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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Christmas cruise on the Danube River - Dec 23rd/2014....

At 10:30 in the morning, AMA presented us with Fruhschoppen - a Bavarian tradition, perhaps described as a mini-luncheon or fancy snack which is served to guests.  They presented a sliced, cold pork meat loaf, selection of German sausages, large pretzels, varied mustards, and beer.  I had the pork sausages, pretzels, mustard, and beer.  I can not resist German sausages of any type.  This was a nice touch, which hit the spot.  For lunch, after the Fruhschoppen, I just had some soup.  In the afternoon, we arrived in Nuremberg and departed for the tour of the city.

Nuremberg is an interesting, enjoyable German city to visit, especially at Christmas time.  During the 13th century, Nuremberg developed into one of Europe’s greatest trade towns.  

Most of the city was completely destroyed in a mere 90 minutes during WWII - the historical buildings were mostly rebuilt using the same bricks.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Adolf Hitler chose the city as the site for his annual Nazi Party Rallies.  Interestingly, the viewing stands of the rally grounds (which are seen in WWII documentary films) are still intact; the large open field (Zeppelin field) in front of the stands has been fenced off. 
Just a short distance from the viewing stands, a huge, unfinished structure called the “Congress Hall” can be seen. The structure’s outer shell was completed prior to WWII, but the inside and roof was unfinished because of the demands of the war.  The U-shaped building reaches a height of 128' and a diameter of 820'.  The design of the outer fa├žade was inspired by and has a similar appearance to the Coliseum in Rome, but larger.  Tours drive their buses into the inside of the structure. 

We started out at the castle - we did not have the time to enter any of the buildings but it is a very interesting place to walk around.  The upper part of the castle offers a dramatic view of the city.   From the castle, we walked into the city to the Tiergartnertoplatz.

The Hauptmarkt is a beautiful medieval plaza containing the Frauenkirche, a gothic church and the Beautiful Fountain resting on a four-step stone pyramid above an octagonal water basin.  The Hauptmarkt during the Christmas market is a special sight and time of the year.  

 At one of the Christmas market booths, I bought their Nuremberg Bratwurst (grilled sausage) which is shorter and thinner than other bratwurst sausages.  They put three to four sausages on a bun.  They are very tasty with some mustard - my favorite German sausage.  AMA gave us a coupon for a free Gluhwein, wine heated short of a boil.  It was getting colder, hovering just short of the freezing point; so the hot wine was just right.

Buses took us back to the ship docked at Nuremberg - we were scheduled to remain tonight and tomorrow night in Nuremberg.  Some passengers would end the cruise in Nuremberg, and new passengers would board the ship.

This would be the last supper for some passengers, and it was another excellent meal.  I had the goose liver pate on pumpernickel for the amuse bouche.  I chose the appetizer with three items:  lobster ragout, butter fish on seaweed salad, and crab meat spring roll; sampling small portions of three items was another nice touch.  I had the cream of mushroom soup and the main course, roasted beef.  They served another excellent red wine.  For dessert, they served another course with three selections - cake, ice cream, and mousse.

 Photos belong to Phil Bianco

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