We are now in Salzburg! After spending Christmas near Hallstatt, Ryan, Justin and I traveled to Nuremberg for a few days in Germany before meeting up with the others. We left Hallstatt on Wednesday and took a few trains to Germany with no trouble. I had found a small apartment that was a close walk to the city center and we took the metro to get there. Our host met us and gave us the key before breaking the news that there was, indeed, no wifi. Nor ethernet. I must admit that I didn’t take the news very well since I was planning on spending some time skyping with Mikey and my family. In addition, there’s this new-city feeling you get when you leave one town and arrive at the next, not knowing where anything is or how to get anywhere. This always bums me out a little bit, which is usually made a little worse if it’s already dark out. Luckily there was a pizza shop close by, so we took some up to our little apartment and chatted while we ate. 

The next morning we slept in and Justin ran to the store for some eggs and toast. Luckily there were several supermarkets within a five-minute walk so soon we were enjoying cereal and french toast. Our plan for the first day was to walk around the old town, see if there were any remains of Christmas markets, and end the day at Starbucks to check our emails and communicate with the rest of our group for meeting up this weekend. The old town of Nuremberg was very nice. We visited the Nuremberg (Imperial) castle where we climbed the tower and also saw a super deep well. The guide only spoke German, so I don’t actually know how deep the well was, but he poured a whole pitcher of water and it took several seconds before we heard anything after the entire container was empty. 

We spent the rest of the day walking around, stopped in at H&M and even the Lego store since all the stores were starting their after-Christmas sales. We made dinner at our apartment and spent the rest of the evening talking and looking through photos.
For our second day in Nuremberg, we decided to visit the Nazi museum (Documentation Center) and Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The museum took us on a very detailed tour from the beginnings of the Nazi party to its end and the Nuremberg trials. It was very educational and packed with photos and videos from the time. I didn’t realize how early the Nazi party actually started in Germany since it seems that in history classes we focus on the forties and WWII and the depression in the thirties. After the walk-through audio tour (which lasted quite awhile), we got to walk out to see the rally grounds. I also didn’t realize how important Nuremberg was for the party in general. Every year they had a Nazi Party Rally and actually started constructing these huge buildings for their events. The one we saw looked quite a bit like the Colosseum, but was never finished. The audio guide said that all of these building projects were meant to show power and instill a sense of being a part of something big. It was a little bit scary to learn about how the party came to power and how people just went along with it even though such terrible things were happening. One point they made several times was that people didn’t go to the Nazi rallies for figuring anything out or learning anything, they only came for the experience and the emotion of being there and taking part in the festivities. There was virtually no logic to anything that occurred, everything that happened was just to show power and make people feel that they were part of something bigger than self or even country. After the museum I decided that there were bigger problems than not having wifi and having to go “all the way” to Starbucks to check my email. 

The next day we left our apartment and took two trains to get to Salzburg. I have decided that I love taking trains and I’m so glad we got Eurail passes. It’s so easy and there are no security check points so you can show up to the station five minutes before your train leaves and have plenty of time. Finally we arrived in Salzburg and found our hostel where we met up with Shannon, Josh, and Jessica! It was so good to see them and our room is very nice and modern with 6 beds and a bathroom. Much nicer than our hostel in Florence. We decided to go hunt for something to eat and got to see the old town of Salzburg by night and enjoyed a veggie-burger at McDonald’s. We finished the night watching Sound of Music since we went on the official Sound of Music tour today!

The tour guide came to pick us up this morning around nine and we all piled in the van for a morning of sight-seeing all the locations where the Von Trapps were in the movie. You can read about that in my next post!
12/31/2012 06:59:27 am

I'm so glad you got to spend some time in Nuremberg and increase your knowledge of history. I'm sure after visiting the Nazi museum, not having wifi seemed like no problem at all --- and we even survived the several days not getting a blog (it was hard though). It all looks so very interesting.

Grandpa and Sue
12/31/2012 07:58:44 am

Nice to have you back! Hope that you documented your "No wifi days", so that we can read about them in greater detail later. Your journey continues to sound inspirational and life changing for you all. Shelby...We see the foundation of a wonderful travel adventure book coming out of this experience. We'll be first in line to buy! Oh! Can we get it autographed by the author??? (She's such a cutie, don't you think?) Love, Sue and Grandpa


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