"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


And We're Off...

We left yesterday morning for our big two-week trip East:

Nuremberg, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, and then back to Heidelberg

We packed all we could in one suitcase, loaded up the pack-n-play and set off for the train station early in the morning. Penelope was clearly excited for the adventure, but I was a bit apprehensive of how we would fare with a toddler in tow.

For our first leg, we took the train to Nuremberg. Trying to be a little thirfty, we took the slow regional trains, which made for a long 4 1/2 hour ride. However, traveling by trains with a toddler is definitely the way to go. Not only were the views of the countryside from the giant windows gorgeous, but Penelope having the freedom to walk around the car, stand up in the seats and look out the windows, and make friends with our fellow passangers was a huge help. As you can see, she was eager to wave to everyone, and she was more than happy to share her food with anyone who acknowledged her.

Once we arrived in Nuremberg we headed straight for the Nazi Documentation Center. Nurembrg was the ideological center of Nazism. They famously claimed for themselves the title "the most German city in Germany." This region of the country has always been , and still is today, the most conservative part of Germany. And since Fascism is Conservatism gone extreme, this is where the Nazi movement took root. Before it was known for the War Trials, Nuremberg was the propaganda center of Hitler's political theater. In fact, many of the famous images of Nazi rallies are from the complex we visited today in Nuremberg.

Below is a picture of Hitler speaking at a Nazi rally in Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg.

Here is a picture of a picture of the platform where Hitler gave this speech. It was modeled after the Pergamon altar, a famous cultic altar from Ancient Greece.

Here I am standing in the same place Hitler stood in Zeppelin Field.

The Father giving his speech to the group of skaters below.

And a side-view of what it looks like today.

As you can see, part of the top is missing, but the center part has been restored. The city has chosen to preserve this part of its past and reclaim it as a recreational facility. The area below is reserved for skateboarders and skaters, but there are also walking paths, parks, and cafes.

I have to admit that being in this place were Nazism was so strong felt a bit eerie. Even the Father, who is known for his theatrics, could not bring himself to make inappropriate gestures while standing on the podium.

Next, we took a quick tour of the Nuremberg Altstadt (old town). There were several beautiful churches that stood out. St. Lawrence's Church was probably our favorite.

Here is the more famous Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady. At noon every day the clock preforms a pageant as the tiny figures rotate around.

Across the Hauptmarkt square is the ornate Schoener Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain). This pipe fountain dates back to the 1300's. On it is the so-called "wishing ring." This ring was supposedly added by an apprentice without the knowledge of the main designer. It is believed your wish will come true when you turn it. So Penelope and I gave it a good turn.

Nuremberg, like most German towns, has a river running through it and exudes quaintness.

Penelope has grown accustomed to quaintness.

Next we walked up to the castle. The large fortress on the highestpoint of the city dates back to 1050 when Emperor Heinrich III built fortifications to secure his land. It provided a great place to take in the views of the city.

The city at dusk.

We ended our evening with a drink at a biergarten under the castle.

Penelope picked up the bill.

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