Munich/Berlin – Day 4

An early typically European breakfast in our hostel fortified the group for a full morning of walking. A 20-minute train ride placed us at Dachau, site of the first concentration camp.

Waiting for our train:

Mr Hornor led the group on a several-hour tour of the exhibition halls, a reconstructed barracks, religious memorials and the crematoria. The mood among the students was understandably somber and thoughtful.

Orienting ourselves at the beginning of the tour:

Parade grounds and barracks:

Camp scene painted by a prisoner:

More group discussion:

View down cell-lined corridor:

Monument near the crematoria:

After returning from the camp, we got our massive and unwieldy suitcases out of storage and headed to the next door Hauptbahnhof to grab some last Bavarian pastries and sandwiches before boarding a super-fast train to Berlin. The names of those students who chose to eat at Subway and Starbucks have been redacted. After wrangling suitcases into the train, the students got to work on assignments for their classes. Their productivity was impressive!

Hard-working Pace students:

Arriving into the Berlin Hauptbahnhof around 9 pm, we still had to negotiate several subway lines before arriving at our hostel, a converted bishop’s residence in the heart of the Kreuzberg neighborhood. Time for sleep – tomorrow promises miles of walking, probably in freezing rain and snow. Wunderbar!

Munich: Day 3

After a late night of cramped viewing of the Alabama-Georgia game on phones and laptops, a fully sleepy and mostly cranky crew (except for one student and one faculty member with Alabama allegiances) met for a leisurely hostel breakfast.  Much sustenance would be required for one of Mr Hornor’s famous Munich marches: ten miles and thousands of years would be covered by the end of the day!

Tracing our now well-traveled steps through the city center, we arrived again at the Marienplatz, where our walking tour through historical Munich began in full.

The Odeonplatz, with Mr Hornor helping students navigate Bavarian history from the Napoleonic Wars to World War II:

A short walk away was the Konigsplatz, with its imposing Propylaen and paired museums of Greek and Roman art.

The Propylaen:

We toured the amazing collection of the Antikensammlungen: Greek pottery of all types, described in loving and awed detail by Mr Hornor.

A selection from the collection:

More walking in an unseasonably mild Munich took us to the Alte Pinakothek and its unequaled collection of old masters: Titian, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Murillo, Botticelli, Raphael, Brueghel and many others. Given the scale of the collection, Mr Hornor concentrated, though, on a handful of works by, especially, Durer, El Greco, and Rubens.

Mr Hornor and the Portable AP Art History:

One more stop before lunch: Sophie Scholl Platz, in the heart of the university district, dedicated to the memory of Sophie Scholl, a teenage student and anti-war dissident during World War II, executed for speaking out against the war.

Our students, no younger than she, near her memorial:

Lunch in a local university cafe refreshed everyone for more walking: this time we strolled with locals and their dogs through the massive English Gardens, nearly 1000 acres of fields, streams, trails and trees in the heart of Munich.

The Gardens with a folly in the distance:

Back in the city center, we visited the outdoor Viktuallenmarkt as the sun began to set. Here, rows of stalls sold only olives, or honey, or cheese, or bread, or produce, or almost any food one could wish for.

The maypole in the center of the market:

Lengthening shadows as we wound our way home:

Munich: Day 2

Unfortunately for our jet-lagged students, our second day began quite early, with a 6 AM wake-up call. Grabbing a breakfast in the neighboring Munich Hauptbahnhof, we took a 2 hour train ride south into the foggy and misty, but surprisingly snow-free, Bavarian Alps. A bus and a horse-drawn carriage put us a short walk from Neuschwanstein Castle, the Wagner-inspired and incomplete home of Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Contemplating a carriage ride:

(Very) misty views of the castle:

Neither scaffolding (on part of the castle) nor fog can dampen the photographic efforts of Pace students:

After touring the completed portions of the castle, including the king’s personal chambers and his eccentrically carved ‘cave’ room, we descended partway down the mountain to eat a warm lunch in a warm restaurant. The smell of German-style beignets frying outside was too much for many of our students to resist. The sugary dough, though, had no effect on our horses as we descended down the mountain to our train, making our way back to Munich by late afternoon. A bit of hostel-based rest prepared us for another walk through Munich, where we had dinner at the undeniably cheesy yet entertaining Hofbräuhaus: while waters and Cokes are not the standard accompaniments to schnitzels and sausages, the meal still satisfied all. A late evening trek back to the hostel on our second night would normally signal the beginning of a long night of sleeping. However, Monday night’s Alabama-Georgia game was too exciting for students to miss. Unfortunately, a 6-hour time difference pushed kickoff to 2 AM: many students decided to set alarms to wake up and watch the game. While not entirely successful, this strategy did alllow many to get some sleep while also watching at least part of the game. Would the faculty be escorting sad, extremely sleep-deprived zombies around Munich? Tomorrow all will be revealed!

View from Neuschwanstein to the fog-shrouded valley below:

Munich: Day 1

Pace’s contingent of 12 students and three teachers arrived in Munich Sunday morning after an overnight flight from Atlanta. The early afternoon was spent strolling through Munich’s historic city center and enjoying Mr Hornor’s favorite Bavarian delicacies: pastries and hot drinks from the bakery on the Marienplatz.

Watching the old-fashioned charms of Munich’s famed glockenspiel second-hand:

Munich’s New Town Hall with the Frauenkirche’s double domes in the background:

What caused the below moment of high spirits in the Marienplatz? A particularly barbed witticism from Mr Hornor? A general jet-lagged loopiness? A caffeine- and sugar-fueled insanity?

Pace next walked through the Residenz (the home of the former Bavarian emperors) and two great cathedrals: the Frauenkirche and the Theatinerkirche.

Interior view of the Theatinerkirche:

Exterior view of the Theatinerkirche:

Returning to the hostel, all cleaned up for a night at the ballet (Spartacus) at the Munich Opera House.

The interior of the Munich Opera House:

An impressively staged spectacle entertained the group for nearly three hours. The night ended properly: an authentic German meal at the nearby Spatenhaus. Ready for bed, the group strolled back through the city center, still decked in holiday lights, for much-needed sleep.