Germany 2017; Bavaria
We drove to Nuremburg from Quedinburg (about 350km) on Friday 22 September and checked into our apartment. Its a studio style place in a residential area of Nuremburg. We are here for 12 nights and it seems to have most things we need for cooking and eating in more often.
Saturday 23 September:
In Nuremburg; My (UK number) phones battery was well passt its use by date and was going flat in 30 minutes, so off to buy a new one. We found a huge Mediamarkt that made HarveyNorman stores look very small. The only similarity was that their customer service was equally has bad as HN. We eventually got the battery and then set off into the city.
It is the annual Herbstmarkt (Autumn Market) so it was very busy with both locals and tourists. Nuremburg is a major stopover for the Rhine/Main/Danube river cruises, so it was busy with tourists as well. There was some great street entertainers around,and We bought some Nuremburger Bratwurst for lunch; very good it was to.And then couldn't resist a second round!
Sunday 24 September;
We drove about 150km south to Augburg to meet up with Raphis bother Johannes and his partner Sarah.
Sarah had organised a mini tour of Augsburg so we took the tram into town and explored the old city.
Nice city with a lot of history; the most interesting place we visited was The Fuggerei. This is the worlds oldest social housing facility built in 1521 and is still run and funded by the founding family Trust/Foundation today.The less fortunate and needy citizens of Augsburg society are able to live in good accommodation for only Euro 88 cents per annum, plus are required to pray 3 times daily for for the founders. Each apartment has its own entrance from outside, and after 500 years the architecture, design and accommodation areas are right up to date. Mozarts great grandfather was one of the original architects and also a resident at Apartment #14.There is a model furnished apartment as exists today and an apartment in the museum section is furnished as per 150 years ago. Today 150 people live in 140 apartments in 67 buildings. It was bombed in WW2, as a Messerschmidt factory was nearby but was rebuilt by the family. An amazing place built by an amazing man and continued by the same family for 500 years.
Lunch was at the Hasen Bierre (Rabbit Beer) restaurant. Established in 1464 so 553 years old. Typically Bavarian; good food and good beer.
Monday 25 September
We drove about 5km from our apartment to the Nazi Documentation Centre and Nazi Party Rally Grounds and Zeppelin Fields. The Documentation Centre was a sobering visit that explains the causes and development of National Socialism and the Nazi Cult. Its an important part of Nuremberg history and ensures that they won’t forget or hide the part it played during the Third Reich. The partly completed Congress Hall remains as does part of the structure in the Rally Grounds.
Tuesday 26 September
A quick drive of about 30km to the town of Forchheim on the border of the “Fanconian Swiss” area. It’s a nice town and the surrounding area has a lot of commonality with parts of Switzerland hence its name.
Wednesday 26 September
An early start as we are driving 150km to Munich to visit the BMW World and take a factory tour.
We had booked a tour that covered the BMW Welt (World) display area, the museum, and the factory.
Although we had been to both museum and the Welt before its always interesting to see the new technologies and the new vehicle new models. The Museum is also being continually updated with new exhibits
Highlight of the Welt were the new hybrid technologies and how they work in BMW vehicles. In the Museum they had Elvis Presleys mid 1950’s BMW507 which was found in a derelict condition in the USA and was returned to Munich 3 years ago and completely restored by BMW volunters. Only 241 of this model were ever made and Elvis one is now worth a cool US$2.5million. Very rare indeed and a beautiful car.
The factory in Munich is just one of many BMW plants, and is the oldest and still on the original site from the 1920’s. It currently manufactures petrol and diesel engines for several vehicles , and makes the 3 series Sedan and Wagon, and the 3 series 2 door coupe for many markets.
Some of the manufacturing line was not operational which was disappointing but we stills saw all of the key processes. There was less automation that I had expected, but as the guide said, the technology is being completely updated and the factory increased in size with additional floors.
A great way to spend a day, even with a 300km high speed drive on the Autobahn from Nuremberg to Munich and back.
Thursday 27 September,
We had a museum day in Nuremberg and visited the German National Museum, the German Rail (DB) Museum, and the Museum of Communications. All excellent places to spend several hours. We saw an original self portrait by Rembrandt among many Middle Ages and Renaissance displays at the National Museum.
At the DB Museum which is the oldest railway museum in the world, it showed in great detail the history and development of the German rail system over the last 135 years. Some beautiful railway engines and carriages including King Ludwig of Bavarias luxurious carriages from the mid 1800’s.
The Communications Museum was good as it focused on communications between people and didn’t also include likes of TV and Computing as many other museums do. There were several displays of early telephone systems which bought back great memories of my telephone exchange installation and repair days from 1968 till 1984.
Friday, a do nothing much day, I was feeling poorly so we went into the city for a couple of hours and found a great Currywurst place for lunch. Wurstdurst, or in English "sausage thirst".
Saturday 29 September, we took a drive about 100km southeast of Nuremberg to Regensberg.
Regensburg is on the Danube River and we had been there in 2011 on our river cruise and again in 2014.
I had read about a monument overlooking the Danube river that I wanted to see, and Regensburg is also home to the oldest sausage kitchen (Wurstkuchl) in Germany that dates from the 1300’s which would be nice for lunch
The Walhalla monument is at Donaustauf about 10km along the Danube (Donau) from Regensburg. It is a memorial hall of fame that honours distinguished people in German history.
It was conceived in 1807 by then Crown Prince Ludwig and after his accession to the throne of Bavaria, construction took place between 1830 and 1842. The memorial displays some 65 plaques and 130 busts covering 2,000 years of history. The memorial building itself is modeled on the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
(The top photo isn't mine but borrowed from the web)
We then drove back into Regensburg to visit the Wurstkuchl, but unfortunately being Saturday it was far to busy with no tables available..so no Wurst this trip.
Sunday, 1st October; another rest day as I wasn’t feeling so well again.
Monday 2nd October
We visited Nuremberg castle and toured the castle and museum. Great views of the city from the castle walls, and an interesting museum detailing its origins from the days of the Holy Roman Empire through to its restoration after bombing in World War Two, and with many exhibits of early battles and armour.
Also a great display of Autumn colors around castle and around Nuremberg. The leaves are falling very rapidly now as the days shorten and temperatures drop.
Tuesday October 3
The German National Public holiday:
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit)
Wednesday October 4
We drove from Nuremberg to Dinkelsbühl via Ansbach, which is only about 70km.
We lunched at Meissers Cafe in Dinkelsbühl as I quite like their currywurst, and then checked into our Hotel, the Golden Lamm.
We then had to drive to Stuttgart to pick Shelley up from her London flight that arrived at 9.05pm, which was about 170km and should have taken about 1.45mins on the autobahn. We left at 7.30pm thinking we would arrive on time, unfortunately 17km from the airport we met stationary traffic, and sat on the road without moving a metre for 1 ½ hours. When we did move, we found the case; a car transporter loaded with cars had caught fire. Considering the mess, the Polizei did a very good job clearing the road so quickly.
So at about 1030 we left Stuttgart Airport for Dinkelsbühl and arrived at Raphis house at 12.50am. A very long drive of about 5 hours instead of 3.
Thursday October 5 was spent at Raphis house with his family; eating and drinking as only the Germans can do.Georg did a krupfen run...these jam donuts are very tasty.
Friday October 6 we went out shopping; Shelley and Raphi are looking for furniture so we went to a couple of huge furniture stores, one at Wassertrüdingen and one at Aalen. The shopping was broken by lunch at a really good Italian restaurant in Nordlingen. And back to Raphis place for playing German card games in the evening.
Saturday October 7, we drove to Iphofen which is about 100km north of Dinkelsbühl and in the Franken wine growing region.
It is a winegrowing village and area of about 18 vintners and many have steep, south-facing vineyards is bordered by forest to the north and east that acts as a shield against the cold northerly and easterly winds. The Silvaner and Riesling grape varieties thrive in the local soil that prolongs the grapes' ripening periods as it has good heat and moisture-retention properties
In early October, they celebrate the last load of grapes for the season being brought in with the Winzfest (Winemakers Festival) . A very picturesque town with probably the entire population at the Festival.
We ate some very good Bratwurst, and Zweiblekuchen (basically an onion pizza) and a drink which we think comes from the last press of grapes and is not really alcoholic.
Saturday night we went out to a nearby village to Dinkelsbühl called Fornheim and to the Forstquell-Brauerei for dinner. I decided to try the schaufele, or pork shoulder. It was gigantic....
Sunday 8 October; lunch of excellent Schnitzel and Kartoffelsalat at the Hornbergers before the 1.5hour drive to Stuttgart for our 5pm flight back to London. Pre lunch, a quick game of cards to sort out the champions. We didn't win, but we did learn a lot of German playing cards.
Goodbye Germany until March 2018.