best beer for its price. So there’s another reason to go wheeeeee on the beer out there.

cerveza bier osterreiches aus osterreich austriaco pivo cans bottles variety

Beer, beer, beer!

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Dachau Concentration Camp

If you go to Munich, then you must go to Dachau, a World War II concentration camp. Although not as notorious or big as Auschwitz, it still has a nasty reputation among the locals even though it’s lessen over the years. Even though it’s a concentration of lesser reputation, it undoubtedly still inflicted a lot of pain, suffering, and created a lot of death at this place. One has to think back in the prisoner’s shoes of living in such horrid conditions especially the lack of food and drink can cause many people to go insane.

prison concentration camp dachau munich nazi jewish final solution gates puertas de carcel alemania

Welcome to the gates of imprisonment. There’s no metal sign that states “Arbeit macht frei” but rather imagine machine guns fixed on you as you’re walking through.

fence paredes wall prison jail prisoners jews jewish judeos judaism

There was a fence line within the fence line in Dachau. That can deter a lot of prisoners with any ideas of running away.. Another barrier to hurdle is another problem to solve and time would be of the essence when running away.

guard tower machine gun guards imposing problems problemas de escaparse escape impossible

And don’t forget that you got guard tower with machine guns fixed on you should you decide to take your chances on foot. You probably won’t make it far.

trench shooting line machine gunnin' firing rifla sniped sniper armas de guardia nazis

This is the biggest problem of all – that trench line where a machine gun can easily shoot right down the line with no problems. Any other solutions to run away? The dungeon keepers have truly thought of ways to prevent escape….

open plaza courtyard plazo platz roll call audience prisoners tally taking count

And problem is the roll call…. the guards were notorious for doing daily roll calls, sometimes even doing them several times a day to ensure all prisoners were accounted for. This was also a morale degrader because prisoners would often hear who died during this time too. The hard stand buildings were where the guards stayed in while the majority of the prisoners stayed in these crappy wooden buildings where they were really hot during the summer and really cold during the winter.

burning bodies ashes get rid of evidence quemar cuerpos personas quema destruir evidencia

Should you die, you would head off to the incinerator so the Nazis could get rid of your existence and claim innocence. This also ensured that people were not faking their deaths in order to escape as well.

Tip: The best way to visit these concentration camps is to imagine yourself being a prisoner thinking of living in those terrible conditions of little food and water (always hungry), one set of ragged clothes, little to no entertainment, sleep was terrible due to crappy beds, always too hot or too cold, always tired from working long hours, and always on the watch by the hawk eyes of the guards. That can take a toll on a person. But also imagine this: coming up with an idea to escape. Jail breaks are always fun to think about so think from a survival standpoint. How would you do it as a prisoner of Dachau?

When Allies took Germany and made the discoveries about the concentration camps, they made the locals help clean the site which probably put a mental scarring for the rest of their lives so they would never forget because many claimed that they didn’t know what was going on which may be or may not be true. But at least, they won’t forget the suffering of the prisoners there or the mental anguish of having to clean dead bodies and body parts. Memories and stories like that don’t go away so they don’t happen again!

This also helped push the story of the concentration camps were not a myth but actual truth to the entire world. But it couldn’t just be spread through the news, it also had to be pushed through word-of-mouth. That was the reason why the Allies made the local German people who lived nearby into voluntold helpers who obviously did not want to participate but did so by force. No doubt the locals complained while at home which ensured the stories would not disappear in history.

In case if you’ve wondered how I would do my escape from Dachau, it would be either through stealth (finding a guard to knock out and stealing his clothes and papers) or go out with a bang in full force. You’re facing death anyways and you’re getting weaker by the day so it would be easier to snatch an automatic rifle early in your time in prison and just make a break for it. Once out, gotta find a way to Switzerland which at the time was the closest neutral country around. Also a safe haven a well.

Tip: It’s best to have a rental car to drive out there as public transportation does not really go out there or in my opinion, a little tricky to get out there. Having a car also means that you can drive up to Ingolstadt to see the Audi Museum if you’re up there as well. If you cannot make it out to Auschwitz where you have to have a reserved ticket, then Dachau is a good option as well if you want to see a concentration camp back from World War II.

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Munich, Germany – home of the BMW Museum and FC Bayern Munich

So in light of watching Bayern Munich winning the Supercup in Frankfurt, I thought that I should turn my attention to Munich or better known in Germany as München. To Germans, it’s known as the capital of Bavaria which gives off the stereotype of beers and bratwursts, thanks heavily in large part to the world famous Oktoberfest. Originally, it was a festival to celebrate the Bavarian royalty’s wedding later became an agricultural festival and has now evolved into a beer festival where people all over the world make their beeline travel to Munich to partake in the huge quantities of beer. I heard that there are some beers that are just made specifically for Oktoberfest. I’m not a beer guy so I went to Munich during non-Oktoberfest days. Instead, I went to Munich to see the the city, the BMW Museum, and FC Bayern Munich.

new town hall rathaus munich muenchen platz  city hall building

One of the more amazing buildings in Munich even though it’s not that old compared to some buildings that are centuries old. This building was constructed in the late 1800s, early-1900s. So it’s still quite old but a masterpiece.

Like many cities in Germany, Munich got heavily bombed during World War II so many of its traditional architecture was heavily damaged and/or even destroyed. However, due to the bombings and destruction, this enabled the city to widen the roads and modernize the city to what it is today. With so much investment pouring into West Germany at the time, companies were able to convert from wartime production to civilian production which is why BMW became powerhouse in Munich.

BMW museum musee museo edificio munich cars

The circular building is the BMW museum while the building to the right of it is BMW headquarters.

classical auto motorbike bike motorcycle motocicleta carro

You have to pay to get inside, but I think it’s worth doing so. Here are some classical vehicles – a car and motorcycle made in the early 1900s.

red car museum piece antique german vehicle

Some of the cars there have a history about them such as this red car but I can’t remember though.

BMW bikes white red

A pair of nice-looking BMW motorcycles.

future car silver grey gray auto expensive pricey technological fech

It’s not just old antique cars in the museum. As you start to walk around, you’ll start to see some of the more modernized, futuristic vehicles as well.

future car futuro de auto german car industry bavaria

The future is here! BMW’s most futuristic car that also looks good!

Ah, yes, and of course… the city is associated with the most successful Bundesliga team in its history: FC Bayern Munich. They play in Allianz Arena which is obvious that it’s brand new compared to their old home of Munich Olympiastadion so the charm of an old stadium filled with history is not there not like the Bernabeu or Camp Nou. However, it’s still worth going to a game to see Germany’s best even though in my opinion, they don’t do so well in Champions League. It’s quite different when you can strike fear in your domestic league opponents but not so much against other heavy European giants. I recommend that you get tickets ahead of schedule because Bayern generally sells out every game and that almost includes games where they are the visitor.

bayern munich stadium arena pitch stadion football fussball futbol club sv

It looks like a silver-colored bath tub but it houses one of the most famous, well-known football clubs in Europe: Bayern Munich.

inside the stadium fc bayern munich munchen allianzarena

I got a near front-row seat right down the center line! Whoo! I recommend going early so you can setup and see the warm-ups.

warm up warming up calentarse antes del juego

It’s Bayern warming up. If you look closely, there are some famous names in there.

arjen robben dutch player spieler holandes bald striker

That’s Arjen Robben, probably one of the most famous footballers out of the Netherlands. He has some of the best reactions I’ve ever seen in a footballer!

centre forward lewandowski polish poland 9 striker forward

That’s Robert Lewandowski, also another famous footballer but he comes from Poland. He’s probably one of the best center-forwards out there.

Tip: If you do go to Allianz Arena for a game, I recommend after the game to walk some distance in order to avoid the traffic. The after-game congestion is just horrendous there and that even includes the trains! I made the great decision to utilize my two feet because I could see that I was walking faster than bumper-to-bumper cars stuck in gridlock traffic.

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What to see in Frankfurt, Germany – the football club! Eintracht Frankfurt

I will state my opinion frankly but there not much to see in this city. Frankfurt is one of the cities that got really bombed and damaged back during World War II. This probably helped in its revival as the people were able to rebuild with wider streets and taller, modern buildings – some which are used for huge financial companies. Frankfurt also has a world-class international airport with destinations all over the world which makes Frankfurt a great place to travel all over but more importantly, all over Europe! However, overall to me, there is nothing noteworthy to go gawk at in Frankfurt so just make it a stopping point and move on.

If you need something fun to do in Frankfurt, then I suggest to watch the local football club, Eintracht Frankfurt. They’ve bounced back and forth between Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 due to being promoted and relegated over  the years but I think they are finally here to stay in top flight football in Germany especially in 2018 when they beat Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal (aka German Cup) final game in Berlin. Bayern was heavily favored to win the game and the trophy because they won the Bundesliga title (or league title) earlier in the season. Instead, Frankfurt played defensively well to where their counterattacks caught Bayern off guard and won the game 3-1.

Since Bayern Munich won the league trophy and Frankfurt won the German cup, that meant that they would face in the German Supercup match. I happened to luck out in getting a ticket to the game because I wanted to see if Eintracht Frankfurt could repeat the magic from last time. Of course, it was going to be harder this time around since Bayern is always a perennial contender year in, year out, and their coach, Niko Kovac? Well, he guided Frankfurt’s victory over Bayern Munich but was now the Bayern Munich coach!  The road to victory got a lot more difficult knowing that their coach knows Frankfurt quite well.

commerzbank arena eintracht frankfurt football fussball soccer city game supercup

It was a great day for game. Warm, not cold, and plenty of anticipation for the start. I always try to get to the stadium early so I don’t have to hunt down my seat.

warmup bayern bayerisch fussball team match spieler jugador futbol grass pitch

I took a picture of the Bayern Munich team warming up. Several of these players were on the German national team a few months ago when the World Cup was played in Russia.

pre game celebrations celebrar antes del juego partido Spiel Super Cup Deutschland Bundesliga

The Pre-game celebrations were amazing with the whole presentation and all. They even brought out last season’s League and German Cup trophies because in the Super Cup – both winners face each other. In the event, a team wins both, then the German Cup runner-ups play in the Supercup.

Interestingly, there were a lot of Bayern Munich fans at the Commerzbank Arena (Frankfurt Stadium) which really was a home game for Eintracht Frankfurt. But I guess in this case, it was considered neutral ground since Bayern Munich won the League and Frankfurt won the German Cup meaning two winners facing head-to-head.

corner kick la esquina patada grass green pitch soccer field

Some game time. In the first 10-15 minutes was all about breaking that rust since both teams had not played a real game for awhile. Just know that to the left is where Frankfurt fans would have flags and signs but that section was reserved for the Bayern Munich fans. It’s a bit different during a Trophy Game.

And in the end, Niko Kovac knew his former team too well as Bayern Munich slaughtered Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0. It should have been 6-0, but Frankfurt did not look like the team that won the German Cup a few months ago.

bayern munich supercup win victoria gano ganar

5-0 score. It was a whupping. Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski scores a hat trick to pretty much put the screws on Frankfurt’s early night loss.

major trophy super cup podium team celebrates trophy trofeo ganar celebrar

Bayern Munich celebrates the first trophy of the season with the Super Cup. Generally, the Super Cup in all leagues across Europe is not as valued as the League trophy, the League Cup, or Champions League – it’s still a major trophy!

One funny thing that I remember going to the stadium was when I was walking to the stadium and I could see vaguely in the dark a line of guys taking a piss along the treeline while German police (men and women) just walked around like it was nothing and perfectly normal. I just started laughing when I saw that and kept on walking to the game.

So was it worth it? Yeah, I would say so. Anytime you can go to a trophy match game is always a big deal because you can see the celebrations. Kind of like FC Barcelona celebrating the League Trophy win at home in Camp Nou. That was worth going just to see all that confetti come down, but then again it was the El Clásico!

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FC Ingolstadt and the Audi Museum

The first German football game that I went to was in Ingolstadt, in the province of Bavaria, southeast Germany. So why did I go there in the first place? Well, for starters, there is the Audi Museum and old town…. but not much else. That’s where the football game comes into play where I got to see a Bundesliga game between FC Ingolstadt and Hamburg SV.

football club ingolstadt die schanzer sportpark audi fussball futbol

FC Ingolstadt played against Der Dino (Hamburger SV) and won that game. It was really cold that day so make sure you wear good clothing to keep ya warm and toasty.

the pitch green campo verde con jugadores del futbol spieler spielern fussball bundesliga

The fans were really passionate as this team finally made it to German top flight. Unfortunately, after only two years, they got relegated down to Bundesliga 2. The quality is just not as good as the big name clubs but still, it’s fun to watch in case there is a young prospect coming up the ranks.

So what’s next after the game (or before the game)? Old town of Ingolstadt is a possibility but it’s not that special as it’s pretty common like other European cities and towns. It’s still worth going through but it’s better to head on over to the Audi Museum aka museum mobile. There are lot of cars and motorcycles in there as they change exhibits over time like all museums do.

entrance entrada museo museum das einfahrt bavarian cars die autos

Here we go! The Audi Museum. Take note of the hours when they are open because you don’t want to show up and find out that it’s closed.

Motorcycles and cars galore in the Audi Museum.

military car bikes museum army soldiers biking

I thought the tan-colored motorbike was interesting as it looked like some kind of military bike for doing recon missions.

museum audi germany cars autos vehicles history bavarian factory maker

Another interesting thing that I saw at the Audi Museum – a revolving elevator type mechanism that moved the cars in a circular motion. Kind of reminded me of a machine gun ammo clip except with cars!

racecar victory races won championships champion racer auto car

I think this car actually won some races which was why it was showcased in the museum.

statue motorcycle 2 wheels cycle bike audi future

An interesting piece of work – I guess that’s how motorcycles are designed from. They carve it into a statue and work from there. The future is here!

Like I stated earlier before, it’s best to go to these cities by combining whatever they have to offer and watching a football game. It’s best to see which teams are out there and which level they play at. Germany has multiple levels but I prefer to watch the very best which is the Bundeliga 1 or just simply Bundesliga. There are also Bundesliga 2 and 3, but they are not that good unless they are on the upswing and get promoted. I’m not going into full detail about the promotion/relegation format, but I prefer to see the very best like FC Barcelona. But the problem is FC Barcelona don’t play in Germany that much unless it’s a friendly or Champions League game so you might be pressed for time if you’re only in Germany. So what’s a tourist to do in Germany then? I guess go watch the German clubs play.

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