So the hubs and I are officially on our Europe Trip! He's working for CrossFit every weekend in a different country in Europe and I get to tag along with him! I know. It's a hard life. We will also be celebrating our two year anniversary on our trip, so it's a little extra special. :)
We started our trip off in Germany and then will be going to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and then back to Spain for a last weekend seminar he is working before we leave. I am SO excited to spend this special time with the love of my life, exploring these amazing countries, eating delicious food, and just relaxing!
I decided that in each city/country that we go to, I'm going to list my top 5 as a super easy and quick reference for anyone traveling to that particular city/country.
1. The best activity/attraction that is a MUST / 2. The best restaurant to go to / 3. A GREAT CrossFit gym to go to / 4. The best mode of transportation based off of the country / 5. The best cultural tip I learned.
Please forgive me, but sometimes I might not be able to choose, so may HAVE TO include more than JUST one haha. So here we go!
Jenna's Top 5 for Nuremberg, Germany.
1. Best activity/attraction: Nuremberg Castle (you can walk up to it from the city square)
2. Best Restaurant: #1 - Landgasthof Hofener Garten Steakhaus (An AMAZING steakhouse! A little bit more expensive, but completely worth it! Make sure to make a reservation. Located close to CrossFit Nuremberg. Directions: Hofener St. 184, 90431 Nurnberg). #2 - Barfusser, Das Kleine Brauhause (In the center of town, very easy to get to. Directions: Hallplatz 2, 90402 Nuremberg).
3. Great CrossFit Gym: Reebok CrossFit Nürnberg (awesome gym with amazing facilities)! A little bit outside of town, but worth it!
4. Best Mode of Transportation: Walking if possible, taxi if you are within the city but it's not a walkable distance (otherwise you have to a lot of switching between trains and buses to get anywhere). If you are traveling between German cities (ex: Nuremberg to Frankfurt or Berlin) use the Bahn. You can get your tickets at an automated machine, but it is not a direct route, go to the ticket office and ask for help with the exact times of departure and arrival along with the platform numbers (HUGE help).
5. Best Cultural Tip I Learned: Put butter on your steak. Do it (they serve steaks with butter, and it's oh so delicious). Oh and this one applies to every country in Europe: close your menu when you are ready to order. If it's open in front of you, the waiter will think you are still looking at it and won't come over to your table.
We didn’t have a ton of time there since we flew in Thursday night and then left Monday morning for Ireland (and Matt was working Saturday and Sunday). Friday morning we got up early and headed out to CrossFit Nürnberg. We did an awesome kettle bell workout that I LOVED (it will be in my "CrossFit Travel/Minimal Equipment Workouts" blog post that will be up soon) and then spent the rest of the day together exploring the city! Oh and I just had to mention this, but on the way to the gym, I saw a Mercedes semi! Literally laughed out loud and could not believe my eyes! I didn't know that Mercedes was making semis... but that's Europe for you haha. Luxury. Even in a semi. ;)
I didn't think that Germany would be super exciting (especially compared to places like Italy and Greece that are coming up), but there is something about it's cobblestone roads, castles surrounded by gardens, and little bakeries and coffee shops that has really grown on me. Oh and they take their bread here VERY seriously haha. Although I don’t usually eat gluten, I couldn’t resist and it was totally worth it!
I would definitely say that the highlight was seeing the Nuremberg Castle… built in 1050 A.D.! If you go to Nuremberg, it's a must see! It was HUGE and was the major hub for a lot of political and social events in Germany’s early history. We loved walking around the grounds and seeing the gardens and towering walls. It was definitely very well built and had an enormous moat around it! Matt and I were joking around with what we would fill the moat with… we settled on crocs (the animal, not the shoe). We were fascinated with the idea of what our lives would've been like if we lived during this time period! Matt was convinced I would've been one of those girls that cut my hair and wore pants to try to get away with riding horses and learning how to fight... he totally would've been a wise city ruler trying to keep the peace and do well for his people haha (he hates fighting and war). OR... maybe we would've been two little poor kids who fell in love and lived happily ever after as mud farmers haha (If you didn't get that reference you should watch this clip of Monty Python and the Holy Grail here)!
Ok back to Germany. Also, not sure whether it was the fact that Nuremberg was super busy and had a music festival going on or what, but there were people making out, with tongue, everywhere! I mean really going at it! And I thought Matt and I were PDAers because we give each other pecks all the time and are CONSTANTLY holding hands wherever we go haha. Literally there were people making out in front of castles, outside of restaurants, sitting by the river... it was a little awkward at times, but I would just chuckle and keep walking.
We also got to visit the St. Lorenz Cathedral... stunning. I was very tempted to hop on the organ and try to play something, just to hear what the echo would sound like in this massive cathedral... dot worry. I didn't. The statues and figurines that were inside were so intricate though. Definitely also a must see place if you are in Nuremberg.
Only negative thing about traveling in Germany - not speaking German. On Monday morning we had to take the train to Frankfurt to get on our flight to Ireland... more accurately, 3 different trains at 3 different stations. There are so many trains arriving and leaving from different platforms that it was super stressful! I was so afraid that we were going to miss our stop or go on the wrong train and then miss our flight to Ireland. Plus, I've really only done international travel in places where I know the language (Spanish & English or a language that is at least similar to those two), so I was definitely out of my element. We eventually did make it to the airport and did get on our flight to Ireland, but it was exhausting. My advice would be to use the public transportation (the trains are great for traveling), BUT like I said in my Top 5 Tips, after buying your ticket at the kiosk, always check with someone working at the Bahn to get specific instructions on what platform each train is leaving from and the times of departure and arrival.
Thought I would end with this picture... the love locks! We founds a little bridge that had this gate on it in the middle. There are lot of Love Lock bridges all over Europe! Couples buy a lock and then inscribe their initials or a quote on the back and then lock it to the bridge and throw the key in the river! Symbolizes everlasting love. Matt and I didn't get a chance to put a love lock on this bridge, but we definitely will somewhere else in Europe! Well that's it for our (basically one day) trip to Germany! Check out my next blog post on our WEEK in Ireland to get tips on places to go and things to do. We were able to do SO MUCH more there!