Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Treasure Chest of Germany


With only two days off and going crazy in a small city, the reasonable decision is to get on that train and take a mini trip. We decided on Nurnberg, Germany. Lets just start with this. In America it has become obvious to me how much we change around other country's names of cities and so forth. For example, Munich is in no way Munich in Germany (or shall I say Deutschland), but instead Munchen. As I am sure you can guess this was all very confusing on my first day (or week). Going on, in America we call it Nuremberg (this is where I am sure seventh grade's history of the Nuremberg trials, rallies, and laws comes to mind). This city is absolutely beautiful (I apologize I realize I have been saying that about every city, annoying and descriptive I know), and can definitely be done in 2 days.

We took the four hour train and stayed at the A&O hostel. It is so close to the train station (banhof) that I highly recomend it! Free wifi downstairs, clean bed, and in a secure location- not much more you can ask for when it costs 17 euros. We decided to split up our days into doing all of the World War II and Nazi history on the first and the second explore the churches, Old Town, and go on our walking tour.


The first day was a drizzly, dreary day (which sort of fit with what us tourists were doing). We decided to go to the Nazi documentation center. This is currently in unfinished part of the Congress Hall held for the Nazi rallies (not going to lie that line is straight from wikipedia). They decided to split the north wing (the museum) right in half where the tourists would walk through to begin their tour to symbolize the breaking apart of the Nazi regime but an "open to the public" feel for the education on their past in hopes of it never happening again. I know what your thinking and no that sentence was not from wikipedia, but of my own production thank you very much. Moving forward, this museum is about 3 euros and it is so dense with information it was hard to concentrate after a while- sorry old history professors for letting you down on that. It doesn't tell as much about the holocaust and the direct fighting in WWII, but how it started. Neat part was them mentioning the protest in Munich and if you read before you know that I was on that very road- knocking things off the bucket list left and right.

Next we headed down the Great Road (Grosse Strasse) which is 200 feet wide and was used by the allies for a runway during the war and used as a "rally street" for the Nazi party before. We then headed to Zeppelin Fields, where the rallies were held. This fascinates me about European history, this field was a huge part of WWII history and it was a large stadium type seating and it was simply behind a fence with a small walkway for tourists. So here we were just walking all over the stands and stood directly where Hitler addressed the people during the biggest Nazi rallies. I'm not gonna lie we did take photos at that very place, but its so awkward- do you smile or not? I did, but I definitely second guessed that one.

Just a hint and piece of advice for life. When the clock's little hand is almost to the seven, its 6:45, not 5:45. Now to be fair my watch only had 3,6,9,12 written and it was dark... but I am sure everyone can tell where this is going. We were running to take the bus to where the actual Nurnberg Trials where held. I took a Sociology: Holocaust and Genocide class that changed my life and these trials were definitely on the midterm, every test, and final so I was sprinting. We just barely missed the bus, cursed many times, thought we werent gonna make it- jumped on the next one, sprinted some more, and just barely made it with 15 minutes to spare. The guard looks at us, tilts his head, and points to the clock....we walked home with our heads down needless to say. We then toured around Old Town in the evening and headed for bed.

Day Two

We decided to try again for the Nurnberg Trials courthouse. Turns out they are closed on tuesdays, epic fail. I guess you will always have an excuse to revisit a city- thats it. But I did take a photo in front of the Justice Center- again do you smile or not? There was some second guessing, but I did.

Next we just walked around which is always my favorite part of traaveling. Really not knowing what any of the castles, churches, roads, buildings, etc mean, but walking around anyways. We visited the Frauenkirche Church for their glockenspiel presentation at 12. It was lovely, but after Munich's with a drunken feast dance and a bird chirping this one would be considered "cute" or "quaint." Then we headed over to the St. Lawrence Church, which reminded me of the Notre Dame church. Maybe every church reminds me of the Notre Dame, but it is still my absolute favorite! We just sat and looked around before our three hour walking tour. That was a great idea.

Walking tour- we visited the Beautiful Fountain and turned the magic ring. There is a bronze ring that you must spin three times for good luck and your wish will come true. Tourist trap, tourist trap, tourist trap! However, did I do it? Of course. Was I so focused on trying to be tall to reach the ring that I forgot to make a wish? Thats besides the point. We then walked by a lovely house that turned out to be the executioner's house. No big deal its just still there today. We then passed by Die Fleischbrucke (The meat bridge) that was based off of the Rialto bridge in Venice. Is it weird that the executioner's house and the meat market were so close? That joke was over the line I am very aware, but it made me laugh.

We then headed to the castle for our last stop, the Nuremberg Castle ( I have come to realize that if you don't remember the name of the castle just put the city's name in front and 9/10 times you will be right). This is indeed one of those 9 out of 10 times. There was one out of (I beleive 8, but please no quoting cause I couldn't find it in wikipedia) two story church services. There was a square hole in the center of the ceiling (for the first floor people, but of course the ground for the noblemen upstairs) and the building was created in a way so the acoustics of the mass would be heard on both stories. Pretty clever, pretty clever. We then visited this Well that was over 45 meters deep so when our trusty tour guide poured the water it would take 4 seconds to hit the bottom. She then lowered a candle to the very bottom, I mean it wasn't any Cirque Du Soleil act, but I thought it was really cool.

To end the trip, as one should always end a trip, I got the food famous in Nurnberg. I got Nurnbergers (its obvious the people who create the food and architecture's strengths were not in creating titles and names for their creations). Moving on-what is a nurnberger you may ask? Well it is three little sausages put into a bread roll. Sounds so simple and yes it is but oh so very delicious. For dessert we got their famous gingerbread- definitely scrounged around at the bottom of my purse to come up with that euro. Very tasty and I cannot wait to go again for the Christmas Markets!!

As if you couldn't picture Nurnbergers for yourself

Quote of the day: Lets all say it together: Bueller Bueller? The real question is did anyone hold hands and form a chain while going through an important museum. The answer should be yes.


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