Changing shoes...

If you ever travel to Europe for longer than three days (which you definitely should) I highly recommend bringing TWO pairs of shoes, no matter what the travel guides say!!! After four days of walking, on average 9.2 miles in the same pair of shoes, your poor feetsies will cry for mercy! Which is why, my friends, I toured Munich in slippers today. Ok, they are technically down bootie camp shoes (huge thanks to Mark and Lolli for fulfilling my Christmas wish last year!), but any lay person might have confused them for slippers. But quitely frankly, I didn't care, because my feet were happy. Plus, these Munich girls walk around in crazy boots, tights, and short skirts. I just don't know how they stay warm!

An update from yesterday...we toured Dachau concentration camp on our way in from Munich. It's really difficult to describe the bleakness of such a place. It was cold, and the ground was covered in snow, and I thought of how many times the prisoners had to stand in their threadbare clothes for roll call. Walking on the grounds and seeing where so many innocent people died is quite shocking, even though there's nothing left but buildings. It's a hollow and empty place.

We spent today being tourists in Munich. I loved every minute of it. The city is so old, and beuatiful, and did I mention old?!? Darn you, Sherman, for burning down Atlanta! We started off at the Residenz and Treasury, and then headed over to the Marienplatz to see the Glockenspeil do its thing at noon. Worth seeing once, but the coolest part was how quiet everyone was when the bells began to chime. The whole square was quiet and then erupted into cheers when the jousting began!

We climbed to the top of the New Town Hall and then the more impressive St. Peter's Church. It's 306 old rickety wooden stairs to the top. There are signs everywhere for "no smoking"...as if anyone could climb 306 stairs while smoking. Seriously?! Their lungs would have given out about 115. Whew! But the views of the city from the top...simply breathtaking!

We made three different trips into Saturn (like a Best Buy) and one trip to Conrad to try and find what we needed for our converter to work. Not an incredibly big deal to not dry my hair, except when it's f-f-f-freezing outside!! I haven't tried this new part we bought, so I'll let you know how it goes.

We walked around the city this afternoon visiting the farmer's market area and discovering the Christmas carousel. We also finished up our Christmas shopping in the market. So far, my favorite, and cheapest, souviners have been the gluhwein mugs from the Christmas markets in Rothenburg and Munich.

Tonight, we had dinner at the Hofbrauhaus. It's the oldest/biggest/loudest beerhall in Germany. (I think I got all those facts correct!) The had a real live oompa band complete with lederhosen and the little feather hats. I had white sausage with a pretzel and sweet mustard. Yum!! Charlie had the brat with saurkraut and a ginormo beer. We called this our "Varsity" meal for Germany!

We are so excited about meeting new family tomorrow! We will be spending Christmas Eve with Eva and two of her daughters and a hodgepodge of other people. It has been great meeting new folks! We have run into more Australians by far! I mentioned something about Jim Craig and the Man From Snowy River to one of the girls, and she had never seen it!!! The horrors!

So in other news, Britney Spears is currently blasting over the speakers in the hostel internet room/bar. I just can't seem to get away from her when I travel!! Our Ireland gang will remember that we heard one of her songs in every pub we went to!

I can now technically wish you a Merry Christmas Eve! Frohe Weihnachten! Love to you all.

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