Emerald Star Cruise Photos
Pre-cruise stay: Nuremberg (2)
We began our second day in Nuremberg with breakfast at the Hotel Drei Raben (included in the "guaranteed lowest available rate" from Booking.com).
A breakfast buffet had been laid out in the hotel's lobby bar, where we'd had a free glass of wine the previous evening. (The Hotel Drei Raben offers its guests a "glass of wine or any other aperitif" with antipasti from 6 to 8 p.m. daily.)
The choice of breads, pastries, fruits, cereals, herring, meats, cheeses, salads, etc. was competitive with breakfast buffets in five-star luxury hotels.
Sandra, the receptionist on duty, offered to make eggs, so Cheryl had an omelette with freshly sautéed vegetables.
Thanks to our hearty breakfast, we had the strength to watch municipal workers lay paving stones on a street near our hotel.
We were happy to be safely on the pavement when we saw a Dachdecker defying gravity on one of Nuremberg's steeply-pitched roofs.
The previous day, as we'd walked along the city walls, we'd been intrigued by the Kettensteg, a suspension footbridge over the River Pegnitz.
The Kettensteg is older than it looks: Although it received a major overhaul in 2010, the bridge's key components date back to 1824, and the Kettensteg is said to be the oldest suspension bridge in Continental Europe.
From the Kettensteg, we had a fine view of the , which runs through Nuremberg's Altstadt. (As the river approaches the city's western walls, a dam and nearby tunnels control the water flow to prevent flooding.)
The section of river near the city walls is now a protected nature area. While walking along the river's banks, we saw geese, ducks, and even a beaver.
The Maxbrücke, built in 1457, was reflected in the quiet waters beyond the weir.
The riverside walkway brought us to the Henkersteg, or Hangman's Bridge, which was built in 1595 and reconstructed in the 1950s after being destroyed in World War II.
The Henkersteg leads to a tiny island in the river, the Trödelmarktinsel, which is home to small independently-owned shops and a few restaurants. (In prior centuries, the island was known for its pig market and flea market.)
In the afternoon, we took a tour of the Historische Kunstbunker or in the Castle Hill, where the city stored its most precious works of art in World War II.
The bunkers, in old beer cellars carved from bedrock under the Imperial Castle, were fitted with air conditioning and pumps to preserve the paintings, statues, historic treasures, and other irreplaceable objects.
Tunnels connect the Historic Art Bunkers with other areas of the Imperial Castle's Historic Rock-Cut Cellars,, which were used as civilian bomb shelters in World War II.
At the end of our tour, we saw photos, unexploded bombs,
and a video that showed the devastation of Nuremberg by Allied bombings and the
city's postwar reconstruction.
Nuremberg's Altstadt still has construction sites. (Although it follows the old medieval plan, the Old City continues to evolve.)
Steeply-pitched tile roofs with dormers are characteristic elements of Nuremberg's architecture, and even newer structures must fit in with restored pre-war buildings like these.
Still, it must be said that modern Nuremberg isn't without international influences.
Durant was especially taken with the Dunkin' Donuts at Königstrasse 76, which was a tasteful combination of rectilinear architecture and circular cuisine.
Tempting though a Krapfen might have been, we saved our appetites
for dinner--this time at the
Bratwursthäusle on the Rathausplatz, a local institution that our hotel receptionist had said we shouldn't miss.
Another day, another platter of Nürnburger sausages (best enjoyed with the Bratwursthäusle's delicate Weinsauerkraut.)
After eating outdoors on the terrace, we checked out the restaurant's cozy interior, which we'll have to try the next time we're in Nuremberg on a cool or rainy day.
How can you tell that a German restaurant caters to locals, and not just to foreign tourists?
By the water bowls for dogs.
For our evening walk, we headed toward the eastern half of the Altstadt, passing a bar-restaurant where football fans were watching France defeat Iceland in the UEFA Euro championships.
Our walk led us to an island in the Pegnitz, the Insel Schütt, where an event called Sommer in der City was running from early May through late July.
The "Nuremberg City Beach" had sand, a boardwalk with chairs for sunbathing, bars serving tropical drinks, food stalls, activities for children, a beach volleyball court, and even a riverside outpost of Dunkin' Donuts.
Leaving the island, we passed Cinecittà, Germany's largest cinema complex, and the or as we walked south toward the main railroad station.
A couple of minutes later, we reached the Lutheran (in English, ), which was largely destroyed by World War II bombing.
The church has been stabilized and preserved as a ruin. Under the name "St. Katherina Open Air," it offers music concerts and theatre performances every summer.
We wrapped up our evening walk by admiring the glass-walled Nuremberg Tourist Information Office at Königstrasse 93, which faces the railroad station and the Königstor city gate.
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