Nurnberg is a fine place to spend a few days and we enjoyed our time touring the castle, exploring the extensive underground beer cellars, and sampling the local beer and sausage.
Our apartment in Nurnberg was a modern and tidy place situated right across a narrow cobbled stone street from an 800 year old city wall. After awhile one must get used to living in/on/around old structures, but it is still creating some excitement for us.
During a foot tour through the old city we learned the legend of an infamous burgler in the 1400’s who escaped by jumping his horse over the moat. As evidence of the legend, there are horse tracks in the top stones of the wall. So it is clear to me that Nurnberg is not above creating a little proof to reinforce some of their more colorful history.
The city is very proud of its heritage as an independent city-state that only accounted to the Emperor for much of its existence. It sounds like a cabal of 40 rich families who ruled everything in the city funded the “public” works (art, churches, walls, etc). This structure seemed to create a culture of frugality. Apparently frugality has carried on to current day culture and remains part of the Nurnberg reputation.
The ruling patricians of 40 families lost their official governing status when the Franconia area became the northern most part of Bavaria in early 1800’s. Our guide did indicate that many of these families and descendants are still influential in business and local government today.
We are all spending more time reading during the hours of down time during flights, trains, and drives. Alex is flying through the Harry Potter books and Patrick is moving quickly through the Hunger Games trilogy. The Kindles are working out great – except that Suzanne’s went kaput. This is a downside of the technology approach – your screen can’t lock up on a book. We ordered another one that will arrive when family visits us in Ireland. In the mean time we are sharing.
The beer is an ancient tradition in Nurnberg. The beer in the old breweries uses the same recipes as hundreds of years ago. They say the only difference is that the water they use today is much cleaner and therefore the beer probably tastes a bit better. They are also quite proud of their sausage – something the size of a normal US breakfast sausage. The beer and sausage were a perfect pairing. We have taken to tasting each other’s meals so we can all get a taste of the local delicacies.