Seems like it was just yesterday when my sister arrived from her long tenure in South Korea. One of our first orders of business was to take her to the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt where we all spent long enough gazing longingly at these sausages and sniffing their sweet smoke to not care that much about spoiling our dinners.
I spent most of the weekend sick in bed so no Christmas markets for me. However, I am confident that the opening of the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt was as full of bustle as ever. It’s not a total loss though, we have three more weeks and at some point, it should stop raining… right?
I always make time to get to the Italian Market in the spring and fall, but this picture just reminded me that it used to pop up in summer too. I think it was part of a Venetian weekend in Nürnberg, but I’ll be darned if I can find any information on it now… maybe it no longer exists? Help me if you know! Need more truffle sausage!
What with the World Cup right around the corner, today I’d like to talk about a real sport: American Football, aka, football.
Today BV asked me if we had anything planned for a weekend in the summer. I checked the calendar and said that it was clear as far as I knew, and asked why? He tried to tell me it was a surprise but that lasted all of about two minutes before he caved in.
We’ve talked nearly every year about going to a game for Nürnberg’s local football team, the Nbg Rams, but so far we haven’t made it. Since we’ve dated, BV had watched A LOT of Green Bay Packer games with me, and we are both very curious about what the experience might be like over on this end. I daresay it’s a far cry from the NFL to the Nbg.
It was fresh in his mind as he’d talked football a few times this week. He was accosted by a colleague who spotted him in a Packer t-shirt as he was leaving to bike home in the evening. The colleague wanted to know if he was a real fan, or just wearing the t-shirt to be trendy. The idea of BV doing anything with the express goal of being trendy is pretty damn funny, but I did respect the directness of this colleague, considering I wonder the same thing every time I see a teenager in an Oakland Raiders hat.
So this morning BV checked out the schedule and we picked out a date to possible hit up a game. This was a fairly funny coincidence though, because I had just been talking about the Rams with one of my groups this week.
One of my students had recently been to a game, and wondered if I had ever gone. She said that she had never gone to a high school football game in the U.S. (being German and all), but she imagined that the professionalism level might be higher. When I asked her to elaborate, she gave us some details.
There were probably two or three thousand people at the game, which surprised me a bit. I went to a pretty small high school so they’ve likely got us beat on attendance, but for a big high school, that would probably be reasonable. Then she talked cheerleaders. There were four girls on the squad, and it sounded like one of them ran out of steam after about thirty minutes. They only knew two cheers, or at least she only heard two different ones. I was most definitely not on our high school squad (shocking, I know), but there were a dozen or so girls that were. Despite never having been on the team, I am fairly confident that I could come up with at least three or four cheers that they used to do, even now, 17 years later. What can I say? There was nothing else to do on Friday nights where we lived. Unless of course, you enjoyed drugs. That was also an option.
The scoreboard was another point she brought up. The Rams don’t have an electronic version, instead someone has to change the numbers manually. Apparently if that person wasn’t fast enough, they’d get heckled by spectators. I hope they were just scoring points and not changing the numbers to reflect downs/yardage. That seems like a lot of work. Again, I had to admit that our piddly little high school had an electronic scoreboard. We could get into the politics of school districts throwing more money into the sports programs rather than teaching supplies, updating materials, etc., but let’s not. Keeping it light here.
Note: no disrespect is meant to the Nbg Rams here. My student had only seen pro games on TV before, so this was her first experience live and obviously the production value of the NFL is not an every day thing. As for me, until that game rolls around, I’ll be looking forward to it. The World Cup excitement is always a good time, but this will be a whole new experience. Plus, all tickets come with a drink so win win!
Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, which will possibly now extend into June to compensate for the vacation gap, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.
Nürnberg has such a pretty and walkable Altstadt that very rarely do I opt to follow the ring round around town. For whatever reason though, on this day I did, and managed to get this picture out of it. Not a bad day.
If Oktoberfest seems more chaotic or rowdy than your taste, consider coming to the fair city of Nürnberg this month. From the 14th until the 25th of September, the Altstadtfest will be taking place, primarily on the Insel Schütt right in the center of town. There you can find all sorts of delicious brews from around Franconia, as well as some traditional cuisine. A word of warning… the menus do tend to be written in Franconian dialect, so if you don’t know what something is, ask the waiter or a neighbor! I once wound up with jellied meat, so… yeah, it can be dangerous. After you’re all fueled up, head to the Hauptmarkt, where you’re find the fall market for all your random kitchen appliance and basket needs. Oh, and more beer and sausage, of course.
Want more info on the Altstadtfest? Course you do!
Altstadtfest Nürnberg (site only in German)
My commute these days takes me directly through Nürnberg much more often than it used to, a fact made even more delightful in spring by old ladies walking their dogs, and planters filled with tulips.
Many people will say that the best view of Nürnberg can be seen from the SkyBar in one of the movies theaters in town. Those people are wrong, unless you enjoy overpriced cocktails and abysmal service. Save yourself €10, buy a bottle of whatever you prefer to drink, and head to the top of the Adler Parkhaus. It’s a bit less trendy, and there aren’t any chairs, but there also aren’t any surly waiters. Just watch out for cars on the way up and down… city center parking garages don’t leave much room for error!
Bonus tip: it’s currently Italian market time on the Fleischbrücke! The spring edition is on this year from March 15th-25th, and again in April from the 20th-29th (closed on Sundays, of course). Longtime readers will know that the Italian market is one of my favorite things that happens in the city, so if you are like me and need to stock up on cheese and vino, don’t forget to stop by!
More like Monday snapshots this week, I’m afraid. Fall is flying, Thanksgiving approaches, and the Christmas markets open next weekend. Basically complete chaos at every turn.
Faber-Castell is a pretty well-known name in Germany. They make pens, pencils, and other art supplies, and they are based in Nürnberg. You can visit their museum, which includes the very lovely old family home, the Faber-Castell Schloss*, just on the outskirts of town.
More information on tours (in German) can be found here…