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Wittenberg and Nuremburg

GERMANY | Saturday, 29 April 2017 | Views [610]

We successfully made it out of Berlin, heading north to the small, small, SMALL town of Schwanbeck. The total population of the town was about 115 people. A (some number of greats) great grandfather of mine was baptized in a church in that area, so we stopped in to check things out. We had prearranged a meeting with the pastor of the church in the town. He was happy to meet with us as his parsonage is right next door to that specific church. He had bread and desserts prepared for us when we arrived and we ate and chatted for about an hour before he took us over to the church. The church was built back in the 1300s, so it is incredible to see these buildings still be standing. He showed us around the small church, turning on the large pipe organ. I started playing the Michigan fight song and was told to stop. :) He then took us into the bell tower where Bryan and I climbed the rickety stairs and ladders about 8 stories up to the top. When getting to the very top of the last ladder, your head basically pops up into one of the two huge bells. Avoiding the bell, we made our way to safety at the top platform and gave the pastor the “all clear”. He then turned on the bells and those suckers started swinging. It was electrically controlled and took a few swings before they started making noise, but once they did, they were quite loud. Obviously we were standing within 2 feet of the things, but still it was a very different experience.

After leaving Swanbeck we headed south, drove back around Berlin and drove toward Wittenberg. Wittenberg is where Martin Luther taught at the local university and the birthplace of the reformation movement. We got into the city after most shops and churches were closed, so we grabbed a late dinner at an authentic German bierhaus and headed back to our bed and breakfast-like hotel. In the morning we went back downtown and the small city was really hopping in the morning. This year Wittenberg is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the reformation later in the year, so things were rapidly being prepared for very large crowds of people late in the summer. We went into the church where the 95 theses were nailed to the door by Luther, another very extravagant church.

We continued to drive south, stopping in Leipzig for lunch. Kept driving south to Nuremburg to stay the night. Our hotel reservation got messed up with hotels.com and we had to switch hotels, but we got everything figured out eventually. We wandered throughout the large walled city in the evening. The wall surrounding the city is still in really good condition and was very impressive. Within the city walls were a bunch of shops and restaurants. Parking is very limited as it is, for the most part, exclusively a walking area. We eventually found dinner at another German place and headed back to our hotel. We woke up this morning to head over to the Nazi Museum. Nuremberg was where the Nazi party cemented their hold and held week long festivals once a year. They eventually built a huge parade ground and multiple arenas for propaganda films and speeches by Hitler himself. The museum explained how the Nazi party was able to form and maintain its power based on fear. Sure enough, you can see the parallels between 1930s Germany and the USA today...I will keep the rest of this politic free. It was very angering to see how dumb the German people were and how messed up the whole situation was. We walked over to the Zeplin Fields, a huge podium and stage where multiple speeches were given by Hitler back in the day and the Nazi soldiers paraded around in the open area. Today the whole area is a public park and there was a FC Nuremberg soccer match going on as we explored the park a bit. They had a large stadium right next to the park. You could hear their chanting very clearly and could easily tell when the home team scored a goal. It would've been fun to attend the game, but we did not have the time as we are now heading south past Munich and over east toward Austria. We are going to spend a few days in Salzburg, Austria. We are currently driving along and beginning to see some snow, as we approach the Alps. About to get our Sound of Music enlightenment.

Doe a deer...


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