Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eurocruise 18/05 Nuremberg and the elephant in the room

The morning was spent sailing and an author had boarded the boat to give a lecture and flog his book. The lecture about the building of the Main River-Danube River Canal was fascinating and I bought his book about the construction of the canal. That the lecturer and author Daniel Gurtler was quite attractive had nothing to do with me buying the book.

 

A little about the rivers travelled; the Danube rises in Germany and empties into the Black Sea. We travelled upstream on the Danube from Budapest, using locks to rise. One of our travelling companions struck up a conversation with a American living in Budapest and the chap said it was impossible for us to go up the Danube and end up in Amsterdam as the Danube and the Rhine did not connect.

They do. From the Danube, we sailed into the very expensively built Main-Danube Canal, then into the Main River, pronounced mine, and then into the Rhine River and at the mouth of the Rhine at Rotterdam in Netherlands, another canal was used to get to Amsterdam. The history of the construction of Main-Danube Canal is long and tortured, going back centuries. At times it passes over roads and farmland as an aqueduct.

Remembering we are travelling against the current in the Danube, once it reaches the canal it no longer flows and this is the watershed of the Danube, where it is fed by tributaries.

The canal water does not really flow until the Main River joins the canal and we then travel downstream and use locks to lower the boat in the river, rather than raise us as in the Danube. The Main joins the Rhine and it is all downhill to Rotterdam from there.

We went down in three locks each of 25 metres height in succession. See the water draining down from the lock gate? Many did not seem to and receive a decent shower as the boat passed under the gate.




The canal banks are very neat in this part, constructed early in the construction period. After protests by environmentalists, later construction was much more natural and friendly to the environment.


Passing over a road on the aqueduct. 


Guten Morgen .


Lots of solar panels in Germany. Not sure why. We didn't see much sun.


We arrived in Nuremberg after passing the watershed, or the European Continental Divide if you like, and with a choice of medieval Nuremberg or visiting the Nuremberg parade grounds of the Nazi Party rallies and the courtroom of the Nuremberg trials. R and I chose the medieval tour, while our friends went with the latter.

Nuremberg Castle dates back to the 11th century and the walls around Nuremberg were finished in 15th century.


The local guide made a the tour a bit different by pretending we were trying to invade the castle and various methods to prevent us were explained. A arrow may well shoot out of the slot low in the wall.


A big heavy door protected the entrance, with the approach not being straight to prevent battering rams, and also with a very steep rise.



No need to waste hot oil by pouring it on the invaders down this opening. Boiling urine will do.


Something like 70 percent of Nuremberg was destroyed during WWII. Consequently the buildings are quite ordinary in comparison to some other historic towns that did no receive heavy bombing. The yellowish house, almost obscured by a tree was the only one in the area left standing.


You can see it in this old photo, taken from the castle. It's a side view, up a little from the bottom and left.




It is quite a steep town in parts.



See the grates above the roof guttering? To explain to Australians, these are stop huge piles of snow sliding off the roof. Yes, it is a bit crooked looking.



The Ugly Rabbit.


The Church of our Lady.


The western facade.


Eat German sausage and drink steins of beer.


Intriguing waterless fountain. An odd thing was seeing very black African youth sitting around the base of the waterless fountain.


Within this ironwork is a ring. Turn it three times and you will return to Nuremberg. I did.



You don't see knives like this for sale in Australia.

 

Ah, trams in Nuremberg too.


How could we visit Nuremberg and not mention the elephant in the room? Quite easily really, although the maid left us a reminder with an elephant in our room.


Our evening's entertainment was "The Red Lion Pub". I can't remember what that was about, maybe some kind of musical chairs.

22 comments:

  1. During my trip to German, Nuremberg was my favorite place on the trip. Such a beautiful city. I loved the castles!!

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    1. *Germany I mean, not German.

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    2. Oh I agree totally. Nuremberg and Augsburg were two of our favourite cities in Europe, but not because of medieval history. Rather they were the centres of cultivated life in the Renaissance, especially paintings, gold/silver art, printing, sculpture and mechanical invention. YES!

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    3. Keith, while I liked Nuremberg, it was not my favourite place.

      Hels, I don't know of Augburg. Must check take a look.

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  2. Andrew, very interesting post about Nuremberg. It is a typical history lesson.I believe you have enjoyed German sausage and beer. In point of view is delicious. The history of canal is fantastic thanks for sharing.

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    1. Good to learn something Gosia. I didn't know anything about the rivers or canals.

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  3. Red lion pub?
    Omg
    Most Uk villages have a pub called the Red Lion!

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    1. Typical pub name John. I thought it was going to be a British pub set up, but it wasn't.

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  4. Good description of the workings of the locks but more impressed by your knowledge of the German language.

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    1. Err, not much German Fun60. I like anything mechanical, so I found the locks interesting.

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  5. Such a cute little elephant and a damn ugly rabbit. I'm wondering why there is a statue of a rabbit there?
    I love the locks systems and I'm rather intrigued by rivers flowing over the roads by aquaducts. That's a great idea.
    I enjoyed the buildings again and I'm glad you turned that ring to return to Nuremburg. Do you think you actually will? I've been following along as best I can in my atlas with magnifying glass. I found each of those rivers, but can't find the point at which the Danube meets the Main, it's either too small or off the page.
    "Eat German sausage and drink steins of beer", and come back 3kg heavier!

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    1. River, the rabbit was explained to us, but I forget the details now. I don't imagine I will return to Nuremberg, but I turned the ring, so I may well do so.

      I live and die with google maps and that is quite useful if you know the German names of cities. They are mostly recognisable.

      Yes, anorexia was not evident in Germany, rather the opposite. I heard tonight how East Germany once liberated in what, 1989, suddenly were able to get fresh fruit and vegetables, became much healthier.

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  6. Agreeing with River about both the elephant and the bunny.
    I am fascinated by the lock systems - and would love to travel along them.
    I think I would have opted to medieval Nuremberg too - and loved the slant the guide took.

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    1. EC, the going up were much slower than the locks going down, although the both depend on draining water away. I still don't quite have my head around them.

      Generally, the local guides were good, but he made that tour a bit more interesting than bare facts, which are quickly forgotten.

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  7. Finally a deviation from our trip in that we took the Nuremburg rallies and trials sites option. Perhaps that was a mistake. A young tour guide, history student, whose appearance unnervingly matched those of photos of Hitler Youth from WW11 provided what I am sure was an honest appraisal of the activities of the Nazi Party but despite the heat of the day we were left feeling very cold and somewhat unnerved by the ghosts of appalling actions past.

    On a more practical recollection we later took blessed relief (i.e. used the free conveniences) in the McDonalds located in the town square.

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    1. Victor, the only Hitler youth I know is the one singing in the movie Cabaret. I would have liked to have taken the tour you took too, but R has no stomach for such things.

      I expect your guide recited it as history, without any personal connection.

      Ah, yes, McDonalds was a meeting point perhaps? It was almost in one place. I forget now.

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  8. Hello Andrew:

    All of this is most fascinating and we are intrigued to learn about the system of canals and locks which connect these two main rivers.

    We had not realised that Nuremberg had so extensively suffered War damage but clearly, at least in the old part, has been rebuilt to replicate the old. To visit the sites of the 1930s rallies would, we feel, have been a little chilling and clearly was judging by Victor's comment [above].

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    1. JayLa, thank you. It took a little confirming of details to write about the locks and rivers.

      I forget which, but one city we visited was 90% destroyed. I became a little cross about us doing so much damage, but my feelings were corrected at the Transport for London Museum war exhibition a week or so later.

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  9. Thanks for that explanation of the snowfall grating. I have been intensely studying Old Riga lately and wondering about all the roof-edge iron-lace with a balcony and now I know.
    Love locks and would like to do canal boat tour in England.
    The elephant origami is hysterical. Bon voyage (don't mention the war).

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    1. Ann, our Balaclava neighbours came from Riga. Why your interest in Riga? A canal boat tour in England would be good, but it is all about the weather. Just wait for the towel origami monkey.

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  10. Would love to see Europe that way.... Nuremberg is another to add to the list. Your photos and 'tour commentary' are very enjoyable

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    1. Thank you Kath. It is a very pleasant way to travel.

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