The first stage of our journey involved taking a train from Offenburg up to Nürnberg. (That is “Nuremberg” to the English speaking crew. As an aside, I really have no idea why we insist on changing the names of places around the world.)
Right off the bat let me say: I really loved Nürnberg! I want to go back! I want to explore more. We didn’t see all of it, of course, with only a day to stop. But, the parts I saw just a wonderful mix of old and new, arts and practical, whimsical and serious. The people were friendly and helpful. The hotel was pleasant with attentively warm service. And even though it was quite possibly the coldest weather I have ever endured, I left feeling all aglow and happy!
Hotel am Jakobsmarkt
We stayed at the Hotel am Jakobsmarkt, which is located, conveniently enough, on Jakobsmarkt Strasse! The building attaches to a Bratwurst restaurant that has been operating since 1419! We didn’t wind up eating there, but it is on the list for another time. The rooms were comfortable and very European. Beds here are not made the same way as in the US. Typically you just have a mattress with a fitted sheet, then a very fluffy duvet that you use in place of all the top sheets and blankets and bedspreads that we would have. Pillows come in a couple shapes, but most are either long and thin, or flat and square. US bedding need not apply. Hotels seem to go with white. Like this:
The duvets are folded up, but spread out to cover the whole bed and do do a very good job of keeping you warm, which is good. Because this trip was cold. “Sting your nose and bite your toes” cold. Wear your silk long undies cold. Half boots were not high enough, cold. The snow was to come later, but Nürnberg was the cold spot of the trip. I think it was about -6 degrees C (20 F), but the wind chill made it feel much colder.
The first thing we did in the afternoon was get ourselves oriented and go in search of lunch. We found the Womens Tower Wall that seemed to be part of the old city wall. Then we wandered down through the Asian part of town. DS and I were pushing for Asian food, since that is not as easily available in Offenburg, but we weren’t disappointed to find a small Salad and Frozen Yogurt restaurant.
After that, we wandered through the main part of town to see if we could find the artist Albrecht Dürer’s house. We got ourselves oriented wrong, though and wandered the wrong way through the town. As it was, we saw a lot of wonderful art, though, so I was quite content. When the wind got too cold, we stopped in at a café and have Kaffee und kuchen. In England you have Tea. In Germany you have Coffee and Cake. Not wishing to go against tradition, I had a cappuccino and a slice of cheesecake. Mark opted for a a Sultan’s Dream, which turned out to have “lebenkuchen syrup” in it. As we tried unsuccessfully to translate the menu and figure out what that meant, the nice lady next to us asked if we needed assistance. When she didn’t know the English word for “lebenkuchen”, her companion whipped out his smart phone and searched the net. “Gingerbread!” he declared triumphantly, but then there was some discussion about the differences of American gingerbread and lebenkuchen, which is a specialty of Nüremberg during the Holidays. I remembered finding and discarding a recipe for lebenkuchen as being too filled with nuts and fruits for my family. But, I do now remember what it is.
So, here are a few of the cool things we got to see:
[NOTE: The photos come in groups of 20. In order to view them all you have to click on the 1, 2, 3, etc. page number at the bottom and scroll through the sets. Also, captions are only visible by clicking on the photos in the set]
After a day of site seeing in extremely cold weather, we went briefly back to the hotel to rest and get refreshed. Then we met for dinner. Mom asked the desk clerk to recommend a place that had good Weiner Schnitzel. He thought a moment, then sent us back across town under thickly falling snow to find a rather touristy, but sort of wonderful Brew House called Barfusser- the Bare Feet You enter through a store stairway down into a cellar beneath one of the main streets in Nürenburg”s town center. The service was easily faster than anywhere else I have eaten in Germany. And, lets just say that the vending machines in the bathrooms were interesting. But, the food was wonderful, the beer was excellent and freshly made. And, Mom was thrilled that the potato salad was exactly as she remembered it from when she lived here. In fact, she found herself wondering aloud if this particular restaurant might not have been part of her experience back in the 1960’s!