My mom and I have returned home from our excellent Viking River Cruises trip yesterday, but I wanted to be sure to include a post dedicated to our final stop of our journey – Nuremberg, Germany.

This city has an unquestionably dark history in regards to World War II and the Nazis, and several relics of that time are left behind including an unfinished Colosseum-like structure (seen above from the outside and below from the inside) that Hitler commissioned to be built for use only once a year as an auditorium to host rallies.

Other remnants include the zeppelin field with this set of bleachers famous from war footage showing a swastika being blasted off the structure.

In a move defiant of the third reich’s demented ideology, all streets surrounding this area are now named after former Israeli prime ministers.

Nuremberg does also showcase less depressing historical points of interest. Its well known for early railroad innovation and the extensive infrastructure that remains to this day. The city’s rail station is quite palatial.

The city’s walled medieval city is also impressive and features a now dry moat that encircles the old ramparts.

The included castle is quite a sight with its numerous roof mounted windows.

After our bus tour overview of the city, we stopped off at the central Christmas market in the afternoon. The surrounding gothic architecture dramatically frames the market.

Horse carriage rides around the area prove very popular among visiting families.

And as has been the norm for our trip, snow dusted buildings are a common sight that so perfectly set the seasonal mood.

Our stop at Nuremberg occurred on Saturday – our only weekend Christmas markets visit – and was considerably busier as a result. Crowds were extraordinary and made navigation down the aisles very difficult.

The selection of goods was up there with the best we have found at the markets. We’re particularly suckers for teddy bears, so this booth was a favorite of ours.

The cathedral at the end of the courtyard acts as the stage for a live orchestra playing Christmas tunes heard throughout.

Between the orchestra’s songs, another band sneaked jazz tunes in as well. I was particularly delighted to hear them play the cantina piece from Star Wars within their set.

I also had to sample a bratwurst which the bun was no match for. Foot long hot dogs have nothing on these bad boys. Garnished with sautéed onions, the sausage was a delicious local treat.

From above, the striped tents struck me as a scene from a winter-themed Where’s Waldo book.

With the setting sun, the playful Christmas lights began to illuminate…

…and the surrounding buildings similarly lit up to follow suit.

The cathedral itself remained surprisingly dark but glowed just a bit with the help of surrounding Christmas trees.

But it was the warm glow from the booths themselves and the smells of mulled wine and sausage that stood out the most as nightfall crept upon the magical market.

Also, head over to our concluding Post Voyage Review as well as our Viking Freya Video Review. Thanks for joining us!

7 Responses to Live Voyage Review: Viking Freya, Danube River Christmas Markets 2012 – Part 5

  1. Jeff Titelius

    Fantastic reporting my friend! I loved every moment, every photograph and every word of your voyage! And by oh boy, could I go for one of those foot-long bratwurst a right about now!! Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously!

  2. J. Powers

    Did you prolong your stay in Nuremburg?
    My mother is 88 years old and moves rather slowly. Is the ship amenable to people with canes? Would she enjoy or even be able to take advantage of the off-ship excursions?

    • Jason Leppert

      Hi there!

      We didn’t stay in Nuremberg beyond the single day the ship docks there, but we did find that time to be plenty at least for an overview of the area.

      I believe your mother could handle navigating Viking Freya or any of Viking River Cruises’ latest longships (as I’ve experienced) well enough. The onboard spaces are uncluttered, and there’s an elevator that reaches all levels but the sun deck. Specific slower-paced shore excursions are also available.

      Truly, the biggest hurdle will be the ridged gangplank on and off the ship as it can sometimes be very steep (more so than on an ocean cruise ship) and slippery in rainy, snowy and occasionally icy conditions. I would consider itineraries during drier times of the year if she could at least handle the periodic incline of the gangway.

      Please do let me know if you have any further questions. I’d be glad to answer them!

      – ‘Captain’ Jason Leppert

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