Saturday, June 2, 2012

On Dry Land

All too soon our 8 day cruise was over and we were transferred by bus to Prague (Praha in Czech.)  The transfer of all the passengers involved three buses and three different color ribbons on our luggage, but, as always, it all went very smoothly.

First we toured Nuremberg beginning with the site of the infamous war trials.

Here's a summary of those dark days from a plaque.

We didn't tour the court room, but moved on to (you guessed it) another castle - Imperial Castle Nuremberg.  This one was different in that it had a moat, although it was dry.

If the invaders made it across the only bridge and through the narrow doorway,
they had to navigate a tunnel with openings overhead.  Utilizing these openings, the defenders would pour, no, not boiling oil (which was not something they had in excess,) but urine!  I can't find any mention of that in Wikipedia, but that's what the tour guide claimed.

Once inside the castle walls, I thought it resembled a small town with its cute half-timbered buildings.

Why are all these women in line?  They're waiting for the bathroom of course.  (Not the original use for this building.)

After the castle, we saw the world's largest chair

And fanciest firehouse.

The guide used this street as an example of typical Nuremberg.  Pretty, but where's the yard or even a sidewalk?

We walked around the Hauptmarkt (Market Square) and sampled the locally famous gingerbread.  Schöner Brunnen is a 14th century fountain depicting the world view of the Holy Roman Empire.

There is some story that it has powers of fertility.  I don't know if that's why there's a high fence around it, but I know all of us stayed far away.

Funny thing - This is something else that I couldn't verify in Wikipedia.  I'm beginning to think that tour guide was just making things up to entertain the crazy Americans.  Maybe that wasn't even the world's largest chair!

At noon the jesters circled around the king on the church bell tower.  I was pretty far away and looking into the sun or I would have tried a video.

Then it was back to the buses for our trip to Prague.  When we reboarded our bus, Ron and I agreed that it smelled like the driver had been smoking while we were gone.  But just after we crossed the border into the Czech Republic, we found out that there was something wrong with the air conditioning and that was causing the odor.  We all piled out and had to wait for a replacement bus.  I was amazed by two things.  First, the new bus was there much faster than I expected, 45 minutes to an hour tops.  And second, nobody, not one single person, complained.  Some of the guys even helped transfer all the luggage to the new bus.  Am I just jaded, or is that surprising?

The new bus was a double-decker!   Super cool!  Ron and I, along with Mary and Gary (Mary also suffers from motion sickness) ran upstairs and grabbed the front seats.  It was a little disconcerting having the windshield right in front of your face, but the view was great.
(Mary and Gary - fun people.)

We rode into Prague in style and I snapped this picture out the front window.
Do you notice anything funny about the building on the right?  It's called the Dancing House.

I was too busy staring to get a good picture, but there was an article in the Wall Street Journal soon after we arrived back in the states.  Here's their picture.
The towers are nicknamed Fred and Ginger (Ginger being the one on the left and Fred with the top hat.)

I'll quote the Wall Street Journal.
With Dancing House, Messrs. Gehry and Milunic succeeded in giving architectural form to Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, marking a singular moment of national transition and celebration.
(The Velvet Revolution was the name given to the non-violent demonstrations of 1989 that led to the fall of the communist government in Czechoslovakia.)

One more thing we learned in our world travels.  Did you know that a sign of a good beer is that it leaves a ring of foam each time you take a sip?  Here's proof.


  1. Very interesting. Also the sign of a good beer is when you're looking at the rings on the glass and thinking....ummm shall I have another one.

  2. I'll never take a trip like this but I am glad I at least got to experience it with you. Thanks for the trip.

  3. I guess those invaders going through that tunnel really got pi$$ed off? (On?)

    How do you funish a room in that twisty building? Looks like something out of Dr. Suess.

  4. Look out below! Yuk. ALthough I think I prefer that to boiling oil.
    That building kinda made me car sick....very weird.

  5. I never knew that about beer... Notice what we all focus on...
    You sure saw some interesting stuff!

  6. You know the sign of a good beer. But was it "good?" If a beer isn't good, what does the glass look like?

  7. I'll have to pay attention to the foam thing next time I have a beer.

    I enjoyed catching up on your cruise. I'm thinking of taking my mother next year for a Christmas markets cruise --- she loves Christmas, and living in Turkey doesn't get to see all the usual celebrations and events that go along with the season.