Friday, November 11, 2011

Last minute decisions…

Faced with another fabulous four-day and no plans, Big R and I agreed to meet up with a family member of a good friend in Munich for dinner. Already having something scheduled in the morning, we were going to hop on the train with little r in tow for a traditional German feast in the capital of Bavaria.  We were an hour out from catching the train and she had to cancel on us. All dressed up and no where to be and we found ourselves in search of a new adventure.

Thinking we could do this Munich trip must have happened while we were delusional and taking little r on an adventure during his naptime was nothing short of wild craziness.

Nuremberg is a quick 45 minute trainride from here and we'd heard it was a pretty fabulous city. The weather wasn't stellar, but a part of me wanted to see how little r would do riding a train and exploring a city on foot.

He did…well. As well as any two year old would do on an adventure when he's taken clean out of his usual naptime routine and instead asked to ride a train, walk an overwhelming city, and stay out of trouble. The train can get crammed, so packing light is key. I really wanted to see how things would go without a stroller, etc., on the train and walking through town so we could have a better idea how to plan for future trips.

I knew we were bonafide nutjobs - eh, oh well.

The train ride was easy and fun. We bought a local day pass and little r was beside himself with excitement. (Note to self, if 45 minutes was a long train ride for little r, the bigger train rides could be a major challenge.)  The main train station drops you off right in the Altstadt, so we had an easy stroll to the tourist attractions.

Nuremberg's old town is very well preserved and most of it is a pedestrian zone, which was a huge help with little r. The city was setting up for its Christmas festival (which starts the day after our Thanksgiving) and all the shops were already stocked with beautiful Christendkindles (Christmas) goodies.

Window shopping was at the top of our to-do list on this trip and we had a lot of fun with little r taking note of all the gifts we want to get for family.

Turns out quite a bit of the city was spared from bombings in the war. We had always thought the city was leveled. The churches all had immaculate designs.

Little r was especially infatuated with knocking on all of them (an interesting phase).

The Imperial Palace sits at the top of the old city in Nuremberg. I was probably the most excited to see this on our trip and so was little r - his very first castle!!!
I'm headin in, Mommy.

Wow, this castle is so cool!

YAY! My very first castle! This is awesome!

You can only see the inner part if the castle by guidedtour, and we decided not to subject other innocent bystanders to our wild bear. You could still see all the castle grounds though and the views from the castle were definitely picture worthy.

In fact, at one point we heard a tour of folks giggling. Honestly, this isn't something you hear much on a tour - a laugh, yes, but a giggle? We looked out across the way and saw that saw that in a window in plain view a woman had walked out of her shower and was very (un)humbly displaying herself for all to see. Full frontal - no joke. She probably toweled off for five minutes giving the tourists a show. She didn't seem to notice she was the main attraction nor do I think she cared much. It was a brilliant display of European culture. Haha. And we didn't even take the tour!

As we left the castle we found ourselves inside a quaint little restaurant enjoying a cup of soup to warm us up.

And of course on our way back to the train station we got our fix from the almighty Starbucks. We just can't help ourselves.

Despite my arms feeling like I just finished a ruck march from carrying little r around all afternoon (little r is insistent that only I carry him a phase he needs to outgrow fast, please), I have to say it went well. We definitely learned more about traveling with him. First and foremost, the stroller is far more important than we ever wanted to admit.  It's just too much work to do this kind of trip without having him strapped down occasionally.  We were exhausted and little r was beside himself. He refuses to miss a thing so sleep doesn't happen and he runs around chasing birds and giving Big R heart failure as he runs from one exciting thing to the next.  The train might not be the best option for long trips, but we will probably get brave and try it again. Next time the stroller will be in tow!

Here are a few more pictures from our quick trip to Nuremberg.  We plan to head back for the Christkindlesmarkt, so we'll have many more to share of a very different Nuremberg soon.

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