Going East – Part one

Nürnberg – Bamberg – Dresden


Bamberg – Little Venice


Bamberg – Old Town Hall


Nuremberg – Way of Human Rights


Nuremberg- Cafe Wanderer.
Sitting on the cobblestones in front of the bar, drinking a beer and listen to some street music.

Looking at Google maps for the best route to our next project, right at the Polish border to Belarus, made it clear that this journey is not done in a day. We therefore decided to actually turn it into a roadtrip, to see places on the way we never had seen before. Our three stops in Germany were not just nice city tours where we looked at old buildings and ate local food. Don’t be concerned, I said “not just”, local food was clearly an important part of the experience. Nevertheless in between Bratwurst, Rauchbier und Eierschecke did we hear a lot about German history. Nürnberg (Nuremberg) was our first stop. It is a beautiful Bavarian city with a lot of medieval architecture.  We visited the castle, which was badly destroyed at the end of WWII, as was actually most of the city center. Many landmarks have been restored to their former glory, but it’s nothing compared to the number of old buildings you can see when visiting the old town in Bamberg. Much smaller than Nuernberg, and luckily less important during the Nazi regime, did it escape Allied bombing and retains its original charm. The old town is very small and during the course of the day did we pass a lot of places several time. This brought back memories of Cambridge 😉

Going further East than we had ever done before we visited Dresden. For some reason both of us had never taken the time to tavel much  in the former eastern part of Germany – except to Berlin, but Berlin is different and unique and doesn’t count here.

Dresden – Frauenkirche at night

Dresden is another example of a beautiful city that was bombed to the ground, actually in a few weeks at the end of the war. Around 25000 people died. Hearing about these events and seeing the beauty that was destroyed makes me think of all the places and people that are threatened by war today. Think of all those little shops, beautiful markets, old streets and people’s homes that are put into the ground in the Middle East for doubious reasons….

A lot of money has been put into Dresden and the inner city really looks like you are walking through a gaint museum. Don’t stroll too far though, the ugly Eastern-style multi-story Plattenbauten are still there too.


Dresden – Stallhof

Unfortunately we were there on a Monday evening and witnessed the demonstration and yes-yes shouting of groups afraid of the influence of Muslim people in Germany. But I guess that’s part of Dresden as well and just shows a bit of sad irony…
Additional notes:
We are not really intending to turn this blog into a travel guide. There is far too much out there already, which does not need to be repeated. But here are some notes about the touristy things we’ve done, in addition to what was described above already.
Our hotel in Nuremberg was close to the train station. It is possible to walk to the old part of town from there, but it’s not just around the corner (as Felix made be believe 😉 ) We didn’t do too much touristy stuff here (other than the castle obviously) , just wandered around and enjoyed the atmosphere. A special festival was going on this day and there were so many street musicians, it was sometimes impossible to listen to just one. We didn’t really plan well where to eat, so just entered a restaurant with a nice beer garden and traditional food. Since we have been in England for such a long time, the most impressive thing was the number of ice cream parlours. You can get ice cream everywhere. Since it was a nice sunny day, it really would have been rude not to eat one.
Walking back to the hotel in the evening was rather interesting, since we walked along the old city wall, which leads you straight into the red light district with women waiting in the windows. We made it through and I only once started laughing……the girl had to laugh too, so it wasn’t too bad. (All I’m saying here is “shake it, shake it”)We stayed in an AirBnB in Bamberg which was ~20 min walk from the old town. There are a lot of quirky little coffee houses and shops (in between the mega touristy shops) and you can find antiques, which would come in handy if you would like to furnish an old castle ;-). The houses in Bamberg are really great, but you can never be sure if you are holding the camera at a strange angle or if it is the house. Here we obviously had to try the Rauchbier. I can not recommend this beer to any vegetarian who doesn’t like the taste of meat, since this just tastes like smoked bacon in a glass. Due to the fact that Bamberg is laid out over 7 hills, I would recommend comfortable shoes.For our two day stay in Dresden Felix found a great hotel. Right at the Altmarkt, we only had to walk 2 minutes to get to the old town, with all the sights, restaurants and cafe houses. The time you need to spent here really depends on what you would like to see. We only had 1.5 days and didn’t manage to visit a single museum. We bought a day pass for public transport and I really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to walk everywhere. Dresden also has numerous quirky places to eat and in some hidden walkways you can find lovely coffee houses. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and we couldn’t do any walks on the surrounding hills.
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