Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 1: Nuremburg in 3.5 Hours

Despite my maiden name, I know very little about Germany outside of beer, castles, and WWI & II.  Our cruise began in Nuremburg and outside of the infamous Nazi trials at the Palace of Justice, I really had no appreciation for its history.

But a place first mentioned in writing in 1050 as an established town has a history significant even before 1945.  But that was what the first part of our tour focused on.

We only had a few hours in the morning, so we were all put on buses with a tour guide and got to the non-touch tour of the city.  Seeing sites from a bus window is efficient, but it just whet our appetite to really explore. 

This is one of the most arresting first sights (and note that most of my photos I grabbed off the internet as pictures from a moving bus tend to look like this:DSCN0236 )



Yep, basically a Coliseum replica planned as part of a dominating symbol of the timelessness that the Nazi regime intended in the tradition of the Roman Empire. 


And then you get to the back and realized that it has never been completed, so it’s now a different kind of monument.


And this is right next to the much photographed Nazi Parade Grounds.  I liked this picture of the present superimposed with the past. 


Back in the day, the grand stage had a golden swastika atop, which we heard the Americans quickly blew up.  The grand pillars were taken down later by the German government, but the now-weedy stands are still there.


And today:


The Palace of Justice is where the Nuremburg trials took place, held there mostly for security reasons.  Behind the main building is the prison (still there and operational), and instead of needing secure car transports, only secure elevators and tunnels had to be used.  Of course, we only got to drive around it and the tour guide passed around pictures of the trials with German captions.


Then we saw St. John’s Cemetery which may have been the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and I really like cemeteries.  Of course, we just drove by it.


By this time, I’m getting itchy—I’ve been taunted by tourist window shopping. Thankfully, we drove to the Castle…and stopped the bus.  Here’s the money shot, again swiped from the internet. 


Of course, it’s not quite that easy. While absolutely beautiful and history today, this is what it looked like in 1945 (Kyla, that was the end of WWII, and a lot of places in Europe had been bombed beyond recognition).


But here’s that same view today.DSCN0269


And here’s one last shot for my kids.  Do you remember the tale of St. George and the Dragon?  He slays the beasts and it is a work of God and is revered by the people for his heroics.  George is all over the area, but I, like you, always root for the dragon.



The rest of the afternoon was spent pleasantly cruising down the canal and through many locks. If I were captain of the Hlin (and since this is just it’s third voyage ever, it’s a really good thing I’m not), there would be green stripes of paint on both sides of the ship before we left the first lock.  That good pilot had a few inch clearance on either side.  Of course, I did spot a few scrapes on the black bumpers…

1 comment:

Brian Kruger said...

The old vs new shots of Germany are amazing!