Lili and I have arrived in Nuremberg, Germany yesterday from Koln. We rented a rather lovely and fast Volkswagen Golf, for a very reasonable price. I am a bit sad to report that the Autobahn was not the uber fast speedway that we Americans dream to drive on– at least not yesterday. There was more construction on the bit of Autobahn from Koln to the Bavarian border that it was very rare that I got the chance to hammer down the pedal. However, when I did, it was nothing short of exhilarating.
It took us about 4.5 hours to drive here and we arrived just after 5. Traffic was busy coming into town as everyone was just getting off of work and we headed directly to the hotel, which Lili claims to have found using her most excellent mapping skills, but I think it was more luck than anything else. We managed to find all three hotels like the one we are staying in — ETAP. It’s a budget hotel, 50 euro’s a night, which is actually cheaper than staying in a hostel with a private room.
The city of Nuremberg is much more beautiful than I had imagined it and I was thinking it was going to be quite special. It ranks right up there with Dresden in the most beautiful German city thus far… and I think that once I actually soak it in, it will become my favorite German town.
There is a giant castle, schloss, at the top of the city gates, which is where the picture above is taken. It has a great overlook of the city itself, which was mostly destroyed in the WWII. In case you didn’t know, Nuremberg was the center of the Nazi movement and also where the trails were held at the end of the war. It was destroyed in the war and rebuilt. Luckily, when the Nazi party was here, they were meticulous in photographing the city and all that it contained.
I have read quite a lot over the years about WWII and to be in the city where so much of it went down is quite a dream. Walking through the streets and thinking about the pleasantness that this city now offers and contrasting it with the days when the Nazi party was at it’s height of control in Germany — and most of the propagandist theater was staged right here. I imagined the city center streets lined with German soldiers as Hitler gives his speeches — and how he watched the parades of soldiers march through the city.
Today we will walk out to the soccer stadium, which is on the same grounds as Zeppelinstadium, which is the area that he gave his speeches to hundreds of thousands of supporters. Again, most of that was destroyed by the Allied troops after the war, but they did leave parts of it. I will post those photos over the next several days.
For the record, I don’t want this to seem like I am some war buff vacation, but there really are two stories to the German life– the war and everything that happened after the war. This country has a lot of deep scars from that time period and the wound is finally healing, but that injury will forever be with the German people and it was an interesting period of time. Hitler and the Nazi Party were an evil regime and it was a dark period but they did some pretty historical things. To think that this is the hotbed of it all– the wound runs the deepest here– but it’s also where the healing began with the Nuremberg Trials — the fact that they tried and hanged the people that were left in the end here gives the place the opportunity to start anew–and it has.
In fact, one would have to know firsthand that the city was destroyed by bombs to realize that all of it has been completely redone because it very closely resembles a city like Prague, minus St. Charles Gate, of course.
Anyway, that’s all for now as were headed to Zeppelin Field…