Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 4 Dachau Concentration Camp

We took a short drive to Dachau to visit the first concentration camp set up in Germany. I was unsure how I would feel about visiting a place where so much misery and death had been bestowed upon fellow man, but it didn’t hold those sorts of feelings for me at all. It was certainly sobering to listen to some recounts from people who were there, and the memorials/sculptures at the site befitted the horrors that had happened there. Many people were taken to Dachau just to put fear into the occupied territories. The concentration camps were publicised. Even though Dachau was used as a work camp, and not for gassing, many thousands of people lost their lives there through illness, torture and hangings. We went into a gas chamber, and the crematorium. It was a beautiful day, and the weather didn’t seem befitting of the place – a grey day would seem to match Dachau much better.

The camper was ready and waiting when we arrived at 3 pm. After a quick trip following each other to drop off the rental back at the airport, we started the long drive to Innsbruck in Austria – about a 2 hour drive on the autobahn – the camper sits comfortably at 110 km/hr, but anything over that felt a bit floaty on the road. It took a bit of getting used to the sucking feeling as trucks/cars went past us, but we soon got the hang of it (or rather I did... Richard took on the role of navigator). The scenery was amazing, with green fields, little villages all white and orange, and majestic mountains in the distance. The motorways are a good fast way to travel, but you lose some of the beauty of the area, and the villages. Just on dark, we arrived at our destination, and wielded our way through the narrow streets of a village (Natter-see) to find our lovely first camp ground. It was on the edge of a lake, with mountains all around. The facilities were also top notch, with flash toilets and showers with heated floors, and music playing all night long. Just like in the RV movie (Sarah’s standard of what to do on campervan holidays) – we parked within inches of the edge of the lake. She had visions of the camper falling in there in the night (like in the movie), and was quite pleased to find we were still on dry land in the morning. It took us a while to set up all of our beds for the first time, and we had to have sandwiches for tea, as we didn’t have a lighter to start the gas stove. We all slept fairly well in our new beds, so are looking forward to the next month in our home away from home.