Travel Diary: Cities with Walls, Market Squares and Everything in Between

The past four days (and 700 km ;)) have flown by. From Munich, we hopped on the Autobahn to Nuremberg for a day of sight-seeing there, and then on to Dresden… new record 190 km/hr. Good Grief.

Nuremberg is home to famous Christmas Markets in November and December, and the market square there would be absolutely stunning when lit up during that season… another place to return to… that list keeps growing! 😉

In order to get to the market square, we passed through the city wall… once a fortress wall of the medieval city, it houses businesses and even little apartments today! It is this dichotomy that we have come to love about Europe… pass through a medieval wall, and walk along streets created in a medieval town, to shop at beautiful modern shops, eat delicious food, and appreciate music and art of today and yesterday. It is truly delightful for all the senses!

Walking along Nuremberg streets to arrive at the Nuremberg Palace means walking UP. From the market square, we chose one of several routes to walk along the cobblestone streets up, up, up, and up to the castle courtyard. An amazing thing happened there… two little knights-and-castles-crazy kids said, “can we just play outside this castle?!” I couldn’t believe it… Germany had taken the castle out of our kids. There are that many of them. Truly. So, we wandered around the castle grounds and did not do a tour of this one!

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A view of Nuremberg from the castle courtyard.
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Nuremberg Castle from below (and the rocky outcrop it is built on… a playground for these two climbers!)
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The boys have quite taken to “malzbier”… non-alcoholic malt beer on the kids drink menu… 😉
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This fountain is in the central market square (Hauptmarkt) of old Nuremberg. It is an example of the many BEAUTIFUL, extremely detailed, gold-plated statues and monuments we have seen throughout our travels
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Church of our Lady in the Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg

 

Nuremberg is also home to Zepplin Field and the National Socialist Party Parade Grounds. As with other sites we have visited with memories of war, this one felt oddly peaceful now. The city of Nuremberg is currently working to restore the site, but what currently remains is hardly magnificent or compelling as it was under Hitler. Today, it is merely stone and concrete grandstands with the grandeur of the columns and platforms demolished. We stood and imagined the hundreds of thousands of spectators cheering and encouraging the tyrannical government that once had its seat there, and it seemed like that must have been a lifetime ago, but visitors such as us remember so that the great atrocities of that time are not forgotten.

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Remains of the grandstand overlooking Zepplin Field where Hitler spoke to 200,000 people and addressed his Army.

On our way to Dresden, we stopped in the town of Bamberg for lunch. Bamberg is a World Historic Site, as it has been largely unaltered since medieval times. We walked along the bridges and narrow cobblestone streets – a perfect break from the Autobahn!!

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One of the Bridges of Bamberg.

As we drove into Dresden, we seemed to be entering a non-descript German city… until we arrived closer to the old city center… Dresden is FULL of beautiful architecture (CT and JJ decided that we had entered Hogsmeade and didn’t even know it!) and the most delicious drinking chocolate shop EVER (that’s right, it’s “drinking chocolate”… not “hot chocolate” – that would not do it justice. We are talking chocolate bar in a cup kind of goodness). Our day in Dresden was a very rainy one, so after a family run through the old city in the morning, we hunkered down in our room for a while, and then explored a little more later in the evening! We all agreed that Dresden was among the most beautiful cities we have visited. The camera got a VERY good work out after only one day there!!!

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Dresden Cathedral and Dresden Palace – too many photos, not enough time!
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Dresden Opera House
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The entrance to Hogsmeade (not really)… actually, part of the wall around Dresden Castle
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More of Beautiful Dresden
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Our noble gentlemen explore Dresden.
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A fairytale place… some Christmas market shopping in my bag!
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Singing in the rain in Dresden!
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Best. Park. EVER! Dresden.
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A wet run along the Elbe River, Dresden (Dresden Cathedral in the background).

Our adventure is quickly drawing to a close… Berlin awaits us… and very soon after the long flight home!

 

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