I had planned to spend two days in Nuremberg on my way back from Munich to Frankfurt, but I ended up being delayed by a day. The upside of this was that my friend Mark had finished opera rehearsals at Gaertnerplatz and had the day off before his opening, so we were able to go together.
This of course made the trip go by very quickly, and also meant I didn’t have to lug my suitcase around. But I wouldn’t have had to lug it far; I’d made a reservation at Hotel Ibis. These hotels are invariably clean, reasonably priced and near the train station. No character or anything like that, but a reliable place to crash. We found the hotel, dropped off my suitcase and headed out to explore the town.
|Hauptmarkt and Liebfrauenkirche, Nuremberg|
Mark sort of knew his way around, and he took me to the Hauptmarkt, a charming square with the gothic Liebfrauenkirche as its focus. The square is especially fun in December, when it becomes a Weinacht’s Markt (Christmas market). I loved the clock on the front of the Liebfrauenkirche: Built in 1509, the “Running Men” clock has seven electors who run around Emperor Charles IV every day at noon.
|The “Running Men” clock, Nuremberg|
Not far from the Hauptmarkt one passes a serene view of the river Pegnitz. This building from 1332, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, was one of the largest hospitals of the Middle Ages. Lepers were housed here, though separately from other patients. It now includes a home for the elderly as well as a restaurant.
|Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Nurenberg|
There’s so much history and culture in Nuremberg, from the Holy Roman Empire through the Nazi war crimes trials, and I would have liked to have visited the Durur museum ( he was born here) and the Nationalmuseum (I’m a big fan of the Expressionist of Die Brucke and Die Blaue Reiter). But having only one day I settled for walking around the center, hiking up to the castle and eating as much as possible.
|The Nuremberg castle|
Inside the castle was an exhibit of battle armor, and since that wasn’t really our thing we decided it was time for lunch. My hosts in Munich had recommended I try the Nurnberger Bratwurst, so Mark and I both had six of those at a local brewery. They’re small, and they look and taste similar to American breakfast sausages.
After lunch we continued our walk, coming upon the St. Lorenz Cathedral, another of Nuremberg’s gothic structures.
It then started to rain, so we ducked into a Coffee Fellows, Germany’s answer to Starbucks. The copying of Starbucks extends to the decor as well as the coffee varieties. But unlike Starbucks in the U.S., the internet here (and in Germany’s Starbucks) is actually free; you get a password with your receipt. But they had so many kinds of flavored lattes and what not, they forgot to offer regular black coffee, which is what Mark drinks. We figured a Cafe Americano was his best bet. I had one too, but I put milk in mine.Mark eventually had to get back to Munich, so I walked him to the Hauptbahnhof before returning to my hotel for a little rest before dinner. On the way back from the Hauptbahnhof I passed several bakeries, all offering what turned out to be my favorite food of the whole trip: “Quarkbällchen” (little quark balls). They’re similar to the Mäuschen of Trier, in that they resemble giant yeasty donut holes sprinkled with sugar. But these are even more delicious, as the addition of quark (something between cream cheese and ricotta) makes them extra moist and yummy.
After a bit of a lie-down I went for dinner at a place offering Frankish specialties, and believe it or not, I did not have pork. Despite this being my last night in Germany before returning to the pork-free zone of Turkey, I was all porked out. Plus, I’d eaten a few too many Quarkbällchen to have much of an appetite. The menu was in some sort of Frankish dialect, but I recognized a word resembling the French Cabillaud (cod fish) and figured I’d give it a try. It was in fact cod fish, and it was nice and light, if not particularly memorable.
The next morning I picked up some Quarkbällchen for the trip home, and relaxed with a cappuccino and wireless internet at the Hauptbahnhof’s Coffee Fellows before boarding the train to Frankfurt and the flight back to Antalya. This concludes the German portion of this blog. We now return to regular programming about living in Turkey.