Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Glimpse of Leipzig and Nuremberg, Germany

On our fifth day of traveling we trekked through Leipzig and ended our day in Nuremberg.
The stop in Leipzig was extremely short, lasting maybe an hour.  The St. Nicholas Church was our first stop in the city.  Our tour guide encouraged us to take a quick peek at the old building.  The Protestant church became the place of peaceful revolt during the Communist era of East Germany.  The building was originally built in the 1100s and is beautifully decorated with gold trim around parts of the ceiling and other d├ęcor in the building.
We also stopped at the St. Thomas Church where J.S. Bach worked and where his remains are still today.  Outside the Lutheran Church is a statue of Bach.  While we were visiting, we got to hear some beautiful music as a symphony practiced.

Statue of Bach outside the St. Thomas Church.
St. Thomas Church

Inside St. Thomas Church

First Bratwurst of the trip!
Before leaving Leipzig I had my first taste of German sausage from a food cart.  The sausage was very tasty, with German mustard (more like a Dijon mustard) on top, and also very cheap at only 1,60 Euro.
We continued our drive to Nuremberg after our short stop in Leipzig.  To welcome us to Germany we had the opportunity to try the traditional Nurnberger Bratwurste.  The bratwurst were similar in size, look and taste to a sausage link we would have in the U.S. for breakfast.  Our tour guide insisted they were completely different than the sausage we are used to, but to me they seemed very similar.  The Nurnberger Bratwurste was served a little differently, on a hard bun.  The restaurant we went to cooks up to 600 sausages at one time.
Cooking the Nurnburger Bratwurste

View of Nuremburg.
 After our small snack we explored the city.  We walked up to a high point of the downtown area and were able to look out on the city and admire the spectacular views and medieval ramparts.  The hike was all uphill for probably a half a mile, but it was worth the climb to get a glimpse at the city.
We also stopped at the 14-century fountain dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire, the Schoner Brunnen.  It is said that it brings good luck to anyone who spins the brass rings in a circle twice.  JC and I both took our turns at spinning the brass ring.

JC spinning the brass rings for good luck.

Street mirroring what Nuremburg looked like years ago.

Enjoying the sights in Nuremburg.
 One street, close to the edge of the downtown area, gave us an idea of what the city looked like before World War II and a good portion of the city was destroyed.  The street was very narrow, with interesting buildings serving as restaurants, shops and homes.  It was a neat, quaint looking street, unlike most of the other areas that have had some touch of commercialism and modern architecture.
Before we left we also grabbed some gingerbread cookies.  Nuremberg is known as the town for gingerbread.  Our tour guide told us locals will not buy gingerbread unless it is Christmas season because it is thought to be a treat only indulged in during the holiday.  Tourists, however, will buy the treat year-round to get a taste of the delicious treat.
Before dinner JC and I went on a furious search to find Christmas ornaments.  We finally found a store, and a few ornaments to take home with us.
Nuremberg was another city that we wished we could have spent more time in.  But as our tour guide said when we expressed our desires for longer times in certain places, it was a glimpse of Germany tour to give us a small taste of what the country is like.

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