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Published: August 24th 2019
Very quiet at this time!
Tuesday morning I go down early for breakfast so I can get out again for another walk before I have to leave Prague. I want to take a look at the location of the hotels that we will use next year and also wish to see the astronomical clock in action. This means being there at 09.00 as this happens every hour on the hour during daylight.
I enjoy an excellent breakfast in this small and delightful hotel. It has so many nice touches. I would definitely recommend this hotel (Jungmann) for any independent traveller to Prague. The location is fabulous. It is relatively inexpensive and it completely exceeded my expectations. Ask for Room 101.
I see lots of the Old Town, retrace my steps over Charles Bridge and manage to catch the 09.00 performance at the astronomical clock in the main square. The weather is a bit hazier and duller than yesterday, but I still dodge the promised rain. It is really empty at this time of day and I enjoy a good potter around the Old Town.
After checking out of Hotel Jungmann it is a ten-minute stroll to Prague
station and onto my train to Nürnberg. This time I am travelling first class for the princely sum of €19. As it is so cheap I have low expectations. I should learn by now not to make assumptions!! The train is fabulous with wonderful table service. On the way to Cheb (where I change for a regional connection for Nürnberg) I enjoy wonderful goulash soup and roll plus excellent coffee.
I could have travelled to Nürnberg by coach, but I am not a huge fan of coach travel (this is slightly at odds with what I shall be doing next summer!!). Maybe this has something to do with vague memories of student days and the National coaches back then in the UK. I know that nowadays there is a vast network across Europe of Flixbus, which would be an inexpensive means of travelling, but you can still be stuck for hours on a motorway, or worse, could be stuck next to someone unpleasant! So far on these travels I haven’t had anyone remotely near me on the train - except the first trip from Budapest to Zagreb when I shared the compartment with five lovely young Greeks.
I am thoroughly enjoying the entire rail experience. So far, all trains have been cheap, efficient and punctual. And it is always so easy to get from the main station into the city centre. But the best thing about rail travel is that you see so much of the wonderful scenery.
I am looking forward to seeing Nürnberg (in english, Nuremberg). I have visited southern Bayern (Bavaria) often in the past, but I do not know northern Bayern at all. I know that the city is distinguished by medieval architecture such as the fortifications and stone towers of its Old Town. Despite having been severely damaged in WW2, many of these medieval buildings have been painstakingly restored to their former glory. Most of Nürnberg’s main attractions are located within the historic walls, which extend some five kilometres around the Old Town.
The train arrives punctually (of course!). From the station I simply have to use the underpass and I am inside the historic walls and the pedestrian zone. It is such an easy and enjoyable walk to the Hotel Central, my home for one night. As I stroll I already see many of the
Walking over Charles Bridge
Much quieter at this time! But hazier too.
sights that I have read about - the Kaiserburg Castle, surrounded by red-roofed buildings, at the northern edge of the Old Town, the Hauptmarkt (central square) with its daily market and gilded Schöner Brunnen, (beautiful fountain) with tiers of figures, the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady), a 14th-century Gothic church and the spectacular twin-towered 14th-century Gothic church of St. Lorenz which is the city's largest church
I know that Nürnberg has many festivals. Two of the favourites are the two-week long Old Town musical and folk festival, and the international Organ Week. Both these run between late June to mid July. Nürnberg is also great for shopping. The products most associated with the city are gingerbread and handcrafted toys. These are sold mostly at Christmas time in the Christkindlmarkt (advent markets) in the Hauptmarkt (main square) or year-round in the Handwerkerhof, a picturesque collection of artisan workshops. Other Nürnberg shopping highlights include the upscale boutiques along Kaiserstrasse and the more funky shops of the bohemian Gostenhof district. I am on a schedule on this trip and don’t spend time in any of these shops. And I most definitely scurry past a branch of the very famous Käthe
One of the original 13 gates in the Old Town
Wohlfahrt shop. This is a German company that sells Christmas decorations and articles Its head office is in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, also in Bayern. According to the tourism site for the state of Bavaria, "the unique Christmas store with more than 30,000 traditional German Christmas decorations ... has attracted millions of tourists from all over the world.”
Now call me Scrooge if you want, but there is something not right about deliberating over new baubles in the warm August weather!
Hotel Central is located in the Lorenzer Seite - named after its principal church, St. Lorenz and this lies in the section of the Old Town that is located on the south bank of the river Pegnitz. This side is well known for its Frauentorturm and Handwerkhof Alt Nürnberg ditsricts. These are two small enclaves of wonderful, old half-timbered houses renowned for their traditional craft workshops. The room in the Hotel Central is slightly more basic than the others so far, but it is comfortable, spotless, peaceful and in a brilliant location. The travelling has made me quite peckish so I quickly head out to explore and to find a spot for an early dinner.
Beneficial Brick project
National fundraising and awareness campaign supporting people with special needs
When I come out of the hotel I can’t quite believe that it is raining! And quite hard too. So my exploring is limited to a large restaurant just off the main square called Bratwurst Roslein where I enjoy some typical Bayern food and beer :-)
After dinner it is still raining but I see that the forecast for tomorrow is sunshine so I stroll back to the hotel for some blog writing over a glass of red wine and an early ish night.
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