Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cologne, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Neuhaus

From Brussels, we continued our road trip to Frankfurt via Cologne. As I was walking towards the Cologne Dome, I was awe struck by its size and beauty. Even though its surrounding was destroyed during WWII, the cathedral was left intact. Once inside, the carved high ceilings and the stained glass windows definitely left a lasting impression on me. It was wall after wall of beautiful art. The largest and certainly one of the most beautiful cathedral I've ever seen in my life.

Exterior of Cologne Dome

                                                      Interior of Cologne Dome
              Stained glass windows- I could spend hours staring at the different window designs

From Cologne, we moved on to Frankfurt where my husband was supposed to meet an old high school friend. Unfortunately, the friend came down with stomach flu and was unable to meet us for dinner. After checking into our hotel and taking a nap (due to jet lag), we ventured out to the local residential area for an authentic German meal as recommended by the hotel's concierge. While at the restaurant (Zur Schonen Mullerins), we met a very nice local family who had just finished their road trip to western USA. Of course, we shared with each other stories of the two countries. Along the way, they introduced to us the foods they'd order whenever they frequent this restaurant. We were not disappointed. We didn't do much sightseeing in Frankfurt as it was our 2nd day in Europe and the jet lag bug won't leave us alone- we're sleepy all day long.

Apple wine- must try. I must say it's an acquired taste. Smooth and sour with a hint of sweetness. Less gassy than beer. Still very good. By the end of dinner, I had preferred apple wine to beer.

Hand cheese in vinegar and onion. Spread the butter and cheese on the bread and it's an interesting appetizer. Taste was fine with fruit candy like texture.
Roast beef salad with green sauce- aromatic sauce made up of yogurt with 7 herbs
Hard boiled eggs with green sauce and potatoes
Pork knuckle with sauerkraut. Best part was the skin- must eat it with the sauerkraut. The flavors melded together so well that they created an explosive sensation in your mouth.

                                   Residential street in Frankfurt- clean, organized and peaceful

                                             One of the many bridges in Frankfurt

Romerberg- interesting square with reconstructed half timber houses based on houses originating from the 15th or 16th century
                                                                Fountain of Justice
                                         Gelato with mixed fruits-prefer simple gelato by itself
Gelato with nuts, praline and caramel.

Next up was Heidelberg but that's another post. Moving along we got to Nuremberg on the 3rd day of our road trip. This is the place where I originally wanted to show my kids the history of WWII, the Third Reich and the Nazi Party. Unfortunately, we arrived 40 min before closing time and the ticket lady at the entrance was adamant at denying us entry into the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. "You don't have time", she kept saying. With that, we changed plans. Drove around the corner to Zeppelin Field where Hitler once stood at the podium delivering speeches for the Nazi Party rallies.  Drove by the Nuremberg castle but was unable to find a parking spot. Decided to head into town for their famous Nuremberg sausages for dinner at Zur Gulden Stern.

Zur Gulden Stern- not sure how old the restaurant was but this building that houses the restaurant was built in 1419. Looks good for a 700 year old building. 
                        Liver dumpling soup- no offense to anyone but it tasted a bit like dog food.
                                      Potato soup- better than the liver dumpling soup
                       Pork medallions- tender and juicy, way better than their Nuremberg sausages
Nuremberg sausages- ordinary but we've the best apple strudel here.

After Nuremberg, we stayed the night at Burg Veldenstein in Neuhaus-Pegnitz. A castle about  40 minutes away from Nuremberg, tucked in a little hill of its own next to Pegnitz River. My kids had fun exploring the castle ground. So many doors to open and look inside as well as holes in the walls to peek outside. We had fun climbing the interior staircase of the castle tower for a panoramic view of the town. The rooms were large and airy with outdated bathroom amenities. As expected, since the castle is a thousand year old. It feels good to sleep with the windows open at night. Very tranquil.  The castle manager and his daughter were one of the nicest people we met on this road trip. The daughter helped us print out google maps for our next destination, Prague, as our GPS did not provide maps for Czech Republic.

Driving up the hill, we were met with this stunning view of the castle. I have to say the photo did not do it justice.
                               Amazing morning view out of our room- so calm and serene.
Another charming view of the town
The castle wall and the road view below.

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