Europe 2009. September 2-14, 2009.
Nurnberg, Dresden, Berlin, Erfurt, Eisenach, Thuringerwald, Rüdesheim.
View Europe 2009 in a larger map
We arrived early in the morning to Frankfurt International, where we grabbed a high speed train to Nürnberg. We checked into the Grand Hotel Meridien and Heidi decided it was time for a nap. I needed ice cream, so I walked into town and took a few photos. What a gorgeous city.
I tried out my awesome new German language skills I’d been practicing on Rosetta Stone (all three levels) over the past year. I tried to order ice cream and sounded like an idiot and they spoke back to me in english. Deflated, I ate my ice cream and walked back to the hotel to get Heidi out of bed.
We spent a lot of time walking around the old town, checking out the castle and the original neighborhood of Albrecht Dürer.
One of the local churches had some photographs of the damage during WWII.
We decided not to visit the old Nazi stomping grounds, rather we wanted to do a cursory visit of a city we’d like to come back to for the Christmas Markets.
Heidi and I visited Dresden in 1996. The city had only been out of the control of the DDR for 7 years and there was a lot of work to be done. It’s amazing how much has been accomplished.
But first it was time for noon beer. It still felt a little like 3 am, but we were ready to win the jet lag battle!
This is the Augustusbrücke crossing the Elbe River to the Innere Neuestadt or the inner new city. The Innere Neustadt, interestingly enough, is the most socialist looking portion of the city. Zwinger Museum fountain. Dresden Castle. Example of a typically refurbished building in the Altstadt. When we were here in 1996, most of the building looked like this.
This is the Dresden Frauenkirche. In 1996 it was still rubble and the local government was trying to raise funds to built it. The original bricks were still lying in place where they had fallen after the firebombing in 1945. They used as many of the old bricks as possible to reconstruct this beautiful church.
We arrived by train at the AMAZING new hauptbahnhof. It was incredible and had JUST opened.
This is the hotel we stayed at in Berlin. I forgot to mention that we didn’t really plan this trip at all. We just bought plane tickets and went for it. This was the best hotel we could find in Berlin that actually had an available room. Everything in the city was full or WAY out of the center.
Walking back to the city center from the hotel.
One of our first stops was the Brandenburg gate. When we were here in 1996, this part of town was a huge construction zone- now it is beautiful.
We spent some time riding the subway. It was incredibly clean and the only system we’ve experienced using the honor system. No turnstiles. No mandatory tickets. Of course we bought our 3 day passes, but we never got checked. No huge lines, no jumping gates, no craziness. Very German. Very clean.
One of the most interesting historical places was the former Berlin wall.
Reichstag. This is the meeting place of the German parliament. Many think Hitler intentionally set it on fire and blamed the socialists to help raise his popularity in the 1930s. Lots of history here- plus it’s a gorgeous building.
We picked up our little BMW 1 series hatchback and off we drove to Erfurt and Eisenach.