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    • December 12 - Last day in Nuremberg

      December 12, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ -3 °C

      We were in the 8:00 a.m. time slot for breakfast. No cookies or champagne for brekkie today. We detected some decidedly mid-Western American accents at a table across the room.

      We set out about 9:30 a.m. We took a tram ride for about 15 minutes to the Documentation Center and Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Nuremberg tries to present itself as the “City of Human Rights”, but its reputation as Hitler’s favourite place for rallies is hard to shake. The museum began an extensive remodelling project in 2021 so a lot of what used to be accessible is closed off, but there is a very well-done interim exhibit which focuses on the space and content of the Rally Grounds. The exhibit helps to trace the evolution of the National Socialist Movement which simultaneously energized and terrorized the German people. We were all very struck by how propaganda and staging and lighting were used during the rallies to promote Hitler and his ideologies. Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda classic “Triumph of the Will” was filled at this location. The Nuremberg Trials were held at another location across town. Those trials – the first international war-crimes tribunal -brought about a new concept of international law, which continues today in The Hague, Netherlands.

      We came back to the hotel and, of course, it was time to eat again. Some of the serious shoppers in the group had found a great store (Karstadt) on Saturday (closed yesterday) with a good café on its lower level. The store is like a cross between The Bay, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Michael’s and a giant grocery store. The café was very busy – it appears to be where wives stash their husbands while they shop. We got a couple of seats at the counter and ate in shifts. We discovered that they only serve steak. They have beef from all over the world, but alas, not from Canada. The steaks are cooked on a giant grill right before your eyes. The frantic pace kept up by the staff made my head spin. They act as order takers, bartenders, cooks, table clearers and cashiers. Most of us don’t usually have steak and baked potato and salad for lunch, but hey, we were there and up for the entertainment, so we dove in headfirst like the troopers that we are and polished off very tasty steaks.

      We split up after lunch – Sue off to take photos, Mary Ann and I to check out fabrics, and the others to shop and drink tea. We are Christmas Marketed out.

      Karstadt has a knitting wool and fabric department. There were some nice fabrics, but the prices weren’t very attractive. And the organization of the fabrics made it hard to browse – cottons were lumped in with polyesters and the wools and drapery materials. Mary Ann and I could have whipped that place into shape in a week.

      We went to another fabric store that we had spied near the Spanish restaurant last night. We found the same thing – no separation of fabrics by material content or colour or theme. And the lighting was so dim I couldn’t tell blacks from blues from dark greens. Another place in need of a makeover.

      One last stop – the food section of Karstadt. There is more chocolate there than any nation needs. I had one last €20 note so I spent it. No, not all of that chocolate is going to make it home!

      We had dinner at an Indian restaurant around the corner called LeBar. They played music from Dirty Dancing and had an extensive liquor collection. Not your typical Indian Restaurant. As always, we had good food and lots of laughs.

      We are off to Frankfurt tomorrow morning in preparation for our morning flight the next day. This adventure is coming to an end soon.
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    • December 11 - Exploring Nuremberg

      December 11, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ -2 °C

      We gathered for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. This hotel asks you to choose one of three breakfast time slots to control the crowd in the breakfast room. It’s a lovely room, but not very big. We were given champagne and our choice of delicate homemade cookies to begin our morning. Such decadence! Our big excitement was watching some hunky paramedics head on foot down into the subway – perhaps one of last night’s soccer revellers wasn’t faring so well this morning. (France beat England 2-1.)

      We have our walking tour at 11:30 a.m. The meeting place is down at one corner of the main Christmas Market. After some false starts (it’s cold today so more layers, hats and scarves were required), we got down to the market and did some last-minute buying. Our tour guide was Tom, a native of Nuremberg. Rather than give us a chronological history of the city, he told us tales and stories, often using humour to soften some rather bleak moments in Nuremberg’s past. Nuremberg was known in the Middle Ages as a centre of innovation and trade. The first globe and the first pocket watch were invented here. Nuremberg is located almost exactly in the centre of Europe which put it on the many trade routes – the smart Nurembergers demanded to be paid taxes on the goods transported through their centre of commerce.

      We started at the “Beautiful Fountain” and heard the sad lost love tale of the wrought iron trainee who put a perfect circle of iron on the fence around the fountain. I dutifully turned the ring three times while making a wish for the Seven Sisters group (hint – my wish involved traveling and safe returns).

      We heard about the underground cellars that were built originally to store beer (a much safer drink than water in the Middle Ages) and how those cellars sheltered people and artwork during the bombing raids of Nuremberg in January of 1945.

      We heard about Albrecht Durer, an artist, who changed the course of art in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Art until then had been dominated by religious themes. Durer began to paint and draw just ordinary life. This was a major shift in the world of art.

      We also heard about the continuing rebuilding efforts in the city. Thousands of artisans have banded together and gathered donations to rebuild the buildings destroyed during the war in the style they were before the bombing. It’s incredible to believe that this effort continues more than 75 years after the war.

      We visited the Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg). In the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Emperors stayed here when they were in town (with their entourage of about a thousand attendants). The views from the castle wall were fabulous.

      Tom finished off with a spiel about the town executioner and his tribulations finding a wife. Who wanted to be married to the executioner?? All in all, it was a good tour.

      By that time, we were all pretty cold. Angela had spied a good café and had reserved a table for us. It turned out to be a room just for us, which given the loud and crazy name of the trip was a good thing. We had warm drinks, delicious tomato soup and seven desserts. Fabulous.

      Then we split up. Some went to the German National Museum; some went to the Albrecht Durer Museum, and I headed off by myself. I wandered around the children’s market with its merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and kid-friendly arts and crafts booths. Then I watched a street performer play a didgeridoo, an Australian instrument that requires excellent breath control to play. I popped into St. Klara’s Church, just to see the architecture. There were people seated who seemed to be waiting for something to start. Lo and behold, just 10 minutes later, a fabulous choral concert began, presented by an excellent choir in a setting with pristine acoustics. The program was all Advent music, covering the 1500s to the 1900s. There, I finally got music on this tour!

      Back at the hotel, we had pre-dinner drinks and snacks before our dinner reservation at a Spanish restaurant. We had dinner - some things were good; others were okay. The conversation was good. We talked about what we miss the most about home, other than our partners. My answer - big, fat pillows and fleece sheets. Just because we hadn’t had enough to eat, we went to one of the market stalls and got warm churros (long, skinny doughnut things) with sugar and cinnamon with a side dish of dark chocolate.

      We have an 8:00 a.m. breakfast time slot.
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    • Day 58

      Letzter Zwischenstop im fränk. Seenland

      July 7, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Vom Allgäu geht es nun endgültig und auf direktem Wege wieder nach Hause. Um Emilian und auch uns die fast 600km in einem Ritt zu ersparen, legten wir heute noch einen letzten Zwischenstop bei Merkendorf in Mittelfranken ein. Ein günstiger Stellplatz an einem kleinen, wunderschönen See mitten auf dem Land. Um uns herum Schwäne, viele Störche und gegen Abend dann auch mal weider Sonne. Nach einem kleinen Spaziergang durch den Ort hieß es: Sachen packen und auf in die letzte Nacht im Wohnmobil. 😢😞Read more

    • Day 5

      Naturfreibad an der Weißbachmühle

      August 12, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Gut eine Stunde später schlagen wir unsere Zelte in der Nähe des kleinen Sees auf. Der offizielle Stellplatz scheint voll zu sein, wir finden auf der Wiese, die als Erweiterung gedacht ist, einen Platz. Direkt hinter uns ein Maisfeld, ich komme mir vor, wie vor 40 Jahren in Jugo 😄Read more

    • Day 9

      Wolframs - Eschenbach Tag 2

      May 8, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Heute war ausschlafen und chillen angesagt. Zum Frühstück gab es Spiegelei und Speck, eigentlich unser Sonntags Frühstück aber gestern gabs ja Weißwurst-Frühstück.
      Danach chillten wir ein bisschen, da es etwas nieselte, was so gegen 13 Uhr wieder aufhörte. Also auf die Fahrräder und das Städtchen erkunden. Die Altstadt ist wirklich sehr schön und komplett von der alten Stadtmauer umgeben. Sehr viele gut restaurierte Fachwerkhäuser und historische Gebäude. Auch sehr schön ist das Münster, nicht so überladen aber trotzdem schick.
      Von dort aus fuhren wir noch zum Supermarkt ein paar Kleinigkeiten einkaufen.
      Wieder zurück machten wir uns einen Cappuccino und es gab etwas süßes dazu.
      Gegen Abend wollte ich gerade den Grill auspacken, als mich ein älterer Schweizer Herr vom Nachbar Wohnmobil ansprach und wir ins Gespräch kamen. Kurz danach kamen unsere Frauen auch noch dazu und ich packte einen Whisky aus. Unser Thema war nämlich Schottland und die beiden waren total fasziniert das wir schon so oft dort waren. Sehr nett die beiden, trotz riesen Morelo.
      Irgendwann konnten wir uns dann doch los reißen und grillten unser Fleisch. Nach dem essen schauten wir noch ein bisschen Serie auf dem Tablet und gingen dann bald schlafen.
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    • Day 8

      Wullendorf-Nürnberg-Wolframs Eschenbach

      May 7, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Der Wecker klingelte um 7:30 was normalerweise viel zu früh ist, aber um 8:30 gab es Weißwurst-Frühstück. Theresa und Normen sahen noch durchgeorgelter aus als wir, wahr wohl noch später als bei uns. Nach dem Frühstück bekamen wir noch eine Überraschung mitgeteilt, wir wunden bei der Wahl zum schönsten Camper 2. Unglaublich aber wahr, damit hätten wir niemals gerechnet. Als Preis gab es, wie passend, einen Flachmann mit Gravur.
      Nachdem wir uns dann von allen verabschiedet hatte machten wir uns abfahrbereit, da wir ja nach Nürnberg zum Spiel wollten.
      Dort angekommen trafen wir dann noch Jürgen und die anderen üblichen Verdächtigen und begaben uns auf unsere Plätze. Unsere Jungs machten es mal wieder spannend bis zum Schluss, mal wieder Betze Wahnsinn pur.
      Von dort aus beschlossen wir in die Nähre von Ansbach zu fahren, was uns schließlich nach Wolframs-Eschenbach führte, ein kleines Städtchen im Fränkischen Seenland.
      Vom Stellplatz aus gingen wir dann zu Fuß ins Städtchen um was zu essen, wo wir in einem schönen Biergarten auch fündig wurden.
      Nach dem sehr leckeren Mahl, gingen wir zügig wieder zurück um womo, begaben uns noch unter die Dusche um dann kurz danach ins Land der Träume zu gehen. Die Nacht davor war doch etwas kurz.
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    • Radtour durch die Eschenbach

      July 22, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Geburtsort von Wolfram von Eschenbach, Verfasser des Parzival, mittelalterliches Heldenepos.

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Merkendorf, مركندورف, مرکندورف, Մերկենդորֆ, メルケンドルフ, Merkendorf i Mittelfranken, Меркендорф, 梅尔肯多夫

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