July 3, 2014
We are hoping the highway out of Prague heading to Germany will be better that our approach from Austria. At any rate, we left after rush hour to minimize stress to both driver and passenger. Departure was so much better than arrival! The GPS was in my death grip so I could be the navigator out of Prague. For any who know me – navigator is the farthest thing from who I am and what I do. I feel stressed to the max! However, I worked hard at staying calm – and together we did it 🙂
The highway out did prove to be much better. We were grateful for lovely weather, gentle autobahn and a peaceful start with our destination for the day – Nuremberg. With our Czech coins left behind we wondered what experiences would be ahead in Bavaria. The forest became thicker, the cheesy CZ border was imminent and then – the Black Forest. Lush, green, tall and straight. A good place to nod off except the 140-150 km speeds tend to keep you a little more alert due to the wind battering your head.
We found a roadside gas station that was serving fresh food like salad and meat loaf. For a few Euros, the sturdy German lady lady says ‘it’s gut German food’. We agree – delish! Ready to roll the last hour or so to the best kept boutique (inn) I’ve ever seen – Hotel Klughardt – very near the centre of Old Town (on the metro). The owner – Elizabeth – an elderly lady warmly greeted us. It was a small hotel, but completely updated – we were thrilled. We settled in quickly, bought our now standard metro passes and headed for our first taste of Nuremberg. What a delight! We got off at the main station and meandered through the streets to get our bearings. We ventured into the old (circa 13-14th century) walled city and quickly found a biergarten established in the 1800’s. We trusted the English menu and ordered pork knuckle and sauerkraut with knoedel (potato dumpling) with our waitress’s curt approval. We always share meals so that we can broaden our food sampling. Both meals were German comfort food made by mom! WOW! The ‘crackling’ on the shoulder was to die for…crispy, smoky goodness. The meat fell off the shoulder into a pool of seasoned delicious sauce…..mmmm…The knuckle was so tender is forked away and each bite dipped in mustard was more compelling than the prior one. Brought back memories of my mom making ham hocks which I was thought were totally disgusting then…..boy was I wrong!
German food is plentiful and cheap. We feel wasteful but we cannot finish our plates. We packed up and walked through this photogenic town – here – there – everywhere. Since our German was limited to pleasantries, our ability to understand is correspondingly limited. However, we did see a sign that resonated and, in the end, captivated us – ‘Summer in the City Fest’. We love ‘fest’! Before long, we saw huge crowds, masses of umbrellas and beach sand! Hundreds of beach chairs! It is ‘summer in the city’ to be sure! People everywhere were enjoying an evening drink as if they were on the beach – except they were in business attire for the most part. There was fun food, palm trees, tiki huts – a real party for this landlocked, very warm city. We bought into it as well…found our places courtside for beach volleyball and people watched for awhile. As darkness was falling, we reluctantly left to find our night tram home. It left us tired from the sheer fun of it – can’t wait till tomorrow!