Because of my flight mishaps, I had a full day in Munich by myself to explore the city. In the couple of weeks I have spent in Europe, I have come to truly enjoy independent travel. As cheesy as it sounds, it makes me feel like such a strong, independent woman to figure it out by myself and it honestly becomes addicting. I get so excited and proud of accomplishing the littlest things like figuring out public transit, or mapping out a route to all of the sights on my list, or even making friends with strangers. It takes some serious guts to just strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never met, but I have truly met some of the coolest people. And social media makes it so easy to stay in touch with them.
I started the day by taking a train to Dachau, the concentration camp. This was such an incredible experience and I think everyone should visit one if they get the chance. It is hard to describe the experience because I truly have a hard time grasping such tragedy and hatred. And its hard to put words on such a lack of humanity that affected millions of people. When I learned about the Holocaust in school, I was obviously disgusted, but to see where it happened in real life makes it so much more real. And to think, it didn’t even happen that long ago. It really made me think about the world we live in now and what is currently happening, and that we need to change it and act out of love instead of such a divide.
On the bus, I met a group of girls studying abroad in Florence. They were so nice and let me tag along on their tour so I could easily find my way. My favorite part of traveling in Europe, is that its so easy to meet like minded travelers. It seems like so many people are in the same boat and looking for friends. Plus, when I am by myself, I am much more likely to branch out and create these friendships.
The rest of the day I walked around and explored Munich. I started at Residenz Munchen. When I got off the train and walked up, there was an outdoor street market with live music and a bunch of vendors. I spent some time exploring and sampling some of the food. I love going to markets like that because I think it is a more local experience, and the food is generally cheaper than a restaurant but still authentic and delicious.
I then walked to Cathedral Church of Our Lady and Marienplatz.
After visiting these places, I really wanted a rooftop view of the city so I found The Terrace at Mandarin Oriental on Yelp. This was one of my favorite things I’ve done in Europe. The food was delicious and the views were STUNNING. I sat at the bar and met a girl from Texas studying and playing soccer at a university in the UK so we chatted for a bit and I got to soak up the views. From now on, I want to make going to a rooftop bar a regular part of my travels because I think it is such a unique experience and a great way to see the city.