Nürnberg - Day 9
Nurnberg Travel Blog› entry 6 of 30 › view all entries
Mid-evening July 31st we arrived in Nürnberg, Germany. We had a short train ride to Berlin from Potsdam and then jumped onto a high-speed train (ICE) from Berlin to Nürnberg. It took about 5 hours. Because we wanted unlimited train rides, and we are over 26 years old, we had to buy a package of 1st class tickets when we were in the US. So the train ride was super comfortable and relaxing. It was actually really nice to have that much time to sit and relax and not have to walk anywhere! We did get to see some of the country side, but mostly we were going too fast to appreciate it (around 200 kmhour).
When we arrived in Nürnberg and checked our email, we had an email from Norbert and Anya saying that they could host us, and that this was the start of the Bavarian Holidays (and I believe they meant that school was finished for the summer for the children - they have 6 weeks of summer vacation before they go back to school) and there was a city-wide music festival starting on Friday, did we want to come? We were super excited. We emailed them back and said that we would love to go to the festival and stay with them. We met them at the train station in Fürth (sort of a suburb of Nürnberg). When we got to their house, they started making dinner. That was at about 9:30. Dinner was ready around 10:30-11:00, and we ate and talked until 2:00am. That was a long day!
On Friday, we walked with Norbert (who rode his bike) to the nearest bus stop, which was about 15 minutes away, and then Eli and I rode the bussubway to downtown Nürnberg. We toured some massive buildings that had been Hitler`s projects, and had never been completed. The city and people of Nürnberg have not been able to decide what to do with these buildings, so they are now basically ruins from the Third Reich. In part of the building that was going to be a massive congress-hall, there is a musem about the rise to power of the Socialist party and Hitler. It was very little about the war and the holocaust, and really is more about Germany and how it became a socialist state before the war. It was an amazing museum, and we eventually got kicked out, because they were closing even though we had not gotten even half way through.
We then walked to the Zeppelinfeld (Zeppelin Field) where all the Nazi Party rallies had been held. When you see pictures or videos of Hitler giving speeches, typically they are from this field. It was cool to see what a massive group of people would gather in this area for the party rallies, and to compare it to now - it looks similar to a football field except three times the size, with a road through part of it, and only parts of the old buildings still there. Again, we will put up pictures when we get home. But I dont think that our pictures can show what a strange thing it is, this huge open area that isnt used for anything, and is a reminder of everything that happened in this beautiful and historic city.
After our tour of the Nazi Rally Grounds, we headed to the Music Festival in downtown Nürnberg. Nürnberg is a city that is surrounded by a wall with lookout towers at each corner. The music festival is spread through-out the old part of the city (within the city wall) and they had 7 stages with different music groups from all over the world. We watched groups from America, Finland, Germany, Gambia, and Italy. At one point Eli and I got separated in a huge group of people watching a Russian band, and it was actually pretty scary. I got yelled at a couple of times (in German of course - which I didnt understand) when I was trying to find Eli and it took forever. Eventually we found each other, but it was not fun.
We spent both Friday and Saturday night at the festival, and both nights stayed up past 2 in the morning. Norbert and Anya are complete night-owls, and would do everything they could to keep us awake and hanging out with them. On Saturday evening we started making dinner at 11:00pm and didnt start eating until after 1:00am. It was unbelievable for us, because we were just dying we were so tired. After dinner, when we were starting to head for bed they offered us ice cream, and Schnapps, and wine. We had to politely decline so that we could get some sleep! We had a great time with Norbert and Anya, but they definitely wore us out!
We had a great time at the Music Festival, and it sounds like they often have festivals like that here, where they have stages all over the city. The newpaper said that they were expected 200,000 people to come to the festival. It certainly seemed like a huge amount of people, and on Saturday evening it was super busy. Oh, and by the way, it was entirely free. What a wonderful time!