After some crazy times working to finish up papers and all, it was nice to have a weekend of vacation exploring Nuremberg (well mostly, I did work quite a bit in the evenings to finish up a report). Nuremberg is a very old town, and much of the castle and walls are still preserved. Above is a section of wall, you can see the huge moat, which is now empty and has a nice walking path around the city with sculptures though.
There's something quite dark about the city though. Scary statues like the one above are all over the place. Most of the architecture is old and Gothic, with statues of knights on the corner of many buildings, and many old medieval coats of arms.
Then there's Nuremberg's Nazi past. It was the headquarters of the party, and the site of the annual huge rallies and the film Triumph of the Will. The Nazis were building some fantastical party monuments at the time the war started. I think the city has handled it correctly, by leaving the Nazi ruins but not maintaining them. They are slowly eroding away, but stand as a reminder that not too long ago the world was a very different place. They also have a phenomenally good museum about the era, which I quite enjoyed.
Of course, the Nuremberg Zoo was a must for me. It's a world-class zoo, although it's under heavy renovation and some animals are being loaned out elsewhere. Above is Flocke, the zoo's famous polar bear cub who's growing up quite fast.
I also made the short trip to Bamberg, a much smaller town but with an incredible well-preserved medieval center and some amazing cathedrals and a palace from it's days as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
And I didn't leave Nuremberg without some Lebkuchen, the city's trademark gingerbread.