Hello! My name is Stacy Solomon and I love trying to call everything an adventure, but some experiences fit the definition a bit better than others. While I have traveled internationally before, it’s always been with close family or friends and never venturing further than the Americas. Getting to travel to Germany for the first time with a group that I’d never met outside of the trip was an astounding adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
To begin with our trip was part of a Global Health course, a valuable field of study for almost any student. As a result, our group was a unique mixture including six females and one male, seven nursing majors and one biology, and ranging from sophomore to graduate student. Each person brought a different perspective and personality to the group and these people combined with a great professor are really what made this trip a great experience 🙂
It also helped that Munich is an incredible and beautiful city. Munich was a city of everything, a large and modern city with medieval structures and rich history, surrounded by beautiful countryside.
A few of the places we visited…
If you ever choose to visit Munich, you will see a lot of castles…so many castles… and cathedrals. Munich is a wonderful place for anyone who loves history. There’s lots of opportunities to learn history from visiting various sites, but even if history isn’t your thing, it was incredible for me to experience the setting of a world that was so different from my own and imagine what it was like to live there. There are many castles within a small radius of Munich and each castles has a very different character and illustrates the different priorities and qualities of the ruler who built it. All of the medieval architecture combined with street musicians and the culture make Munich into a stunning city.
Dachau Concentration Camp
One thing that surprised me in visiting Dachau is that it was full of local kids and teenagers on field trips to see the concentration camp. Every country has dark history. I was amazed by how adamant the German people seemed to be about learning from their mistakes and being honest about their past. In America, often history books often seem to gloss over the darkest parts of our history such as the way Native Americans were treated, at least for the sake of young children. In Germany, it did not seem like young children were shielded from the past but instead shown it in person to make sure the same mistakes weren’t made again. In Germany, political buildings are made of glass to illustrate their attempts at being a transparent government for the people. When asked to describe German ideals, many Germans will include tolerance as one of the most important. Overall, the Germans seem to be very intentional in acknowledging their mistakes as a country and learning form them. Dachau is also a good example of how experiencing a place is so different from just hearing about it. It’s one thing to hear the numbers of Holocaust victims and something entirely different to see the barracks and prison cells and gas chambers and individual stories.
I wish I could write about everywhere we visited but this is a sample of a bit of what we were able to see in Munich. In my next post, I’ll write more about Germany in regard to global health. To be continued…