Thursday, May 26, 2016

Germany – Day 1 – Nürnberg

This isn’t so much a review, as it is a quick travelogue of my recent “work” trip to Germany. I took a few extra days before and after to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long time.

I flew into Frankfurt and hopped on a train to Oberferrieden (just Southeast of Nürnberg) to go the small village where my friend Yanni lives. She graciously offered her parents’ house for me to stay for the first day of my trip, before I had to head to the work portion of this visit. I met her and her boyfriend at the train station and walked about 5 blocks to her house. I got a very warm reception from her parents and then we headed off to see Nürnberg!

Yanni is a wonderful tour guide. She and her boyfriend Joe speak almost flawless English and know the entire history of everything in all of Europe (that might be an exaggeration, but it definitely makes me want to learn more about the history of the town I currently live in). We walked all over Nürnberg, which is known for a lot more than just the Nürnberg Trials after WWII. It’s known for all kinds of things during the Hitler years and there’s a lot of photos from the 1930s and 1940s depicting a lot of pre- and during-war activity, parades, parties, festivals, and other things.

We stopped by this massive church in the center of town. St. Lorenz is a massive structure started in the 1300s and continuously built for about a hundred years. It took some damage during WWII, but has been restored since then. It’s really massive.

We walked around without much of a plan (which was perfect), and saw how pretty the entire city is. We walked by the Heilig Geist Spital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit), which is now a restaurant in an absolutely beautiful spot, sitting above the Pegnitz river. It was built in 1332, so it’s a little old.

We walked near the area that Albert Dürer was from and saw his old home, and saw a large bronze statue. It’s called “Der Hase – Hommage à Dürer”, and it’s considered by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the “World’s Ugliest Public Art” pieces. The description is “This dazed or possibly dead rabbit seems unaware of the swarm of mice that shares its busted-up crate.” You’ve got to love weird sculpture!

We were right next to the Nürnberg Castle, so we popped into this massive sandstone building built on top of a hill. It’s got wonderful views of the entire city and some beautiful gardens. There’s a spot where a man jumped a horse (while riding it) off a wall to a pile of garbage 75 feet below and rode away to escape his captors. Stories like that thrill me, so I had to see where that happened.

And when you’re in Germany, you really should eat the local sausages. Yanni and Joe hooked me up with “3 im Weggla” or three small Nürnberg-style sausages in a sliced open hard roll. And they don’t care if you put ketchup on them here, so suck it! It was the perfect snack before we headed to a biergarten to have a drink before dinner.

It was good to be back in Germany. It’s been a few years, and I needed some sausage and beer and time with friends.

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