Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nuremburg. Yup, that’s it.

Early start today – around 7.45. We breakfasted quickly and left the hotel before 8.15. I started off the day driving from Rothenburg to Nuremburg. We had some nice country-highway driving, and got into Nuremburg around 10.30ish. I had wanted to go to Nuremburg to view the sights where the Nazi war criminals were trialed. Dad, however, thought I had a whole day planned for our visit. Now, he claims that the told me to do the research on what we would do, but I don’t remember ever hearing that. I’m not saying he’s wrong, I’m saying he might have mentioned it once, 9 months ago, in a list with 18 other things and it just didn’t make my radar. That, or he forgot to tell me, and remembers wanting to so thinks he did. Either way, we found ourselves in Nuremburg, our guide book said that there were guided tours of the old town hall/courthouse in the afternoon on weekends, and we decided to make the best of it.

Nuremburg is a city of churches, as we found out wandering around. We had parked in the valley that the old town sits in and wandered around for a couple of hours, looking a churches, shops, the farmer’s market and other city sites. We stopped once for a drink and as soon as I got a look at myself in a mirror, I decided that it wasn’t a good day for walking. Our bad weather seems to have deserted us (which is good) and has been replaced with hot, sunny weather (not so good). I’d rather have the nice stuff, but find walking for hours on end, general up-hill and on cobble-stones, and in hot weather isn’t a lot of fun. When we stopped for our drink, it was passed 11 and we had gotten to the top of the city-valley, so we walked along the streets at the ridge, then headed down.

The city’s old Rathause is quite a site, with 2 interesting sculptures on it’s façade. It’s across the street from a ‘parish’ church that dwarfs Ottawa’s basilica, and we wandered through the farmer’s market to marvel at the white asparagus (it’s on every menu here since it’s the height of the season) and the concept of selling flowers by the stem instead of in pre-set bouquets. For lunch, we ate in a 14th century building which started off as a hospital and spans the river. We arrived about 5 minutes ahead of 2 or 3 big tour groups, so we got our food quick and hot and were probably the only patrons there not involved with a tour.

After lunch, we picked up the car and drove over to the address the guide book gave us as the site of the court-house. It’s outside the old city in one of the Nuremburg’s old city halls. When we got to the building, it looked locked up tight, there were not a lot of cars in the parking lot, and I started getting a bad feeling. As we were walking along the front of the building a guy was unlocking a security gate and, when asked, said that the building was closed. So, the guide book lied, and I didn’t get to see room 600 – where the high-profile Nazi’s stood trial for war crimes. This was one of the 4 ‘must-dos’ on my Germany list, so it was really disappointing. Oh well, got to leave something for next time (which is becoming a Guest-family motto on this trip).

From there, we headed back to Rothenburg for our 3rd and final night here in the city. I relaxed for a while in my room, then took an hour walk around the city looking in the tourist shops (again) for any souvenirs I might have missed on my first pass. I picked up a couple of things, then headed back to the hotel. Dad and I met in the hall way coming to get each other around 6.15, had drinks on the front patio, dinner in the back patio, and then we both retired early since we’ve got a 7.30 breakfast call tomorrow so we can get on the road for Switzerland.

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