On 4th September 2021 I travelled to Munich in Germany, making a friend on the plane who then took the train with me into the centre of Munich. The travelling experience required much more organisation due to the ever-changing rules around COVID-19. On arrival to Munich, I made my way to the AirBnB with a friend who was completing an internship at the University of Munich at the time.
Throughout my stay I visited many beautiful sites across Munich and was extremely lucky with the weather! I got to try local German pastries and the famous Bavarian beer, as well as visit local shops and have insight into the daily life of people here. A few of my favourite memories from the trip are detailed below.
I visited the Alte Pinakothek Museum and was astounded by the scale and design of the architecture. Commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the collection includes original works from renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, Constable and Delacroix.
Another destination I enjoyed immensely was the Englischer Garten – a vast public park with the light sage green River Isar flowing through the middle. The manmade surf wave proved a popular spot for surfers and was very entertaining to watch! The next day I took the tram to Nymphenburg Palace, just out of Munich. This proved to be another beautiful location with peaceful grand forests and beautifully maintained gardens. I was particularly fascinated by the Amalienburg – a hunting lodge constructed by Charles Albert’s wife, Maria Amalia of Austria in 1739. The lodge, hidden away in the forest, was a rosy, pink colour, with a hall of mirrors and a kennel for hunting dogs included!
Perhaps the most poignant part of the trip was a visit to Dachau – the longest running concentration camp during World War II. The memorial has been visited by over 20 million people since its inception and is a mandatory school trip for German children. Reading through the detailed information on how the camps were run through terror and seeing the physical gas chambers and cremation sites was a harrowing, eye-opening experience. Despite how uncomfortable I felt during the visit, I understood the value of having such an opportunity to learn and appreciate the history behind the site and I am grateful for the experience.
Overall, the trip provided me with much more insight into the history of Munich and a great opportunity to see its stunning locations. Whilst I did not pick up as much German as I had hoped, I met some extremely interesting people on the way and learned a lot of new things – including how to navigate Munich’s metro system like a local! I am immensely grateful that Murray Edwards Gateway Programme enabled me to have this experience.
Roshni Ranasinghe-de Silva
Undergraduate student, Law