We are off to explore around Nuremberg today but first a visit to an museum….
Oldtimers Motorcycle Museum
Yesterday when we were trying to find the village we noticed a sign pointing to an Oldtimers Motorcycle Museum on the road to Nuremberg. This morning we noticed it once again so made a detour. The Oldtimers Museum was set in a ramshackle wooden shed in tiny village full of medieval style buildings of brick and timber. Around the eaves hung rims, tyres and bike parts.
We were met by an ancient bloke with a long grey beard dressed in a grubby white coat and scruffy green felt hat. We weren’t sure whether the Oldtimers referred to the bikes or him. The old bloke ushered us and a few locals up the stairs to the loft which was full of bikes all stacked closely together, with tanks of all different sorts hanging from the ceiling.
There were bikes and scooters of all persuasion. Zundapp, Triumph, BMW, Adler, and Hercules dating back from the 1920’s through to the 1950’s. As I poured over the bikes the old bloke moved from one bike to the next rapidly spewing out facts and figures in German as my brain hurriedly tried to translate it all. There was no time to waste as he hurried us down to the cellar where more bikes in various stages of repair occupied three rooms, along with shelves of engine parts, tyres, and exhaust systems.
We made our way back to the ground floor and filed through past some of the recent projects. An old BMW with sidecar looked resplendent in its black livery with white pin striping but my favourite was an old 1940’s Zundapp KS750 with sidecar used by the Wehrmacht. I would gladly swap the Princess to be travelling the highway on this machine.
One of the odder motorcycles was an 86 Hercules with a Wankel rotary. With the cooling intake on the front of the motor it looked a little strange and the drum brakes, looked a little scary. I think it would be quick on straights but I don’t know how it would handle cornering. Definitely not the best bike for riding through the beautiful Bavarian countryside with all those lovely winding roads and blind corners.
Once again the weather app got the forecast wrong as on our way into Nuremberg it started raining heavily, but cleared by the time we reached the city.
We were actually quite surprised by how beautiful the centre of Nuremberg was. City walls surrounded some of the old city and canals flowed through the centre. Old red brick buildings and mills lined the canal and a large pedestrian area dominated the centre of the old city. In the main market square a large market was set up with stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, sweets, souvenirs, along with local specialties.
We bought a kilo of the largest cherries we’d ever seen. All up there was probably only about ten in the punnet but they were some of the sweetest we’d ever tasted.
Around the city we visited a few of the local churches and learnt that in medieval times the city was split into two walled cities with a Jewish section occupying the swampy section between the two. The Holy Roman emperor Charles IV was keen to get his hands on their money so ordered their persecution in 1349. The synagogue was torched during the pogram and on the ruins The Church of Our Lady (The Frauenkirche) was built in red brick in 1361.
One thing we couldn’t escape in Nuremburg was bratwurst. The smell of it wafted across the market square and throughout the city streets. The cheaper places were all packed with pensioners so we searched out a curry wurst stand. It was interesting watching the curry wurst being made. The bratwurst was sliced, covered in tomato sauce then sprinkled with a generous amount of curry powder. Delicious.
Near the city square we passed the city hall (Altus Rathaus). The Rathaus was built in the late renaissance early baroque period. Covering almost a city block it is a massive building. On the facade gigantic statues support the roof on either side of the entrance giving the building a real sense of power.
Near the Rathaus, St Lorenz Church dates back to the 1200’s and is the oldest Lutheran Church in the country. These days is an evangelical Lutheran Church. The church is fronted by an iconic facade with matching twin towers topped with ornate gothic spires.
Close to the centre St Sebald Church is the oldest church in Nuremberg dating back to 1215. Like the rest of Nuremberg it was destroyed by bombs during the Second World War. It was rebuilt in the late 1950’s. In the 1200’s St Sebald and St Lorenz divided the city with the synagogue between them.
Marriage Merry-Go-Round Fountain
Michele was keen to visit the Marriage Merry-Go-Round Fountain not far from the city centre near the White Tower.
The massive fountain was created by Jürgen Weber, and relates to the poem “Bitter-Sweet Married Life” by Hans Sachs.
The poem describes married life from the first stages of ardour through kids, fights and all the way to death.
The figures are all larger than life and create the different phases of married life and in a hilarious way.
St Roch’s Cemetery
Our last stop for the day was the fascinating St Roch’s Cemetery. Opened in 1518 the graveyard is filled with coffin shaped sandstone family crypts. The cemetery is well tended with the weeds removed around the graves. Bronze family crests some dating back to the 1600’s adorn the crypts. Also adorning the crypts are flower pots filled with perennials. They really add colour to a the old cemetery and it was a beautiful place to visit.
With rain threatening we headed back through the city to the bike. All the way back to Leutzdorf light rain fell but we were lucky it wasn’t heavy. Arriving back in Leutzdorf we discovered the village restaurant was closed. As we were pretty hungry we decided to head into Gössweinstein for tea.
There was one restaurant open, specialising in Bavarian meals. The place was packed and enquiring in English if they had a table sent the waitress into a flap. She disappeared for a few minutes before returning asking us if we minded sharing a table. It turned out that the couple we shared a table with were both former motorcyclists and spoke excellent English. We had a great night eating Bavarian specialties and chatting. They even deciphered the menu for us and suggested the traditional meals for us.
We spent a really enjoyable few hours gaining a Bavarian perspective of the world. After our goodbyes we headed back to Leutzdorf to our guest house.
Pension am Wald
We were discussing tonight how the guesthouse was such an unexpected find, especially after the amazing breakfast they presented this morning. Freshly prepared food and really good coffee always a bonus. The village is quite small with around twenty houses which surround barns and farm buildings. There’s a few guesthouses, one of which has a bar and restaurant. It is close enough to explore Nuremberg and even Regensburg for day trips but quiet enough you get to really chill.
Tomorrow we are going to check out the old Nazi Rally grounds and Museum before heading to Munich.