I’m trying to play catch up on posts here, so bear with me. :-)
On Monday morning, July 19th, we got up, went and availed ourselves of our free breakfast at our hotel, and got our stuff packed to head to the train station.
At this point in time, we have packing down to a science. We LONG ago dispensed with the “his and hers” bags and went to a more practical system. My backpack (the big orange one) contains everything we don’t really use on a regular basis. This includes our cooler weather clothes (since I still haven’t convinced John to get ditch the TWO pairs of jeans and TWO hooded sweatshirts he brought with him), souvenirs, the small food bag we have, and the small toolkit we have. One of his bags contains all of the clothes we typically wear and the toiletries bag, and his smaller backpack has our laptops. When we pack, I’m responsible for packing my clothes and everything that lives in the big orange pack, and he’s responsible for his clothes and everything that lives in his packs. It works out really well, and there’s none of the usual scrambling of “did you remember to check the shower” or something like that.
Anyway, so we got on our train, which wasn’t one of the ICE trains (Germany’s high-speed network), just a little regional one. So I was expecting it to behave like a little regional train, puttering along at around 55mph. Then about 10 minutes into our trip, I glanced at the GPS readout on my phone, and about fell over. We were puttering along at the quite glorious speed of 102 miles per hour. OMG SWEET.
I’m SO all over this high-speed travel kind of thing. I love trains so much.
The other nice thing? Because I’m (sigh) over 26 and John and I are traveling on a saver pass (two or more people) we were required to buy a first-class pass. We haven’t had much opportunity to use it until now, as most trains we’ve been on have been second-class only. But German trains always seem to have both classes–SWEET. Heck, yesterday a… train attendant? (like a flight attendant, I guess?) came around and offered us newspapers and snacks!! Oh yeah!! First class also usually means air conditioning, bigger tables, and more seat room and leg room. I’m all over that.
So yeah, it’s nice to actually use the first-class passes we paid for. Why can’t air travel be that comfortable and comparatively inexpensive?
When we got to Nuremberg, it was only about 11:30 AM, but, continuing with the good luck we’ve had so far this trip, our hotel let us check in and leave our stuff in our room. I LOVE the feeling of taking off my backpack and leaving it somewhere so I can go explore — sooooo nice! We headed back to the metro from whence we’d come to go into the Old Town part of the city. When I got there I realized I’d somehow managed to leave my camera in the room. I’m thinking my shoulder was tring to sabotage me or something — it’s tired of lugging that camera around. But at least I had my phone camera, as always.
On our way into town, we stopped at a McDonald’s to see what their local offerings were (since the only other German town we were in, Neusorg, was too small to have a McDonald’s, or any sort of fast food place, for that matter.)
Old Town Nuremberg is really pretty — it’s its old European feel that is one of the reasons Hitler chose to hold the Nuremberg rallies there. He was apparently all for the traditional feel. The old town itself is centered around a large market square (Hauptmarkt) and a number of neat churches. I think we went into almost all of them. ;-)
My favorite church was St. Sebaldus, the only Lutheran Gothic church I’ve been in this entire trip. It started out as a Catholic church when it was constructed in the mid-1200s, but when the Reformation happened, it converted to a Lutheran church. However, with an eye toward preserving the “medieval piety” (according to the brochure I picked up at the church) they saved the icons, wall paintings, and shrine to to St. Sebald. I looked him up, and had to laugh. First, apparently no one’s really sure who St. Sebald actually was, or when he even lived. He was some hermit who came out of the forest somewhere between the 8th and 11th centuries to evangelize to some townspeople, and then died. Second, they built the church and the shrine to him before he’d officially been canonized by the Catholic church (which didn’t happen until 1425.) Heck of a risk there. I can just imagine it now — “O hai, we know you built a church for this dude, but FOOLED YA! we’re not actually going to make him a saint.” Heh.
Anyway, you all know by now that I’m a huge sucker for the Gothic churches, but even by normal Gothic church standards, this one was one of my favorites because it still had a lot of its original paint job inside, and hadn’t been Baroqued almost at all. I don’t know why, but seeing the original medieval paint job is one of my favorite things about Gothic churches. A lot of places would paint almost the whole inside with not just religious art, but different designs and patterns almost like wallpaper. They’d go straight up the pillars and over the archways with really vivid colors. I would LOVE to see a Gothic church that’s been completely restored to what it would have looked like in the 14th century — not just by removing any design elements from later time periods, but with the original paint job restored to new.
I am so lucky that John is as patient with me as he is about seeing pretty much every single church we’ve come across on this trip. :-)
Sorry about only having cameraphone pics on here. I did go back right the day we left Nuremberg and take pictures with my real camera, but those will have to wait until later when I get around to posting them. :-)
After we finished checking out the churches, we wandered up through the old castle and down around the other side, then headed back home in search of someplace to eat dinner before crashing for the evening. It was a nice, relaxing day. :-)
Where we are now:
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