May 18, 2010

Fountains in Nuremburg

Greg wanted to call this post "Leaky Nipples" because of a fountain we saw in Nuremberg with the water spouts coming out of the woman's busty armor plate. But my good taste prevailed. We've compiled photos of the beautiful fountains that we passed while in Nuremberg:
hence the name "leaky nipples"

Spouting ducks

The seven stages of marriage fountain...

Apparently, at one stage, you get really fat. I haven't gotten to that yet so I don't know.

Eventually, you kill each other.
As you can see, this artist probably had a really healthy relationship with his wife.

And one of me - yes, that's my winter coat I'm wearing!

May 16, 2010

Saturday in Nuremburg

Side note: To finish up the last post, our afternoon was thwarted by the religious fest - none of the galleries we wanted to see were open! Oh well, we had a great time walking around. Now on to Nuremberg....

Nuremberg was an interesting day trip, although it's a slightly long day from Munich unless you're a hardcore traveler. Um, and I guess we were yesterday (3 museums in 9 hours!!!). The city had been preserved from medieval times until WWII when about 75% of the city was leveled by bombs. It was rebuilt and restored based on what it looked like before so you can see still some of the buildings from the 14th century.

An interesting part we learned about was there was a big synagogue (that looked beautiful in the pictures), which was torn down right before WWII. Nothing was ever built in that spot - as far as it looks like on the map - so the plaza seems like it's now a haunting reminder to its residents of the part Nuremberg played in the persecution of the Jews in WWII (e.g., Nuremberg laws taking away rights of Jews, the Nazi rally grounds and later the Nuremberg trials to prosecute the army leaders).

I regress, back to present day - we took a really early train at 7 am and got into Nuremberg around 9. Walking from the train station into the old town, we stopped by a few fountains (more on those in another post as they have water spouts in unusual spots) and a large church. Crossing over the river on one of the several bridges, we reached the Hauptmarket, central market, where the stalls were just setting up; that's how early we were.

We took a quick coffee break to set a plan of attack and then we went up to the artist Albert Durer's house, still standing even after a bomb exploded in front of it in WWII. One side and the roof had to be restored, but it was looking good after more than 500 years. Inside, there was a museum about Durer, how the artist's family lived and the time period on an audio guide with his "long-dead" wife (seemed to be a pattern in Nuremberg). After that, we walked around the city until we came to a lunch place... Mexican food that was SOOO not even close to being Mexican, it was disturbing. To give you an idea, picture slimy neon orange "cheese" on a burrito filled with spinach and green beans (no arroz con frijoles anywhere). Then and there, we decided never to try Mexican food in Germany ever again.

After our disgusting lunch and some excellent chocolate to get the bad taste out, we walked along the river and then crossed it to go to the Germanisches Museum, a massive museum about German cultural history dating way way way back. We saw everything from musical instruments to paintings to ancient tools to clothing styles through the centuries to Jewish tombstones that had been recovered. It was a large and varied museum with just about everything in it, but I wanted to learn more about Nuremberg's history.

So we went to the city museum Fembohaus for an overview and we had audio guides again with more long-dead people talking to us about the house's history. It was fascinating to see the contribution of each family member throughout the centuries to the house's decor and use. They also had amazing photographs from pre- and post-WWII bombings that showed the house and the cityscape. They did have films about Nuremberg's role in WWII, but unfortunately, it was all in German - no English subtitles or English selection on the audio guides. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much this country doesn't cater to tourists in its museums and historical sites. It's a shame, but I guess they don't get as many tourists as Spain which had a lot available in English at heavily-touristed sites.

Wrapping up our day trip, we had a lovely, quick Italian dinner before climbing on the train, thoroughly exhausted from our day. During this week, I'll post about other aspects of our day trip. Next week I'll be in New York for the week so it'll be a little quiet on the blog (unless Greg takes over... *hint hint*).

I'll leave you now with a photo of me taking over Nuremberg. This is what happens when you leave Greg and I alone, waiting for a video and with only a small city model to look at.

May 14, 2010

Rainy Holiday Weekend

Yesterday was a religious holiday here in Bavaria (not so unusual, there are something like 13 religious holidays per year here) and today was supposed to be a regular work day for us. However, Greg and I both have this day off so we get to spend a normal workday together hanging out for once. Thankfully, the rain has stopped for a little. May has been an unceasingly rainy month so far (except for maybe a few nice days).

This afternoon we're going to head over to check out the festivities going on downtown for the international christian day (or something like that). Apparently, this is a big festival that's held every year around the world and this time, Munich's the host city. Not that the topic is that interesting to us, but there will be music and things to do all around.

After that, we plan to stop by a few galleries that are having cool shows right now - photographs of icebergs, graffiti art and blended photographs. I like to see what art is going on in real-life rather than just what's in the museums, preserved in its importance. Then, we will make a stop at the Munich Readery, a second-hand English bookstore, and meet our friends Ingrid and Malcolm for dinner at the Israeli restaurant, Eclipse. That's our plan for today - how much of that will actually be accomplished, who knows?!?

Tomorrow, we hope to go to Nuremburg for a long day of sight-seeing. I'll post updates when we return of course!

May 10, 2010

Lovely Day in Botanical Gardens

Yesterday the sun came out after a week long rain fest here so we took advantage of it by biking to the botanical gardens near our house. We even got in free because some nice lady handed us two tickets that she didn't need. There were so many people there and it was a great time to go. All the tulips were blooming and everything smelled so sweet! It was a nice big area with sections for blooming flowers, flowering trees, Alpine forest, herb garden, desert plants (with many xeriscape plants we were familiar with from Denver) and greenhouse with different regions of the world covered. Everyone here is a little bit obsessed with nature and flowers, which is really nice to see. Anyway, below you'll see a few pictures from our excursion... as you can see Greg experimented a bit with the macro feature on our new camera. Enjoy!

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May 2, 2010

Erin and Oren's Visit, Part 2

Luckily, we had great weather last week for the few days Erin was still here. Oren has had to suffer the rain this weekend, but oh well! He'll get plenty of sun in Israel, which is his next stop. On Wednesday, we took a trip together to Murnau to see the art museum and the lake, and have a stroll around the town. Afterward, we headed to the Hirschgarten beer garden near our flat to get Erin some real Bavarian sausage before she left. Oren, Greg and I had a picnic dinner at the beer garden, a wonderful tradition that I'm glad has been kept up - you can bring food into the beer garden as long as you buy drinks there. It was a beautiful night to be out and so many people were relaxing with friends there.

Erin left on Thursday morning and Oren headed to Augsburg for a daytrip while Greg and I were at work. On Friday, I worked in the morning from home while Oren walked over to the Nymphenburg palace, which is quite close to our house. After that, we had a shopping day downtown in the pedestrian shopping area. We were thoroughly not impressed with the German sandal fashion since I was on the hunt for sandals to replace my long-worn flip-flops.

Saturday was May Day (Labor day for Germany and apparently, a day notorious for protests as they had some skirmishes in Hamburg). We met our aunt Na'ama, Gil, and their kids, Shay-li, Amit and Yuval, in Viktualienmarket for an outdoor fest with live music and things for the kids to do. Somehow we all came away with handmade buttons (see picture of the cousins below) and a lightweight stone carving made by Amit. Oren, Greg and I hit up a cafe with live music based on a friend's recommendation that night - they had a Spanish band! A little bit of dancing, a little bit of mojito... all was good. And today, Oren braved the rain (and the wild cousins ;-) to go with the family to an art fair in a place called Paffenhauffen (sp?). Just one example of the funny German words and place names we see here. Sounds like someone meant to name the town something else, but because they had food in their mouth, that's what came out instead. Anyway, enjoy a few pics below!

Erin and Scoots communing with nature on our balcony

View of the spring flowers in Murnau

Three of the five cousins at the fest

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