Monday 6 March 2018, I woke up in the beautiful city of Lucerne, Switzerland. After some sightseeing in the “old town” and a lunch with some friends who were also there, we headed off in a rental car for Munich, Germany. Along the way, we made a slight detour into Liechtenstein, one of the world’s smallest countries.
There, we found a castle on a hill that we could hike up to, and we FaceTimed our 4-year old daughter from the top. When she saw the castle, she asked, “Is that a castle?!? Are you at Disneyland?!?” 🙂
After visiting downtown Vaduz, Liechtenstein and having a great meal there, we headed off again. Cutting through Austria, we passed Feldkirch and Bregenz before driving through an over 4-mile long tunnel and entering Germany.
On the German Autobahn, I kept our Opel Zafira at a consistent 140 km/hour (almost 90 mph), and I was being passed by far more cars than I was passing. We arrived in Munich by 9:30pm that night and found our way to our hotel in town.
4 countries in one day!
Something I had never done before.
We spent 5 more days in Munich, visiting the sights and immersing ourselves in European culture. On a memorable day trip to Nuremberg, we learned about the history of this important city, the rise of the Nazi party, and the post-war Nuremberg trials.
On a previous trip to Munich, we had visited Dachau, which is really an overwhelming experience to attempt to describe. We had also previously seen the more uplifting sights of Neuschwanstein Castle and the quaint city of Salzburg, Austria.
On the first part of this trip, before Lucerne, we had visited eastern France, Lake Geneva area, and Interlaken valley, including the charming town of Thun.
In Besancon, France, where we started our trip, we saw the house in which my Mom grew up. Born in 1932, she was 8 years old when the Nazis marched through her city. It was a bit surreal standing there thinking about Nazi tanks rolling down her street.
Switzerland was full of spectacular mountains, idyllic valley views, and really nice people. This is definitely an area I would recommend to all to visit at some point.
International travel is one of the great experiences in life.
In the Jewish Museum in Munich, we saw an exhibit called “A Muslim, A Christian, And A Jew” by the Israeli artist Eran Shakine. In this series of drawings, the artist humorously considers the similarities between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Each character is outwardly indistinguishable, and all 3 share a common history and common wishes, hopes, and dreams.
This is a great metaphor for what I think is one of the truly valuable lessons to be learned from traveling. We’re all so different, but really, we’re all the same.
In the words of the artist, Shakine:
“Once you strip off everything we use in order to distinguish ourselves from one another, we all have the same basic need: We all want to be happy.”
Where’s your favorite place you have visited? Why? Drop me a line in the comments below.