The night came and went and with it, the negotiation of 3 more locks was accomplished. By morning we were waiting for quite some time to go through yet another (there would be 66 throughout our trip). Traffic on the river seems a little heavy right here. Breakfast called and was consumed, the blog was updated, pictures were massaged and posted. Where did the time go? Now all of a sudden it’s lunch time (very LITTLE, thank you!) and a city tour will start at 1:15.
So far, all morning with no apparent chance of let up, we have been trying to appreciate the steady rainfall. However it is, at best, with mixed emotions. Kind of like watching your worst enemy drive off a cliff in your brand new Ferrari. The Danube (and really almost everywhere in Germany) needs it…just would have been nice if it would have confined itself to the hours between 11 PM and 6 AM. Oh well…it’s a vacation so is it cause for concern? Not really. 🙂
Nürnberg was first mentioned officially in 1050 and has lived in place ever since. In 1492 (a notable year in its own right) the first globe was created here. As it turns out, it was missing at least one, somewhat rather important, continent. Fortunately it would be added later.
Fast forward to the 16th century and the first pocket watch made its appearance. Maybe they wanted a head start on promptness. The first German railroad began here in 1835 and the main train station (conveniently located right beside the rail yard) opened its doors in 1905.
In 1927, the first Nazi rally was held here. Later, almost 90% of what is now referred to as ‘Altstadt’ (Old Town) was destroyed by bombing raids in WW II. The Palace of Justice (and specifically courtroom 600) has its own, distinct, claim to fame. Of course that is where the famous trials were held. The US and the Russians had some rather intense negotiations for this to happen. Russia wanted the trials to be held in Berlin, as the capital of Germany. The US felt that, as the Nazi rallies started in Nürnberg, it would be more appropriate to hold the trials there. That, coupled with the fact that pretty much all of Berlin was destroyed, helped guide the decision. And the rest became even more history. The prison behind that Palace is still in use today.
Our tour has ended at the Hauptmarkt (main square) beside city hall. This location generally bustles with tourists and locals alike but is somewhat tame today given the weather conditions. Depending on the festival being celebrated, market vendors will change to suit the mood. Easter and Christmas are easily the most resplendent times to visit. Wandering through the many stalls wiles away the time. Now, just to take the chill off you understand, it’s time to stop at a café for a latte and some wine. Rain or not, life is good.
It would be easy to be a little discontented with the day in general. Our tour guide was, yet again, extremely instructive. Not as dry as the gentleman the other day, but certainly very focused on providing facts and figures. Information overload comes to mind. And yes, the weather was not the most co-operative either. But to expect perfection is to set yourself up for disappointment. I’d rather just be happy to be here.