A European Roadtrip: The Nuremberg Edition.

nikon-2-013-1After a grueling three and half hour drive, and a rest stop at McD’s to use the bathroom, we arrived within the small walled city in the late afternoon. We stayed at the Holiday Inn where parking and checking in was a breeze. We had a nice view of the street below where we were able to watch antics take place.

As soon as we were settled in we decided to head to the Museum of Germanic Art & Culture. We knew they closed soon, and didn’t want to miss it. We did have a difficult time finding the main entrance. It felt like we were wandering all over the place aimlessly. Once we did find it, and we did… find it. We walked to the counter where we were pleasantly surprised to find out that they do not charge for tickets within the last two hours of business. It was perfect! We love seeing antiquities, but I don’t love spending hours reading and what not because realistically it goes in one way and out the other.

iphone-latest-243In hopes of finding our way, we headed toward our hotel initially to ensure we had everything we needed for the chilly night. As we left again we decided to go right. That was a mistake. We were going to walk along the wall, but that also meant, and we were completely unaware of this, that we were walking through the red-light district… As a very conservative and private person, this was a little awkward for me, but thankfully it didn’t last too long. We followed the dark road around for a  little ways, but eventually decided to cut back in towards the center of the city. We found the main shopping area that was just south of the river. We wandered through & explored a bit, and had the pleasure of finding an almost fully living Nativity, meaning the animals were alive the people were mannequins. The double humped camel, named Ivan, clearly found Brad to be interesting as he came right up to him almost smacking their heads together. It was fun to see!  As we strolled through the city we came to the river. It was truly beautiful. It was a great place to stop for photos, and there were many different vantage points to choose from.

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Dinner time was approaching, and I could feel myself starting to lose my cool. I wanted pizza. Pizza Hut, which we had seen earlier that afternoon, sounded fine to me because I just needed my fix, but Brad insisted that we push onward in search of something better. I was starting to get irritated, but thankfully as my mood began to worsen about Brad’s persistence the Heavens smiled down upon him. He found for us Provenza near the Hauptmarkt which is where the Christmas Market was set up, and it was hopping! . The food was exquisite… But then again, all I got was a cheese pizza… (Yes, I am a child… I also like my cheese burgers with ketchup only… Haters gonna hate.)

With full bellies we were able to enjoy the Christmas Market that was right outside the restaurant. We got to admire the beautiful glass ornaments, smell the hot beverages, and take in all the merriment.  Our night was not over, and we were getting a little burnt out on the Christmas Markets..( I also knew that when we got to Rothenburg we would be going to Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop…. I was holding out!)

iphone-latest-252From there the adventure continued North, and uphill, toward the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg. With curious spirits we pressed on. We made our way through the winding cobblestone streets, and made the climb to the top. The view was rewarding. We enjoyed staring out over the skyline, and seeing how far we had come.  Our journey continued as we wandered throughout the open Castle passage ways… We ended up finding a small staircase that was not blocked off that allowed us to head down into what I imagine was once a mote. It was huge, and a little bit creepy, but so worth the exploration. I believe the area now is considered part of the gardens.  It was fun to see how deep the mote once was, and how small you feel standing next to it, and pretending to try to climb out of it.  We eventually found our way out, as the road below eventually led us to a street corner. We followed the road for a ways on the outside of the city wall, but once again eventually cut back in as it was more familiar to us at that point, as well as more visually pleasing.  When we reached the river, we took a city on a bench to rest our feet. It was peaceful, and it was beautiful, even in the dark the glow of city lights in the winter air seem to be so relaxing. With Brad as exhausted as he was, eventually we decided to remove ourselves. We took the familiar path, eager for sleep, and exhilarated to the see this beautiful Germanic city in the day light.

The next morning we awoke fairly early. We dressed & repacked our bags, and headed out in search of breakfast. It was cold and raining, so we went with something familiar, Starbucks. We didn’t feel like aggressively hunting, and not many places had opened yet.

iphone-latest-276-1A tea, a coffee, and a couple pastries, and we were set. We took our time, as Brad perused CNBC, and I worked on trying to get my Christmas music uploaded onto my phone.  As we sat there, we waited for the rain to clear a bit. Finally, it began to clear. So a little bit warmer, and a little bit drier we ventured back out. It was great to see the city with less people and in the daylight. It was beautiful. We took a left near the front of St. Lorenz Church, and it led us right back to the river, where I was able to grab some beautiful and idyllic photos. From there we pressed on, crossing the old wooden bridge and winding our way through cobblestone streets lined with colorful homes and buildings. It was one of those moments where you think, “I’d live here”, and then you remember the brisk cold that you feel you are barely surviving, and there isn’t even snow!!

We were satisfied with Nuremberg even though we had been in the city for less than 24 hours, we found it to be amazing, but once again it was time to move forward with the itinerary. We quickly scampered back to the hotel collected our things & in a flash were in the car headed to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which is now a museum documenting the Hitler & Nazi Regime and their crimes committed.

iphone-latest-311-1Originally, This tour wasn’t at the top of my list. I’m not a big history buff, but I knew Brad would enjoy it, and I knew there were things that I would find interesting. However, now that I have gone, TIP: EVERYONE SHOULD GO DO THIS. This was a truly emotional and moving experience. It held my attention pretty much all the way through. There were a few parts where I kind of skipped ahead, or just didn’t listen to the audio guide, but it is truly well-down and worth the affordable ticket price. The nice thing is that it was quiet, and easy to move through. But seriously, if you are in Nuremberg, this is truly an incredible experience.

After a few hours of gaining insight & wanting to cry at the sight of food-deprived bodies in a ditch, I needed food to renew my spirit & stop my stomach from grumbling. Nothing seemed that great at the cafe in the Museum, so we settled on McD’s. FACT:You’ll find out that we spend a lot of time in McDonalds when we travel, it’s kind of pathetic, and we know it. Also, if you are like me, and you like chicken nuggets with honey… You have to bring your own honey, they don’t have it there. One quick meal later, we were back in the car headed to Rothenburg. I couldn’t wait!

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LESSONS LEARNED: 

1) Red Light Districts are now in Germany… Apparently it helps cut down the sex trade issues there…

2) Last minute museum entry can pay off

3)  Nuremberg is a fantastic place to spend at least one full day… 2 would be ideal.

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The Compulsive Traveler

out to see the world, and snap beautiful photos while doing so.

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