Friday, December 18, 2015

Nuremberg’s C’s: Churches, Christmas Market and Cruise

The flip chart in the entryway of the boat was full – life, food and entertainment for all hours of the day and night.  There is a breakfast (more continental) for early risers (6-7) in the lounge, there is coffee, tea and hot chocolate 24/24, breakfast – a very decent spread indeed takes place in the restaurant from 7-9, but sleeping in is often not an option if one wants to try and log on to e-mail, take a stroll around the deck, re-read the days program.
A surprise safety drill (well actually they told us that it would be around 8:30 which is why we went to breakfast at 7:30 in order to not have to interrupt it) was led by the captain who is ever so friendly – he has been in the business for 37 years with 10 or 11 on this particular boat!

Capitain Ivan who waved especially when he saw me taking the photo

Mike and myself all decked out

There were briefings this morning and the checking of our individual walking sound systems (so much better than struggling to get close enough to hear the guide (the range is quite large) as in the old days – progress, sweet progress. Then we were off into Nuremberg for a bus city tour: in particular a stop at the Halls of Justice where the Nuremberg trials took place after WWII. This was followed by a short walking tour ending at the main Christmas Market for a spot of shopping before a thirty-minute organ concert.  My friends and I dashed back up to the St. Sebaldus church whose construction began in 1225. It is one of the oldest and most important churches in Nuremberg and like many others Lutheran since the Reformation.

The Bavarian House of Justice
 The Nuremberg trials were held behind the 4 upper windows: the persons on trial lived in the prison accessible via underground corridors the entire time (the allies wanted to make sure that their sympathizers couldn't liberate them before they were duly tried). I was more impressed than I would have imagined.

To the left, our city guide Alex; to the right our Tour Leader Mihai

Inside the St. Sebaldus church
 It does seem rather strange - interesting in any case - that all of these cathedrals now belong mostly to the Lutheran church. To their credit they have left the many works of art, alters and other remainders of their former Catholic builders. 
Yet another gorgeous organ: if only I could have heard more concerts!

One of many canals

Yet another Glockenspiel
Nuremberg was at one time one of the three most important cities in Germany when it was declared the place where the kinds of Germany must first hold court.

The organ in the Frauenkirche
 Another Gothic building of which Charles the IVth was the patron saint. And the church where the organ concert was held at noon. (Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche).  I duly arrived and got front row seats also for my friends, but they never showed - turns out that they arrived 4 minutes after it had started – to locked doors.

The Honey House - open to children later in the day
A lovely little interlude after which I wandered around the center of the town taking many pictures of bridges, old buildings, tours and yet other churches. In the end I had visited all three of the most important ones: St. Sebald, Frauenkirch and St. Lorenz (gothic style and one of the most important buildings in Nuremberg).

On top of the churches, the Christmas market and the various bridges and towers, I indulged in some shopping as I managed to enter and exit some 10 department stores – with nothing to show for my efforts. Perhaps just as well as I have no room in my luggage in any case!

A clever way of trying to make money: one is supposed to pay to take their picture!

Same with the camel, but I was sneaky

The Weisser Turm
 The White Tower although I couldn't find much white about it!  The picture below is of a family all playing and singing together - a much better way of begging than one usually finds - and the kids were pretty good.

St. Lawrence Church

Its organ which sits halfway up the wall

One of many famous works of art from the Middle Ages

A very unique nativity - set in sand

One of the corner towers of the old city walls

Knitted ornaments on the 2nd floor of the tourist office

My last visit was to the handcrafts market at one of the outside towers of the city before heading for the shuttle bus back to the boat.

Tonight after we set sail, we enjoyed the Captain’s welcome drink; the crew introduction, a daily event called “port Talk” during which the next day’s program is presented, followed by the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. 

A spoonful of goodness: salmon & caviar

Duck salad

palate cleanser
Tortellini with Gorgonzola sauce
Trio of Desserts

Although there was onboard entertainment most of us chose to retire to our cabins for some well-earned down time. 

Sugar deco for sweet dreams