We piled onto the bus at nine o’clock, our bus driver looking suave as ever in his black sunnies and famously decorative Jumper. We had started our long journey to Salzburg, making two important stops on the way, the first being Dachau concentration camp. A brief yet compelling visit left us in awe of the scale of human misery dealt by the Nazi regime. A memorial stands where once prisoners were held for roll call, watching intently over the shuffling gravel that lay there now. Leaving Dachau we headed for Munich, home of beer drinking and Nazism alike. Arriving a few hours into our journey we had lunch, taking in the scene of a city gearing up for Oktoberfest. Men in feathered caps and lederhosen strolled up and down Marienplatz Square.
Soon after, we assembled outside the town hall, it was here we were introduced to our rather enthusiastic british tour guide Geoff/jeff also in black sunnies, and it was so. After berating us about the ashes as any brit would do, he took us on a tour of the various beer halls which just seventy years before held early Nazi party rallies and speeches. The sites of the infamous ‘Munich Beer Hall Putsch’ and Hitler’s failed ‘March on Berlin’, which ended a pathetic two hundred meters from a Nineteenth century plaza in Munich, which was narrated by a thick English accent. And it was so.
We were asked if our group were yanks by a street musician wearing lederhosen, who upon hearing that we were Australian he broke out into song about kangaroos in a thick German accent. Continuing on our tour we walked to the Munich rally grounds just meters from the SS headquarters, now the site of museum, we would finish our tour just outside Hitler’s offices and the head of the NSDAP. We thanked our tour guide for his insight into the rise of Adolf Hitler from pudgy Austrian child to struggling artist homeless artist to wounded soldier to genocidal maniac. Seconds later, we were greeted by our extraordinarily punctual bus driver Hans Peter, greeting us, sunnies on and beaming smile, at precisely 4:20pm.
On the final leg to Salzburg, the enthusiasm of the boys reached a fevered pitch. We were almost done with this journey, the best hits of the 90’s played from down back. Upon getting to our hotel, we dumped our bags and sauntered off to dinner, a mere ten minutes from where we were. Dinner was finished and after half the boys went the right way out, the other half was met with much disappointment from Mr Fisher, in the end the boys cited the Nuremberg defense, that ‘we were only following orders’. We then got back to our rooms for a bit of banter then bed. Quite a chill day all in all
And it was so.
Jackson Streeter and Aiden Brennan