This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Nuremberg Trials and Albrecht Durer - Oct 21, 2018


Not many people out early on Sunday morning as this photo of us, or I should say, Linda on the escalator from the U-Bahn station up to the Train station shows. Hint: the only grocery stores open on Sunday are in the bigger city train stations. Be prepared for aisles jammed like you never experienced. Maybe the reason no one was on the escalator was because they were all in the grocery store? One of those things you need to experience to believe.


The trams were few and far between, plus they had fewer cars.


Our morning destination, The Palace of Justice where in courtroom 600 between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946 the Nazi war criminals and organizations were tried form crimes committed during WW II. We had been here during our previous trip and it was on our must visit list again.

For anyone visiting, it is place that takes hours to see. It is not something to visit with a tour group. There is no way during that rushed visit the true horror and resulting comprehension and the beginning of understanding of what happened here can be experienced. It is simply beyond my  ability to comprehend that people can actually believe the atrocities that occurred during the war never happened. Did the birth lottery put you in the wrong group? You’d be hauled off to your State sanctioned execution, being part of the final solution, or to say it for what it was, murder.


Courtroom 600 is not a memorial, it is a working courtroom that has been significantly changed from what it looked during the trials. We came on a Sunday hoping to be able to enter it. However there was an International Justice Conference being held in it, so the only viewing was through the small windows up on the third floor. We had been in the courtroom the last time we were here, but we had to feel sorry for those who were here to see it today.


The courtroom today.


Each visitor is given an personal audio guide in their language (all the signage is in German). Linda having been here before and knowing we would be here for hours, grabbed one of the folding seats they have by the entrance. Most of the exhibits are photographs, though some are movie film (now video) taken at the time.


Example of a display. The top photo shows the absolute devastation to the city. However, the allies spared the huge Grand Hotel so they would have a place for the personnel conducting the trials to meet and work. They also did not bomb the Palace of Justice or the prison attached to it so the trials could be held there. The rest of the old town was basically incinerated by allied bombing, along with numerous inhabitants.


Actual bench where some of the accused Nazi war criminals sat during the trials. I use the word accused because some of them were acquitted of the crimes they were accused of.


You might recognize one of the American reporters covering the trials. Especially if you watched the CBS Evening News in the 60’s and 70’s



Everywhere yo look there is something about the trials. The trails were held under the US system of courts. This was radically different from who European courts operated and put the defense attorneys for the accused a huge disadvantage. One comes away wondering what would have happened had the playing field been level so to speak. This is not to lessen what the accused did, but to wonder just how fair our supposedly fair court system really is. Why do the rich always seemingly get off, if they are even charged in the first place, but the poor are quickly tried and convicted. What is equal under the law about that?


A stack of file folders with this note. Seeing things like this makes the trials real.


A last look as we are leaving to give you an idea of what to expect if you visit. This was later in the day and the crowds had dissipated. I know I get carried away writing about this place, but what happened here sears deep into my soul. How can humans be so stupid as to let similar things happen over in over in countries throughout the world? What does it mean to make a country great? Nazi Germany was also once “great”.


Back to the present, and back to just up the street from our apartment. It was time to head back in time to when a man named Albrecht Durer called Nuremberg home.


Turn the corner and we are back in time.


One of the most famous self portraits of all time. (This is a copy of the original.)


Durer’s book illustrations were a giant leap forward. No more flat people with halos staring expressionless  from the canvas, rather real people doing real things.


Drawn in 1514. A real person. Love it!


Wonder what Durer would have seen looking out this same window on a Sunday afternoon when he lived here?


Inked engraving read to go into the printing press.


Pinter and printer’s apprentice at work.


I didn’t do too bad if I do say so, and my print is coming home to hang in the coach house.


This was the actual house Durer had lived in. That was some latch on the door, as the pretty model demonstrates.


Stone cutter’s mark on a stone block near our apartment. History is everywhere we look. Till tomorrow, tough day for me today, and an even tougher one planned for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Exploring Nuremberg and Relaxing - Oct, 20, 2018

One of the lessons we have learned over the years is that by traveling for extended periods of time, we do not have to cram every day with going or doing. Today was to be one of those not doing much days.


On the other hand, Ms. Swipe the Soap had been busy at the hotels we stayed at during the Nat Geo Expedition. (I just can’t get used to typing “expedition” instead of “tour”.) Soap, shampoo and conditioner. No wonder my luggage is so heavy. Next I’ll be discovering she was picking up rocks everywhere we traveled, and that has also found its way into my luggage. Pack Man Bob.


On the way to the Bakeri  (bakery) just up the street. Nothing wrong with going to see the Grand Canyon, just as there is nothing wrong with traveling overseas.


Fresh baked this morning and a minute from the bakery.


After breakfast it was off to the grocery store, a nine minute walk.


Th map showed us crossing a bridge, this was the view we saw.


Near the grocery store we see this banner, a fish festival is taking place. It was two hours later that we finally got to the grocery store.


We didn’t spend two hours at the festival, it wasn’t even open for the day yet, it was just that once we made the turn away from the grocery store we just wandered. We were at a corner and Linda said, “The hotel we stayed at last time is just around the corner.” Sure enough it was.

What made it special was the dark brown section on the right. It was the only building in this section of the Old City to survive the war without being a burnt out hulk.


The Rewe, just to prove we actually did get around to grocery shopping.


Linda likes to take a photo of what we buy. Bob likes his life the way it is. Bob posts the photo Linda takes. The white sausages in the foreground are Munchen Weisswurst. Bob is going to eat good between that and the cheese. Linda went the healthy food route. Bob is only going to be in Germany for two and a half weeks, Bob is going to enjoy what he eats, dieting can come later. Bad Bob? No, Happy Bob.


Not a word of English on how to operate the clothes washer. Linda copied the words and Google translated them. No go, no joy. Bob just started pushing buttons and eventually the washer made a noise and started. Linda said, “You may have got it started but it says it is going to wash for 2 hours 5 minutes, it will take forever to get down.” Bob looked at her, smiled and replied, “Actually, my way will take only 2 hours 5 minutes, but your way really would have taken forever since you couldn’t even get it started.” Bob would have been much better off not saying anything.


Life is good.


Clothes dryer. It was a good use for the second room.


Snack time, easy to tell which plate is hers. Both of my mom’s parents came from family’s that were literally Swiss cheesemakers (and one of them still is). I’m genetically required to eat cheese or I’ll begin to fall apart. Lucky Bob.


Overheated the wurst and casing split. however it made it easier to peel off. You don’t eat the casing on Weisswurst.


Linda photo out our balcony door. Life well lived if only I’d learn when to keep my mouth shut. But never worry, I’m not about to tell her to figure out how to start the washing machine the next time she wants to use it. That’s a road I sure don’t want to go down. Wise Bob.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Nuremberg - Oct. 19, 2018


Time to leave Wurzburg and travel to Nuremberg. Direct RE trains every hour and the Bayern Ticket make it inexpensive and easy.


Since we couldn’t get into our apartment until after 3 PM, we left our luggage at the train station and set off to get reacquainted with the town. The photo was really taken so Linda would remember what our locker number was. I had the key and the number was on the key, but double sure is double good.

Deciding that a preemptive strike was better than scrambling at the last minute to locate a WC, we used the WC at the station. It was one Euro, but the receipt was good for 0.50 Euro off at many of the places in the station. Linda said she got more than a Euro’s worth of entertainment watching the automatic toilet seat cleaner.


Friday afternoon all these folks are dressed up. The occasion, time to get married. The building is a Rathaus (city hall) and since official marriages are civil ceremonies, you can have a second religious ceremony if you want later, these are people waiting to officially tie the knot.


You can take the girl away from Wurzburg but you can’t take the Silvaner away from the girl. As for me, it was time for a beer. Linda tried the beer and confessed that if they hadn’t had Silvaner she would have had the beer. No weak, pale wanabee  beer for my wife.


So we are crossing a bridge and we see this.


All the places are selling things from Italy.


Before heading back to the train station for our luggage, we stopped by our apartment we have rented for the coming week. Hard to believe it was only €75 a night right next to the old city wall, a bakery just around the corner and a tram stop less than 2 minutes away. Plus it is very roomy, kitchen, bath, two bedrooms, living room and a balcony. Sometimes we just luck out. Okay, so the years of travel may also have something to do with it, that and the fact I married a woman who knows what she wants. Smart Bob.


Actually, I suspect the real reason she picked it was for the washing machine. Smart Linda.


Retrieving our luggage. All this fit into the locker with room to spare.


I had two bottles of Silvaner in my luggage. Very Smart Bob

Friday, October 19, 2018

A boat Trip to Veitshöchheim - Oct. 18, 2018


Trash goes in the trash can, but recyclables are set nearby. Contrast that to our country.


High water marks on the base of the Alter Kranen, a crane built in 1772. The Main River can come way out of its banks.

PA181005 Early morning fog and haze over Wurzburg.


After the sun burned through.


Just another of the reasons why we enjoyed Wurzburg so much the first time, that we had to come back. And it wasn’t because of this boat because we didn’t take this trip the the first time. It is because it is such a beautiful place and the people are wonderful.


Linda took flower photos while we waited to board the boat.


I took photos of Linda taking flower photos.


Cruising down the Main past the vineyards where our favorite wine grows. The harvest is over for the year, but the beauty of the vines is still there.


Selfie of the day. Hoodie Linda was nice and warm, four layers worth of warm.


Bird photo. Cormorant identification by Linda.


The fall colors are out.


After disembarking, we followed the crowd. Passing a table with this inlay, Linda wondered what it was for. I guess she also took a photo of it.


Summer residence of the Prince-Bishops. The Schloss was closed, but the real reason to be here was the gardens. At least that is what we read on the internet, so we know it had to be true.


The gardeners were busy changing out all the plants.


The bulbs and plants were on this cart. Curious Linda.


I never know what is going to show up when I download Linda’s photos.






Photo of the gardens.


Linda said I looked exactly like the statue in this photo. Wonder where she got that idea?


Later we walked into the small town and peeked inside this church. You don’t have to visit a cathedral to see a beautiful church.


Carving on the end a pew.


Ivy turning red.


Another Linda photo.


Life is good.


Very Good, indeed.


Back at our hotel relaxing in the early evening. A pretty girl and a glass of Silvaner. Happy Linda. Happy Bob.