Saturday, December 4, 2010

My German Thanksgiving!


Over my 4 day Thanksgiving break, I was able to visit two very different Bavarian cities. We started our adventure by catching a 6:23 am train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Typically we can get a Bayern (Bavaria) ticket for only 28 for up to 5 people. Since our train ride would be pretty long (about 6 hours) seemed like a pretty good deal. Wrong-o. Since our train was so early (rush hour on a Thursday morning) we had to buy another ticket after we bought the first one. € 18 more each! It was ridic. But anyways, we had to then wait another 1 1/2 hours in the train station in Munich. But we finally made it to Rothenburg! I read on the wesbite that our hostel was only a 15 minute walk from the train station....we got lost. But we ended up stumbling upon a street that we were supposed to be one and found out hostel super cute and old:
After we settled in, we were starving. And this was my Thanksgiving dinner:
And booyyyy it was yummy! Next we walked around and shopped at a bunch of Christmas shops, drank coffe and watched people set up for the Christkindlesmarkt opening the next day. There is a store called wonderful Christmas store called Kathe Wohlfahrt, and the headquarters Christmas store is in Rothenburg and it was practically Winterwonderland in this place...I loved loved loved it!
Later that night we took a tour that was highly recommended to me called the Nightwatchman's Tour. Back when Rothenberg was alive and kickin' they had 5 nightwatchmen that would guard the city while everyone slept. All the people back then were petrified of the dark. Honest to goodness believed it was evil. They would actually ring a bell that gave everyone an hour warning to get their stuff done and to get back inside before dark fell. So needless to say although the nightwatchman's jobs were super important (they also alerted the citizens of fire...which could destroy their town quickly) on the social ladder, they were 2nd to bottom. The people on the bottom were the executioners. This was our nightwatchmen. We went on a tour of the city at night.... very cold and a little creepy but so much fun!
The next day we shopped around at the Christkindelmarkt, the Kriminalmuseuem and made our way to Nürnburg. Here's to market in Rothenberg:
So after a little bit of walking around the market... we went to the Kriminalmuseum. This place was crazy.
It had all these ways that people way back when would be tortured or punished and what not according to whatever crime they had committed. A couple things that they did were:
  1. They would tie people's hands behind their back, put their feet through two holes in a wood plank and have them sit down. For hours they would sit in the middle of the market square having people tickle their feet or putting salt on their toes and having goats lick them off. They would be relentlessly tickled for hours. Sounds excruciating.
  2. If a man was a drunk they would put a big beer barrel around his torso so he would have them wear it around all day and look a fool and it would be super heavy.
  3. If two women were quarelling they would stick their heads into these violins and they would be forced to work out their issues with each other.
  4. They had all kinds of shame masks. If someone brought some sort of shame to themselves they would have to wear this. Things they could have done to have to wear this mask are things like gossip, no sexual restraint, not doing their profession perfectly, being a drunk, acting like a pig, talkative women, blabbermouth women. If something was 'shameful' they had a mask for it.
    And now for Nürnburg. We got there when it was dark (lately anything past 430 is dark). We got to walk around the old town/market square and see the end of the frist day of the Christkindelmarkt:
We were able to go to the Dokumentation cetre where there were Nazi rallies and the Nürnburg trials were held. So much information, it was pretty overwhelming:
And now for the Nürnburg Christkindelmarkt. This was the main part of the market:
Needless to say this was a very memorable Thanksgiving. Doubt that I'll have a Thanksgiving like this ever again.


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