Day 7 of our 9 day trip to Germany in the fall
We wake up this morning and guess what we’re treated with?? Snow! It’s supposed to be close to 0C the whole day. I opened the window in our hostel room and literally bust out in insanity laughter. I can’t believe I got to see snow before Toronto!!
One of the benefits of staying at a hostel is getting a free breakfast. After 6 days of travelling this was our first real breakfast as we sure ate heartily.
We packed up, returned our sheets and checked out by around 10:00AM. We also left our bags in the lockers in the basement. I was wearing 5 layers for the top. I was wearing a beanie, gloves and the buff to top it off.
Walking to Ramparts
The rest of the morning we explored parts of the town that we didn’t see the precious day which totally transformed from the previous day. Quite fitting actually for a Christmas-like town. Walking the ramparts of the city wall was really neat. I felt like a real night watchman. We also bought some snowballs. I also made my own real snowballs too haha. Oh yes we finally checked out the Jack Wolfskin store. Man everyone wears this over here!!
Almost Missing Our Train to Nuremberg
We then hurried back to our hostel to pick up our bags. Meanwhile we literally only had 15 minutes left to get to our 1:06PM train. By some stroke of luck and hustle we made it on time. There wasn’t enough time to buy a ticket at the machine so we just hopped on. The lady checking tickets was nice enough to issue us tickets for more or less the same price so that worked out.
Things didn’t quite work out when we did our second change in Ausbach. I couldn’t find the train schedule so we were scrambling to find the connecting train to Nuremberg but by the time I saw it on the platform it was moving away. I later found out that the connection time was only 4 minutes so there wasn’t much room for error.
As a result we had to wait another 40 minutes for the next train at 2:32PM. We hasn’t eaten lunch up until that point so we bought a foot long steak and cheese Subway. The Subways here are identical though they seem to have a few less flavours and is a bit more expensive.
Nuremberg wasn’t any better than Rothenburg weather wise -snowing just the same and just as cold.
After check-in at A&O Nuernberg Hauptbahnhof we quickly dropped off our stuff and basically head straight out.
Back in the main station we caught a number 9 tram where the last stop was Doku-zentrum. The rebellious part for us was that when we bought our tickets on the Rothenburg train, we got a Bayern ticket for 5 which was good to use here but the lady got us a normal one way train ticket to Nuremberg which wasn’t good. We figured its all honour system here and we’ve never gotten caught some so whatever. It worked out!
The Document Center was very interesting and full of information from the establishment of the NDSP and the rise and fall of the Nazis. There are 20 some boards with numbers on them to use with the audio guide and videos as well. What was neat was when you walked into a room with a video playing the audio guide would pick this up and automatically play it. We started off being pretty diligent with listening to each board but inevitably we had to start skipping more. Time was running out as we only got to the museum at 4:30PM. The final piece to the museum was the walkway out to see the center of the unfinished Nazi Congress Hall which was quite the panoramic site with snow flakes raining down on us.
The biggest take away from all of this was that Hitler and Nazis were brilliant at brain washing the mob into losing their individuality and becoming part of the Nazi community. They built up this Führer myth which made Hitler almost god-like. The other thing that they achieved was with these Party Rallies, he created further spectacle to entice followers and draw even more attention onto themselves. Their architecture as well reminded me of the Roman Empire which Hitler must’ve aspired to with plans for massive buildings on the scale of the Coliseum.
Freezing at Zeppelin Field
After the Documentation Center I made the call to find the Zeppelin Field where the Nazi Party Rally Grounds were actually held. By this time the light was almost out and snow was continuing to fall. The walk took a good 20 minutes around the lake. The actual grand stand where Hitler built this massive limestone structure still exists today but much of it has been removed for safety concerns. It also looked like this was also the starting point for some auto racing event. What was amazing was also creepy as the lack of lighting, snow and eerie atmosphere started to set in as we climbed our way up to the exact spot where Hitler made his speeches. We took a few shots here including some long exposure shots with my camera sitting on the top of the stairs.
I was completely freezing at this point and in particular my toes. Mari’s Toms were soaked and freezing as well. We were supposed to walk all the way back around to the Documetation Center but luckily Edison found a S Bahn subway station close by.
Also if you really want to freak yourself out, the time we went was the perfect time to go. There was nobody else in sight. The steps were deserted and dimly lit. Who knows what could be crawling out of the cracks. Yeah I know I play too much Nazi Zombies.
Hunting For A Dinner
We took this subway back to Hbf and transferred to a U Bahn south to Aufsessplatz. Here, I thought we were close to the restaurant we picked out but it was actually a ways away when we started walking so we hopped on the closest streetcar to take us further. When we got to the restaurant called Schaufelewartschaft (some sort of pork specialty of Nuremberg), we found out that without reservations they weren’t taking any more large groups.
So that was a bit of a fail on my part. We decided to head back to the Hbf area to check out some restaurants there so we caught a streetcar back.
From the Hbf we walked a bit into the old town area. We had no idea what to choose but we frat decided on this bar looking place but because it was Saturday it was completely packed. We asked the waiter where else we could try and he recommended another beer hall down the street.
This beer garden ended up being the Barfusser which was a huge beer hall. It was fitting to end at a beer hall actually because Edison, Emily Ho, Jeff and Chantelle were all going to attempt to go home the next day. However we got more than we bargained for. We ordered some sort of specialty combination plate. For 64 EUR for 6 it seemed like a good deal even though we had no idea what it included. On the menu this platter was actually for 4 but the waitress allowed it. When it came my jaw dropped as it came with two pro knuckles, a pork head, beef something, potatoes, schnitzel, potato dumplings, stuffing balls, green beans, sauerkraut, and small sausages.
I really thought we’d be able to finish this for sure this time since this was for 4 but wow this was ridiculous. We tried our best and our man Jeff represented but alas we were defeated by the pig again. I left the place fully bloated. The only positive side out of this was that the beer didn’t hit me very hard this time.
From there we were warm once again and walked our way back to the hostel. They had free wifi in the lobby so a few of us stayed down there to use the Internet and check flight loads while everyone else took turns showering in our 6 person ensuite hostel room. Our hostel room turned out to be really nice especially for 90 some EUR for 6. 2 bunk beds and two singles. Separate toilet room and shower room which looked newly refurbished.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you get the train schedules before hand. Like I mentioned in a previous post, the DB app is great for checking train schedules and saving them onto your calendar so you don’t need Internet to check the schedule and track numbers. Both if these are pretty essential in order to be nimble on your feet especially web transfers are involved.
- Restaurant reservations- second day in a row that highly rated restaurant booted a out because we didn’t make the proper reservations. When in doubt make reservations. Most won’t have an online reservation system so you’ll have to call with Skype or something similar.
- I would definitely recommend the AO Hostel in Nuremberg. It’s steps away from the main train station and even the hostel portion of this hotel/hostel is very well maintained and clean.
- 8:00AM wake up
- Breakfast at the hostel
- 10AM checkout
- Explore the rest of Rothenburg
- 1:06PM train to Nuremberg (changing at Steinach and Ausach)
- Missed connection
- 2:32PM train from Ausach to Nuremberg
- Check into the AO Hostel at 3:45PM
- Take tram 9 from Hbf to Doku-Centrum (last stop)
- Nazi Documentation Center until 6PM
- Walk to the Zepplin Field to check out the Nazi Party Rally Grounds
- Found the S Bahn station Frankenstadion nearby and took it back to Hbf and then switched to the U Bahn downtown Aufsessplatz
- Walked part way through until realized it was a lot further so hopped on a tram
- Found out the restaurant Schaufelewartschaft was full and wasn’t taking anyone without reservations
- Hopped on another tram to take us back to Hbf
- Walked along the main old city street to find a restaurant and after another rejection finally found a beer hall called Barfusser
- Back to the hostel to use wifi, figure out flight plans for those wanting to try tomorrow, shower, pack, sleep
Check out the Next Day
To read about my adventures exploring the Nuremberg Trials Courthouse and making my way to Frankfurt, check out Day 8 – Nuremberg to Frankfurt – The Trials.