Sunday, 31 August 2008

20 Years On - Part 10 of Account of Travelling by Train Around West Germany and Austria

I think one reason for getting up so early was to miss the crowd trying to get breakfast. While I seemed to get on well with many people I met others were far more of a challenge. In particular I remember an Israeli woman who nagged me because I was not going to the Dachau concentration camp. I told her that having studied the Holocaust at 'O' Level, 'A' Level and as part of my degree programme, I wanted a break from it. She said that I had to have some sourness with all the sweetness of my holiday. I said that I did not come on holiday to be depressed and refused to speak with her any more. In general I came away from this holiday both irritated by Germans and Israelis, people from both nationalities seem to keep telling me I was doing things wrong and had no hope of ever getting them right. By the end of the holiday, I felt that not only did travelling reinforce prejudices but also created new ones and I swore off travelling again for fear I would end up a real bigot. Perhaps it is the difference of the British character to that of other nations that we try to be diplomatic and understanding but that does not shield us from people being very assertive about what we 'should' be doing.

I am glad that I did not go to Dachau despite the bullying. Given how churned up I get by discussion of any genocide, even individual stories from these events, I think I would have found it difficult to cope with seeing its presence for real. Sometimes you need the fuse in your system of being able to keep things a little at arm's length otherwise you freak out. Given my dalliance with suicide as it was, I doubt I could have coped. Going to a location like Dachau is something you need to think about a great deal and make the decision which is not going to do you harm. One can understand and oppose genocide without having to rub one's face in its traces.

I remember going to a strange art exhibition in the gallery at the Hofgarten which simply consisted of black and white photographs of different types of water towers. I actually came across a book of the photos for sale in a gallery in Köln the following year. You can see the photo I sneaked while inside the gallery in the collection below; I took it as I was amusedly incredulous that a gallery could show such things.

Wednesday 31st August 1988
Today I woke up early, showered and walked to the Nymphenburg Palace where I arrived at 08.00, an hour early. When they did open I walked around the house interior and then the very pleasant gardens and the four lodges - Amalienburg, Badenburg, Pagodenburg and Magdalenklause, having already seen the carriage/porcelain museum. I then walked back towards town taking the underground to the centre where I looked around the Frauernkirche and the München Stadt museum. I stopped for lunch before moving onto the Residenz and the Hof Garden and ending up in English Garden which was full of locals, many naked and also had a [traditional style Bavarian] band in a the pagoda. I had dinner and a litre of beer, then I walked back across town which took half-an-hour. I checked up on the train times for tomorrow, it looks likely that I will have to change at Salzburg. As the bureau de change is open from 06.00 (to 23.30) I will easily be able to get Austrian Schillings before I go. So far the plan is Wien, Nürnberg, Würzburg, Marburg, Kassel, Köln, Oostende, home or earlier if I run out of money.

Weather: Sunny and hot.
Roads and Ornamental Canal Leading to Nymphenburg Palace in München, August 1988

Front and One Wing of the Nymphenburg Palace, August 1988

View of Nymphenburg Palace Gardens, August 1988

View of Interior of One of the Lodges of the Nymphenburg Palace, August 1988

View of Ornamental Canal in Grounds of Nymphenburg Palace, August 1988

View of Another Lodge in the Grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace, August 1988

Doorway in the Residenz in München, August 1988

Folly in the Hofgarten in München, August 1988

Inside Art Gallery Close to Hofgarten in München, August 1988

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