Nuremburg: The Rally Grounds

Let me start this post with a little fact about myself. Part of the reason why I chose this section of the world to travel to for my first trip, was because I am fascinated with WWII and the rule of the Nazi Party. When Joey suggested we stop in Nuremburg for a few days to stay with his OTHER friend Chris, I immediately agreed, knowing that there would be much history to see and to learn about there.

So after a morning of crepes in Mainz, Chris #1 escorted Joey and I to the train station to make sure that we got to our bus stop with plenty of time. His lovely girlfriend met us there and we had a beer (well, I did, they all had hot chocolates. Whimps.) Although I had a wonderful time in Mainz, I was ready for my next destination.

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Geez… no need to call names, bro!

The bus ride was rainy, but still beautiful and only took about 2-3 hours. Once we arrived in Nuremburg Joey’s OTHER friend Chris (Chris #2) was there waiting for us at the stop. We took the tram to his flat and put our stuff down. Since his roommate was out of town for a few days we got to stay in a real bed! Oh my! No 12 person dormitory for us for a few nights.

The three of us walked across the street to a traditional German restaurant and beer hall. We ordered a few delicious beers (I swear in each city the beers get bigger and bigger) as well as a variety plate of all things German and a plate of some sort of large sausage. I am having a hard time remembering the names of food, sorry. All of it was really good except the meat thing that they call “head cheese.” Even the name is gross. But Joey gobbled it up with no problem while Chris #2 and I stayed far away from it.

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With full and happy bellies, our next destination was downtown Nuremburg! Chris had to work on writing his thesis the next day so he wanted to show us a good time the night before getting down to it. We stopped by a bar he had been told by friends to check out, but we didn’t take into account that it was still only 8 or 9 PM and many places just opened and no one was out partying yet. We proceeded to walk around the empty, ghost-like streets until we came upon a bar called ‘The California Grill.’ Being a Californian, I was curious to see what was so ‘Californian’ about it. Well, apparently, nothing. Other than naming their dishes after cities in California; Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. Despite that, we stayed for a large hefeweizen (and a shot of whiskey for me!) and I got to know Chris a little bit. He is a very tall, 27 year old native German, who is currently writing his thesis on something that has to do with marketing. I have the worst memory EVER when it comes to these kinds of conversations. Joey and Chris had met in San Francisco years before when Chris was doing an internship, and they have been friends ever since.

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From the pathetic-excuse for a California bar, we stopped for a classy cocktail at yet another establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. The drinks, in all their fruity glory, can be seen in the above photo of Jo and Chris.

At this point in the evening I was feeling relaxed and really wanted to play a game of pool. I miss my Silver Spur (you can call it my Cheers), and all my billiard-loving friends. We found a place that is in a basement of a building that had slot machines (there are Casinos and gambling everywhere in Germany) a few pool tables, table tennis, as well as hookah! The three of us played a few games, and although I was doing well at first, the whiskeys started to get the best of me and I lost my rhythm. Needless to say… Chris beat me a time or two. We then ordered a round of hookah, but decided a bit later that we were tired of it and gave the rest to the table next to us.

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This righteous mural led us down to the basement bar. The picture does not portray how colorful it was!

At this point we felt it was late enough to swing by our originally planned bar stop. This place was crawling with people now! There was an area you could play Mario Kart, a dance floor, a bar, and a coat check. It was raining so I had worn my favorite beanie, and felt quite out of place amongst these club-music-dancing 20-year olds. But hey, I gotta make the best of it, so I head to the bar to buy us a round. I am a bit smaller than the boys, so I squeezed my way up to the bar and proceeded to order a few jagermeisters. While I was in the middle of that, I hear a ruckus behind me and turn to see some guy in Joey’s face, oozing with hostility. Apparently this man thought the guys were trying to cut him in line for a drink, when they were just trying to meet me to grab the drinks I purchased. Luckily, the situation subsided and we went to the dancefloor to dance to the silly music.

On the dancefloor, my beanie was grabbed off my head more than once, and people tried to wear it, steal it, and one girl even tried to take it to the bathroom before Chris intercepted her with the fierceness of a lion. We had had enough of this strange place so we grabbed a cab and booked it back to Chris’ flat to call it a night.

The following day Joey and I got up and Chris escorted us on the tram to the Nazi Party Documentation Center which is located in the north wing of the unfinished remains of the Congress hall of the former Nazi party rallies. Being a history nerd, I was absolutely fascinated. We spent about 4 hours reading and listening to the audio tour, learning as much as we possibly could. I have been to many museums and exhibits, but not one of them have kept my attention for an entire 4 hours. There were short little films playing in some rooms, many things to read and memorabilia to see. I would get into a lot of detail, but it has been so long since I was actually there many of the facts are fuzzy, and honestly, you should just check it out for yourself someday.

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After our very educating afternoon, the two of us went back to the authentic German restaurant and had a few more beers and ate more tasty food. When Chris was finished working on his thesis for the day, the three of us hopped on a train to Chris’ girlfriends town, a few stops away. The four of us found ourselves in a very quaint, very beautiful little local spot where Chris and Sabine (Chris´ girlfriend) chowed down on some food and we all drank beer (surprised?) It was such a wonderful and mellow night, getting to know Chris and Sabine was such a pleasure. I am very glad I had the opportunity to meet such great people.

That night Chris stayed at Sabines’ house, so Joey and I had our very own rooms back at his flat! I watched hours of Mad Men, read more Game of Thrones and finally got some restful and amazing sleep in a very large comfy bed. It made me miss mine a little bit.

The next day Joey and I got up really early to check out “Old Town” Nuremburg before leaving for Munich. The town was incredible! It was a Sunday, so there was an open-air market in the main square. I felt like a local! We walked around the Castle and through little narrow side streets, and snacked on a cheese-filled pretzel. I absolutely loved it. Apparently, Hitler used to call Nuremburg “The most German city in all of Germany,” and so far I think that was one thing he may have been right about. It was a perfect reflection of the German culture and German architecture.

That afternoon Joey and I hopped on a fairly short train ride to Munich for our next adventure. Now you may have to wait a month to read THAT post, considering I cannot seem to find the time to write anymore. I am having too much fun 😉

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