El blog de Jaizki

15 agosto 2006

Visiting Bavaria - Day 2

This post is the continuation of the previous one: Visiting Bavaria - Day 1.

Saturday, Josef and Ingrid took me to Erlangen. There is an important university there, but the reason for the visit was to know one the two Siemens headquarters, the other one is in Munich. Erlangen has little more than 100,000 inhabitants, and 30,000 of them are Siemens employees. It's really incredible the amount and the size of the buildings the company has there.

After a quick visit by car to Erlangen, we went to Nuremberg (pictures). One of the first things you see when entering the city is Schöller, an old ice cream factory that was bought by Nestlé. In this factory they sell Lebkuchen, traditional Nuremberg cookies. If you want, you can buy them packed in richly decorated tins.

Next stop was Nuremberg's old town, within the city wall. In fact, Nuremberg was destroyed by the allied air raids during World War II so almost everything within the city wall is relatively modern. Nevertheless, they city was rebuilt trying to recover its pre-war appearance.

There we realised that some streets and the main square were occupied for the celebration of Red Bull District Ride 2006 (pictures), a spectacular mountain bike freeride competition.

In Nuremberg you can find Albrecht Dürer's house. He was a famous painter whom I had never heard of. For Ingrid, it was hard to believe, but I'm afraid my painting knowledge is mainly national.

In the castle (picture) we visited Tiefer Brunnen, a really deep well that was excavated to get water from the river to the castle. It's inside a stone and timber building (picture). Next thing we did was raise to Sinwellturm (picture), a tower from which you can see the whole city, thanks to the almost total absence of high buildings.

From the castle we went to the Medieval Dungeons (picture), below the old city hall. Numerous instruments of torture are exhibited there, those the Inquisition introduced in Germany as from the 14th century.

By then it was quite late, so while taking a walk through the most commercial part of the city, Josef and I enjoyed a pair of Nürnberger Rostbratwurst rolls. Those are small bread rolls filled with the typical small bratwurst sausages from Nuremberg. You can find them in most street stalls. Ingrid chose something much healthier, a fruit salad.

We arrived to the main square, where Schöner Brunnen fountain (picture) is located. A blacksmith managed to imbed a golden ring in its fence with no welding. It's said that turning it brings good luck, I guess that's the reason it's so shining.

As it was starting to rain we went to a café, in which I discovered the Eiskaffee (picture). If you want to try it at home, the recipe is simple: prepare coffee, mix it with sugar, let it cool, put it in the fridge, take it out when already cold, add vanilla ice cream and cover it with whipped cream. Much more spectacular that the Spanish coffee with ice (picture).

In this café I also discovered that in Germany (or perhaps only in Baviera, I'm not sure) the usual thing to do, when there are no free tables left in a café, is asking permission to share the tables that are not fully occupied. It seemed peculiar to me, but I suppose it's good for knowing people.

We left Nuremberg towards Rothenburg, a very tourist town. Apparently in Franconia they celebrate Christmas with great passion, and in Rothenburg there's a immense Christmas shop called Käthe Wohlfahrt and opened all year round. You can find in it anything you can imagine to celebrate Christmas. I fear I do not share Ingrid's enthusiasm for this celebration but, anyway, I must admit the store is spectacular.

Of course, we visited Rothenburg most famous crossing (picture), the one that identifies the town in every postcard. Taking the upper street and crossing the tower, there is a brewery in which we stopped to rest for a while, and to try another Franconian specialty: Obatzda, a ball obtained mixing camembert, onion, butter and paprika; just the right food in any diet plan.

In order to reduce the calories shoot, we began to walk over the city wall (picture). This wall surrounds the whole town and it can be accessed from different places. It is possible to buy meters of the wall to obtain the right to put a plate with the text you want, normally your full name.

By the way, in Rothenburg there is a typical pastry, the Schneeball (picture), and of course we bought some of them before leaving the city.

As it was getting late we stopped for dinner at a quite pleasant roadside restaurant. There I had a plate of pork with knödel. Ingrid let me taste the mushrooms usually served with knödels she had ordered, and Josef did the same with his leberknödelsuppe (soup with a ball made of liver).

After dinner, we returned to their house where I taught them and their kids how to play a Spanish card game called "el ladrón" -the thief. To win you have to get more cards than the rest of the players, the good point in the game is that until the last moment it's impossible to know who is going to win, as with a suitable card anyone can take all the cards you have obtained to that moment.

And this is everything that happened on Saturday, or at least everything I can remember.

Continues in Visiting Bavaria - Day 3.

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