Friday was a holiday here in Bavaria. It was Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. Since the office was closed, it seemed like a great day to take a day trip out of Regensburg. First stop- the train station!
The ICE (Inter City Express) trains here are amazing. They look a bit like Disney’s Monorail trains. They’re fast, quiet, and smooth as glass. The seats are incredibly comfortable as well, and it was actually very affordable.
The destination? Nuremberg! I’d heard that there was a toy museum there, and indeed there is- Nuremberg is apparently quite large in the toy community, and there’s even an International Toy Fair held there every year.
The train station in Nuremberg is significantly larger than the one in Regensburg, so we had to walk a bit to get out of it. This is in the center of it:
Once in Nuremberg, we were on foot, so it’s hard to miss things like this whopping great cathedral. I like the one in Regensburg better, but I think that’s just home-team pride speaking.
The goal for the day was to visit the Spielzeug, aka the Nuremberg Toy Museum. It was four stories tall and contained toys going back to the middle ages, including a great toy train section and an entire room full of creepy porcelain dolls. They also put ALF, Babar, Garfield, E.T., and some Star Wars figures into the same display case, so that was fun for me. Unfortunately, this picture is the only one I can show you, because they didn’t allow photography inside.
After we finished at the museum, we walked around the city for a while. Almost everything was closed for the holiday, with the exception of restaurants, cafes, and museums, but that didn’t stop the street musicians from trying- I’ve never seen so many accordions one any day that didn’t involve a Weird Al concert. We also saw people dressed in the appropriate costumes for the holiday, and we ran into some Mormon missionaries who, as amusing coincidence would have it, one lived in the town where our company’s Utah office is located. There was also this man, the bubble maker. He was fascinating to watch, and the second bubble photograph seen here is my favorite picture from the entire day.
I didn’t learn of Nuremberg’s famous castle until after we returned from the trip. (Note to self: When travelling in Germany, always check for castles. They’re everywhere here, like Starbucks back in the U.S.) I did, however, learn of Schöner Brunnen, the site of a rather amazing fountain surrounded by a wrought iron fence. There is a golden ring welded into the fence which is said to bring good fortune to those who touch it. Naturally, I had to see this one for myself…
That was pretty much it for the trip to Nuremberg though, except for lunch (average pasta) and dessert (amazing apple strudel). I really need to re-think the idea of traveling on holidays. It’s got to be much more interesting when things are open.
Now I need to decide where to go for my next trip!