The Dachau Concentration Camp & interview

My friend and I had booked in advance, a guided tour of the Dachau concentration camp. My friend and I both really take a big interest in history, and thought it was needed that we visit and pay our respects to those who suffered in the camp.

The camp was very well presented with lots of information on the history, though i had a tour guide to tell us everything and more about the things that happened, how they happened and for what purpose. He told us that the prisoners had to line up outside on the main square every day, twice a day and sometimes it would take hours, and one time it took over 20 hours. They would force the sick and even those who could no longer walk, out to the square, because everyone had to be counted, and the guards did not care one bit about how the prisoners felt about that fact. The prisoners had to have their feet together, hands by their sides out of their pockets with uniform and cap in place. If anyone failed to do so, they would be whipped, and have to count the lashes to 12, and if they failed to count along, they would often be whipped to death.

After the long and educational guided tour of Dachau, my friend and I decided to grab some soup with the tour guide to ask some interview questions.

Me: how long have you worked as a tour guide?

Eric: 10 years short!

Me: do you enjoy it?

Eric: Absolutely. I used to do a tour around central Munich for about 6 years, but now I just do Dachau because it sparks a great deal of personal interest for me that I think is important in a tour guide, when it comes to the tours they provide. I have, and continue to read many books about the Second World War and the history of Dachau, so my knowledge just keeps growing and growing and never gets boring for me, and I think my group always has such a positive experience because of this, in terms of quality.

Me: What did you do before becoming a tour guide?

Eric: I was a golf course worker in my younger years and I loved the sun, fresh air and the beer the players would give me for free, however I got tired of the moving around and wanted to do something that would be enjoyable but also educational for the world as well.

The Hofbraehaus

When in Munich, Germany with my friend, we knew we had to visit the Hofbraehaus to see what all the fuss was about. I have to say it was all worth it. Upon entering into the house, the first thing that catches your attention is the German music, next is seeing all the dressed up people dancing with hugs of beer, wearing the traditional Bavarian attire. It was really entertaining in a comedic way. The next challenge was finding a free spot at one of the tables, which we did eventually, next to two locals who we eventually struck up a conversation with, talking about the city, the culture, and a little about Dachau, because we mentioned we would be visiting the following morning.

28033687_1989657947728948_368028189_o

The menu, as you could imagine, consisted mainly of beer, however there were some good things to eat on the menu as well. The beer was fantastic though, but that is no surprise when talking about German beer!

 

Visit the Hofbrahaus at www.hofbraehaus.de

Have any expereinces here? share in the comments!

The Vienna State Opera House to see Peer Gynt Ballet

On the 27th of January, my friend and I went to Vienna, Austria for the first time. Most importantly, to see the Peer Gynt Ballet in the one-and-only Vienna State Opera House. I know from studying about Vienna at my school, that the opera house was a very big attraction to many who visited the city. Aside from that, the overall classical music history of the country.

27746944_1981688498525893_1753172868_o

I absolutely loved the performance. I have been to ballets before in my past, but there was no comparison to this one. The music, the talent of the dancers, the choreography, the costumes, were all amazing. I know for sure that I will be revisiting this opera house. Another thing to note about this place is the building itself. Built back in 1810, the place is full of both history and beautiful design. I was very impressed and know I must return soon!

The making of authentic Black Forest Cake

In Germany, I headed out to Freiburg were I had some spare time to grab lunch and explore the city a bit. Later on, we all met up to visit a very nice cake shop called Cafe Schmidt to enjoy a very special treat, but also see how the treat was made. Black Forest Cake! While being in Black Forest, it seemed almost necessary to at least try the cake, right?

The lady at the cake shop gave us a demonstration on how the cake was made, right from scratch to finish! I could not believe how much cream she put on the cake! but regardless my mouth was watering and I could not wait to try it.

Well I did and it was very delicious. I would describe it as being very light and fluffy while still having that rich chocolate favour. The cherries in the middle really made it all come together for a perfect balance.

For more delicious options at Cafe Schmidt, visit www.cafeschmidt.de

A visit to Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus

On Friday, January 26th, the group and I headed over to Germany once again to visit the Rothaus brewery where they produce their beer on site and offer visitors a guided tour of the beer production process. Being a big beer fan, I found this little excursion quite fun and interesting. Following the tour, we all met back up at the bar for a beer and tasty pretzel.

I was very impressed with the beer’s quality taste. The ingredients are carefully chosen with closely monitored production to ensure they only produce premium quality beer for their customers. I hope that I am able to find this beer when I am back in my home country, Canada.

For more information on this beer, visit www.rothaus.de/en

The innovative Okko Hotel of Strasbourg & interview

In the past week, the group of students and I went deeper into Strasbourg, France to visit the Okko Hotel for an informative overview of the hotels goals, what they offer, how they strive to please their guests with premium hospitality, and of course, how they contribute to the environment in terms of sustainability.

Upon arrival, we were greeted and seated in the breakfast lounge area of the hotel with access to beverages, courtesy of the hotel, then shortly began a discussion about the hotel chain’s background and goals towards their recurring and future potential guests. Following the discussion, we were given a brief tour of the hotel’s rooms and to my surprise, the rooms were very small. I was in complete understanding that the hotel’s main focus is for short stays by those who are travelling light, but regardless, I found that the rooms were fairly suffocating in size and lacked any signs of luxury in the design. Considering the room rates of the hotel are not cheap, I was fairly disappointed in what I saw, nor can I comprehend just how the hotel was able to achieve a four-star rating.  Aside from the negative views I was faced with during the visit, I do think the hotel has some great ideas within itself.

27495908_1975016015859808_1838341388_n

Interview

After the hotel tour, we returned to the breakfast lounge area once again, where I was pleased to have the opportunity to do a brief interview with one of the employees of the hotel, Lucas Alegre. I spoke about the hotel’s unique prospects and asked why he chose to work for the company, to which he responded with “It is very close for me to get to, because I live in Strasbourg, and the work environment here is very positive, makes working an enjoyable experience”. I then asked him, considering how new the hotel is if it was able to, at any point so far, reach full capacity, to which he responded saying they have, during the winter holiday. Following these responses, I asked him a final question regarding the parking issue. Considering that the hotel does not have any source of parking for its guests, I asked Lucas how they accommodate their guests with this issue and to which he responded stating that they try to help guests locate nearby parking areas and available transportation options.

For more information on rates and inclusions, visit the company’s website at www.okkohotels.com

Feeling like a “Dancing Queen” at the ABBA Museum

While in Stockholm I was able to hit the ABBA Museum and I am so glad that I did. Being a big ABBA fan from a young age, I knew I would love the museum and all the cool stuff there was to do inside, including the cool souvenir shop!

Unlike your regular museum with photographs, articles and important achievements, this museum also had many ways for its visitors to interact to have a fully memorable experience. When you buy your entrance ticket, you can use the barcode to do interactive things like karaoke and even create dancing videos where you perform with the group on stage. The fun part is that you can later enter your ticket code on the ABBA Museum website to retrieve your karaoke experience and download the video of you performing with ABBA to share with your friends. Whether or not you can sing or dance, it is a truly fun experience that makes going to a museum more than just an educational experience.

For more information about tickets and offers visit www.abbathemuseum.com