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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Traveling – Nuremberg Germany

On a business trip in early 2007 I had the opportunity to visit Nuremberg Germany.  A location well known for it’s part in the criminal war trials at the end of WWII.  I discovered while touring the town with my colleague Stefan, it was also a location where many of the major Nazi party rallies were held.

Outside of the history that happened during the war, what I experienced is a delightful old walled town that has been restored and is a charming place to visit and tour as well as sample their food.  The first time I visited, Stefan told me about the little sausage for which Nuremberg is famous.  They are smaller than a breakfast link and very tasty.

When my wife accompanied me on our 2007 business/vacation trip, I incorporated a several day visit to Nuremberg into our itinerary for after we left Munich.  In preparation for this trip, we had purchased a Garmin Novi 370 GPS that include maps of the United States as well as most of Europe.  When we were hungry, we would just program the GPS to find the nearest restaurants, we would make a selection, and off we would drive.  It was the best investment we made for the trip.

On the way to Nuremberg, we stopped for lunch at a little restaurant Wirsthaus Zum Pauli on a side road where only the locals eat.  It was a Sunday afternoon and there was a small party in progress at the restaurant, so the restaurant had a festive.  It was fun to see several generations of the family enjoying themselves while they partied and ate.  We had another wonderful meal that included several types of pork; patty, sausage, and bacon.  It was served with rice along with several different kinds of spicy vegetable sauces, it was very good.

The first time I visited Nuremberg, Stefan took me to a former hospital now converted into a restaurant the Heilig Geist Spital.  The restaurant was built to extend out over the river that runs through the center of town.  This scene is one of my favorites from my trips.

My wife and I stayed just outside the old city walls of Nuremberg and spent a day exploring the traffic free old town and tasting the local food.

One day for our lunch, we decided to try one of the kiosks that are located around the city.  We chose a pretzel kiosk and it must be good because there was a line of about 20 people waiting to order.  Because of the line, we had a chance to determine that we wanted a salted pretzel, split in half and filled with Nutella (a hazelnut and chocolate spread).  We sat on a nearby bench, ate our pretzel, watched the people, and enjoyed the colorful outdoor market.

The outdoor market was beautiful and is unlike farmers markets in the states.  The choices and colors were fantastic to photograph.

We took a walk around the town, checking out the castle and the house where the artist Albert Durer once lived.  Traveling around the old city wall took us to a little café with gardens overlooking the river; here we enjoyed one of the local beers while watching the ducks and swans on the river.

For dinner one night, we ate at the restaurant Heilig Geist Spital and had the sausages and sauerkraut.  The sausages were excellent, but the sauerkraut was fantastic.  This sauerkraut is sliced much finer than any I have found in the states, and it had a slightly sweet taste.  My friend Stefan said that his mom would make sauerkraut and add an apple and a little sugar, maybe this sauerkraut also had these additions.

The next night for dinner, we ate in an old grain cellar that is the restaurant The Nassauer Cellar.  To get into the restaurant, the diners are required to climb down some very steep stairs to the basement.  Here we started dinner with a very nice salad of local greens with a light salad dressing.  Then the main course of pork (knuckle) and Kartoffelkloesse (potato dumplings) with some local beer to accompany the dinner.  I didn’t care for the dumplings, but my wife really likes them.

After we climbed the stairs back outside, we finished our dinner with some ice cream.  The shop where we selected our ice cream had a fabulous display of about 30 flavors, many of which are natural berry or fruit.  There are also some exotics, though none as exotic as what we saw once in Barcelona Spain of Viagra!  The Viagra gelato was even colored purple.

On one of our day trips our from Nuremberg, we stopped in the little town of Altdorf.  We decided to try the only restaurant we could see which was on the main street of town.  We ate outside and had a great lunch of bratwurst sausage and sauerkraut.  The sausages were much larger then the little Nuremberg sausages, but still delicious.  We completed our lunch with some Apple Kuchen with whipped cream.  Mmmm.

If traveling to central Germany and time allows, I would defiantly make Nuremberg part of a trip.  Rick Steves has some excellent information regarding Germany and is a must for visitors.  The city is great and there are several interesting museums and castles in the area to visit.  And don’t forget the Nuremberg sausages with mustard!

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