After learning about history of Munich and experiencing the Bavarian cultural festivities, the focus of today's excursion was on Germany as the third nation in the world in automotive production. BMW is one of the leading global car manufacturers and Munich is the "Stammhaus" of the production, where it all started. The plant is the only car production plant in the world that is situated in the middle of a city. The problem of space led to even more efficient production methods. We went on a 2-hour private tour of the plant but we were not allowed to take pictures. More information here.
The focus of our exploration today were the foothills of the Alpes and Bavarian monarchy. We took a hike through a gorge up to Neuschwanstein Castle, toured the castle and finished the day with a luge run, a very popular attraction in South Germany.
This day focused on the National Socialist past of Munich where the so-called "movement" started. Dachau Concentration Camp was the model for all other concentration camps in Europe. It is now a memorial site with a permanent exhibition and some reconstructed rooms. The students received in-depth knowledge into the methods and the purpose of the actions in the camp and towards the public. For more information, please consult the memorial site's website.
Back in the city, we visited the university where the young students Sophie and Hans Scholl and others fought against the Nazi-Regime in the resistance movement "The White Rose". We studied documents about the White Rose in the memorial center inside the main building of the university where Sophie and Hans Scholl were arrested after distributing the last flyer. More information here.
The day ended with a stroll through the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Surfers can be seen at the Eisbach.
After a meet-and-greet with the director of our partner school, we visited Lenbachhaus, an art museum which displays the largest selection of the Munich Expressionism artist group Der Blaue Reiter. The students had studied these artists and their paintings in German class. A picknick in the garden of the museum, an Italian-style Villa, concluded this visit. Off we went to the much anticipated Octoberfest to meet with our partners and enjoy the festive atmosphere and folklore.
After attending a few classes in school, we continued the day with a tour of the city center and lunch in the famous Hofbräuhaus.