Live Voyage Review: Viking Freya, Danube River Christmas Markets 2012 – Part 5
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.