Blackforest

Hi all!

It was an adventure trying to get to Frieberg itself. Our train got delayed and we missed the connecting one (and subsequent available ones based on the pamphlet available on the train) to Frieberg. This left me feeling slightly worried we’ll be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Haha, fortunately, a kind old gentleman who sat near us on the train from Berlin informed us on a possible train timing available and how to get our tickets switched. It was so sweet of him. He was also so helpful throughout the journey as well, informing us of reserved seats on the train and how we needed to find alternative ones as a new stop approached. After we settled in Frieberg, we got to exploring this fairytale-like town. It’s pretty small town and you could circle the area in less than half a day.

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Frieberg has many of these small canals scattered throughout the town, and rumour has it, if you stepped into one, you’ll married a Frieberg man. One of our friend stepped into it after mishearing the word Frieberg and quickly regretted her action, lol.

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Such rustic looking McDonald’s!

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Headed to Tacheles, a restaurant recommended for us to try schnitzel, which was just pork cutlet. Had it in Spicy and Italian style with lots of delicious greens from the sides. It was pretty affordable at €7.9 for the schnitzel that came with a side dish, if you ordered before 6pm on Mon-Fri. Such a steal! And the portion were huge too! We had some problems finishing them even among the 4 of us.

Tacheles address:  Grünwälderstr. 17 79098 Freiburg, Germany

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Of course, we can’t go a day without having gelato! So here’s the nougat himbeere which was a good mix of sweet and chocolate (Nutella style) at only €1/scoop. It was so damn worth it. We then bought groceries for the next day hike and breakfast, though we had to ask around to distinguish between still and sparkling water. Why is there even sparkling water?! It’s so bleh… Anyway, we got a bottle of sangria, where we drank and chilled for the rest of the night.

Portorfino address:  Bertoldstr. 44 79098 Freiburg, Germany. 

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The next day, we headed down to Feldberg mountain, where we hiked through the woods to Feldsee lake. Our attempt to read the map was an epic fail where we were walking down the mountain instead of up, even though the trail was an uphill one. Lol, luckily we met this  botanist (?) collecting plant samples who then guided us onto the correct path. By then, my bladder was literally bursting, since I started the trek with a full bladder and the toilet (which I later realised was the staff one) was locked -.-

We ended up taking the cable car to the plateau, but we were one of the more inappropriately dressed ones. I was just in a long sleeved shirt, windbreaker and jeans, but the plateau peak was way too freaking cold. When the periodic wind came, we rapidly hid behind statues and at the cable car control station. Haha, it was just too cold, I couldn’t even feel my fingers. After a quick round of pictures when the wind blew away the mist and visibility was much better, we descended and I had a cup of overpriced fake hot chocolate  at €3.2. At the town area, we had the Black Forest cake at a random cafe with a view of Titisee lake. Because I don’t like cream and the cake was pretty dry, it was an epic fail. We then rented a paddleboat where I sat at the back and enjoyed the view while 2 of my friends paddled for the next 30 mins. Haha, we then headed back to Frieberg to collect our luggage and chilled at the dining area till midnight before heading to the bus station to head to Munich. Till the next post, bye!

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The birth of sleeping beauty

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Here’s us seeking shelter (with gelato!) at a food stall from the sudden downpour, while we waited for the shuttle bus service that would bring us closer to the castle.

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The Neuschwanstein castle, or the sleeping beauty castle (which is how I remembered it),  was constructed under the orders of King Ludwig II as a personal refuge. It was quite pretty inside though I felt the castle was pretty overrated as an attraction.

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At the opposite side is the Hohenschwangau castle, which was built by King Ludwig II’s father as his childhood residence in the 19th century.

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A super nice and thick smoothie from the supermarket, as we rounded of our castle visit and headed back to Munich.

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On a separate evening, we headed to the city center, where we managed to witness the glockenspiel clock playing at Neues Rathaus. Though the crowd that day was cray because there was some event going on at the Marienplatz.

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I simply love how blue the water in the fountain is!

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We then headed to Haxbauer, a restaurant famous for their pork knuckles to settle my friends craving for them. Since it was our last day in Germany, we also ordered a spaetzle, which is an egg noodle, that tasted like chewy pasta. A chicken salad and a fish with a side of potatoes rounded off our dinner. I’m not a fan of fried food, so the pork knuckles was an absolute no-go for me. However, the fish was quite fresh and light, making it quite tasty. I’ve one more post on the Blackforest coming up, and that would round up my visit to Germany. Perhaps it was the dreary weather we experience the entire time but Germany was not the place for me. Till the next post, bye!

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A little history – Part 2 (Dachau)

Hi all!

It’s been a short while since I’ve updated this space. But I’ve been busy trying to apply for jobs (still a work-in-progress) and battling and coming to terms with a sudden skin condition (which I hope will not progress to a chronic situation). I’ve decided to quickly pen down this short post on my thoughts of my visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp, before I lose even more memories of the place. Here’s a photo snippet of my experiences and my thoughts of the place.

We joined an English tour and had a wonderful tour conducted by our lovely and knowledgeable guide, a lady of half Jew, half Nazi descent. She was pretty emotional as she brought as about the area because she has first hand account of the experiences narrated to her by survivors and her grandparents.

“Arbeit Macht Frei” – Work Will Make You Free, is the first thing you’ll notice as you pass through the gates into the camp.  It’s such a contradictory phrase that marks  the beginning and end of your life. Interesting fact: The B in “ARBEIT” is inverted in the gate at Auschwitz (the concentration camp in Poland) as a sign of rebellion by the maker who constructed the gate.

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One of the remaining scaffold that showed the layout of the first building when people entered the camp and were stripped of the belongings, to be replaced with the camp uniform and a badge, signifying the status.

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The remnants of the train tracks, which brought prisoners into the camp.

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An original painting on the walls in a barrack, which was turned into a museum that is preserved.

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“Rauchen verboten” – No Smoking, a sign used to taunt the prisoners as cigarettes were not allowed.

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A peep through the door hole into one of the holding rooms in the barracks for prisoners.

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The cloudy weather pretty much summarised the dark mood of the tour group as we exited the barrack.

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Rows of barracks utilised for medical purposes, along both sides of the camp road. However, most of these barracks were utilised by scientists to perform experimental and brutal research on humans. So many were left to suffer the atrocities. Even after the war ended, one of the scientist wanted to continue his research work on humans (as guinea pigs) by requesting permission to perform experiments on the prisoners. It’s absolutely disgusting.

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The no-man’s land separates the camp site from a chance of freedom. Prisoners were often made to pick up the caps which the guards threw into this area, leading to their consequent death as firing was now allowed. It later became a way for many of these prisoners to escape the nightmare by purposefully entering this zone, before the guards caught onto their actions.

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The barracks for many of the prisoners of the upper class. It was previously one to a bed before too many people were captured and this place became overcrowded.

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This was the waiting room where victims were informed on the supposed “showers” they were supposed to take.

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The disrobing room, where victims were to leave their clothes before entering the gas chamber, which was disguised as “showers”. Their clothing would be removed to the disinfection room before the next group would enter.

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One of the death chambers.

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The dead were cremated here. Death in 4 phases, from the point one stepped into the waiting room.

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This was an insightful place to visit. Perhaps, it may not be comparable to Auschwitz, in terms of the atrocities that took place, but Dachau definitely has its own story to tell.  Join the tour offered by the museum, then spend the day wandering and learning more about the museum. You’ll not regret it. I came out appreciating the peace and friendliness amongst the different racial and ethnic groups I am constantly exposed to in my country. I better understand the need for certain laws to be in place, though it may see to others as a violation of an individual’s freedom of speech. Till the next post, bye.