Nuremberg is just a hop skip and a jump away from Anbach, and I was able to enjoy this unique city on both a recent weekend trip and an evening adventure this weekend. I love Nuremberg because, like so many other German towns, it has so much to offer: gorgeous architecture, historical relevance, delicious food, and vivacious culture. This little city is something special though, with its authentic and comfortable atmosphere contrasted with its wild side of fiery festivals and events.
Last weekend Casey and I explored the blue-skied Nuremberg with its bustling Easter Market. We sampled wonderful cheeses (my favorite was covered in purple wildflowers) and browsed the artesian Easter goods. We enjoyed a visit to the Nuremberg zoo, which was nestled into a forested hillside, and even got to visit the Nazi Rally Grounds, where Hitler gave some of his most famous speeches. We closed the day at a festive beer hall, where our waiter offered us our evening beverage selection: “beer or no beer?” I never liked beer until I tried real German beer, cool and thick in a frosted pint glass. The beer hall turned out to be the gathering place of dramatic fans from the day’s football (soccer) game. Fans flooded the hall sporting their team’s colors, and proceeded to celebrate their team’s victory or morn their loss, filling the rustic building with passionate chants and songs, tears, and even a couple of rival fights.
This weekend I headed back to Nuremberg for an evening at the Nuremberg Volksfest—an outdoor folk festival reminiscent of a mini-Oktoberfest. The air was filled with the rich scent of roasting nuts and pulled pork, and modern and spectacular carnival rides towered above colorful carnival games. Some of the most popular attractions of this two-week-long festival are the Festhalles, which are filled to brimming with fresh-pulled pints and singing party-goers, who are more likely to dance on the table tops and benches than on the ground. The atmosphere in our Festhalle was festive to the extreme—I don’t think I've ever been around so many happy, laughing, dancing people at one time. The Volksfest was a truly memorable experience, and a delicious taste of the wonderful festivals that Germany is known for. Nuremberg is a wonderful city to have so close by.