It seems unreal that I have already been in Europe for a week! In the last entry, my roommate Josh had yet to come home from the Munich nightlife. He finally arrived home, sometime around 3 AM and fell asleep like a log. I slept in too, but only by a half-hour. I have to stop doing that; especially after the recent developments.
My day began with another very good breakfast of salami, cinnamon rolls, eggs, toast and vanilla yogurt. Then we got to explore Munich!
After we got into town, I hurried to the hair-product store I had seen last night. They had everything -- gels, perfumes, shampoos, hairspray, more shampoo -- everything, that is, except hair straighteners. I was crushed!
Once I was done getting over my depression, I headed to Marienplatz from yesterday to watch the Glockenspiel perform at 11 AM. For anybody who's life-long dream is to watch the Glockenspiel perform, I'm sorry, but you should really find a new dream. Don't get me wrong -- the beginning is neat. You're standing in a plaza with three clock towers on either side of you, and at 11, they all begin chiming in sync with each other, creating a symphony of clangs and clongs. The Glockenspiel's moving figures weren't very exciting though. I watched them for about five minutes while the song played and then I carried on my way.
I went to the Theatinerkirche from yesterday and took pictures because there wasn't a service going on this time. The church was very beautiful inside, so I took about 60 or so pictures of just that (no joke!).
I then walked through the Hofgarten and took pictures of that place, since I didn't get any from the previous day.
After a little bit of shopping (I bought more postcards), I went to the washroom at a local KFC. When I was done, I walked outside and bumped into a few members from my tour group. Together we approached the coach and began boarding. It was then I realized my mistake -- I had left my postcards in the washroom, three blocks away and down a flight of stairs!
I asked Muffin if he could wait while I went and got them, and he said that because of the schedule, he could only wait until 12. That was in 4 minutes. I took off like a bolt, running down the street, weaving in-between people as I went. All across Europe, people ride bikes instead of cars or walking, and when somebody cuts them off, the biker jingles their bell at them angrily. It was cute when the Dutch people did it, but it sounded a lot more irritated when the Germans did it -- especially when it was directed towards me!
I got to the KFC, ran down the stairs, snatched my post-cards, ran back up the stairs and ran back to the coach. I jumped on the bus right when the clock turned to 12.
Unfortunately, not everybody was as lucky as me. One of the Brazilian girls on our bus had gotten caught up waiting to get a coffee, and she missed the bus. Once her friends realized this, they asked Flip if they could be let off the bus and go back and get her. Flip said they probably would never find her, but they were determined so Flip let them go. On their way out, however, Flip gave them specific directions on what train to take to get from Munich to Innsbruck.
After a few hours of driving, we finally reached the famous Alps. The mountains still had snow, and for those in our group who had never seen snow (those from California, Brazil and Tokyo), the gasps of excitement and awe filled the bus.
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Canada's 150th birthday cannot be complete without visiting the country's capital city... but which one should you visit? While Ottawa is the current capital of Canada, there have been four other capital cities, and it has changed seven times. It started in Kingston (1841 – 1844) and then moved to Montréal (1844 – 1849), believing it to be safer from the Americans. After the citizens of Montréal burnt it down, it rotated between Toronto (1849 – 1852 and 1856 – 1858) and Québec City (1852 – 1856 and 1859 – 1866). Finally, it was placed right on the border between the two provinces in Ottawa (1866 to present day). This tour ventures into each of these five cities and explores what makes them so unique.
Since the capital flip-flopped location seven times, it would be much more convenient to go through the cities geographically then historically. If we started in the West, we would start in Toronto, Ontario, Canada's biggest city. While G Adventures only mentions the CN Tower and Kensington Market, there is much more to see in this city. You could visit the 18th century Casa Loma Castle, stroll through the artistic Graffiti Alley, visit Ripley's Aquatic Aquarium, or go drink and dine in the Distillery District. Looking for more outdoorsy stuff? Check out the Toronto Islands, the famous High Park or the Toronto Zoo. You can even take a boat out onto Lake Ontario and see the city's iconic skyline!
They say hope was the last thing to die in Auschwitz.
It's been just over 70 years since the Allies liberated the death camp and the horrors of the "Final Solution" were revealed to the world. Prior to their arrival, Auschwitz was the most effective death camp ever created, having taken the lives of over 1.1 million Jews.
Block 4 of Auschwitz holds the museum, explaining the best it can about what happened seven decades past. The museum explains what Auschwitz was originally built for – a camp for Polish prisoners of war – and how it became key to the Nazi's "Final Solution". The museum goes over the construction of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), the increased sizes and effectiveness of gas chambers and the factories of death that stood and smoked over the camp during its operation.
Most people know how to ride a bicycle. They learned sometime as a child and never forgot. I am not one of those people. I tried learning when I was a child, a teenager and an adult, and I have never mastered the two-wheel contraption. Whenever I see a child zip past me on a bike, I get a little jealous inside. I've always wanted to learn, but it's just something I've never been able to do.
On my recent trip to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Alberta, I explored several of the many biking paths that wind through the area. The paths are also hikable, so I walked them instead. Although I've visited Cypress Hills several times, I never get used to the hills and lakes throughout the area. With dozens of kilometres of trails, you can spend a weekend there and never do the same thing twice. Although hiking around the park was incredible, I imagine it would be a lot more fun, and a lot easier, to bike it instead.