A Travellerspoint blog



We have now parted ways with Neil and Amanda, as they head towards Belgium and onwards to home. We would love to see and do more of Germany but didn’t realize that the whole country would be so expensive and fully booked during Oktoberfest! Instead of heading to Berlin, we decided to spend a few days in Nuremberg and then most likely head to Greece for some warmth because it’s starting to become significantly cooler here. Nuremberg is a beautiful little city that we unfortunately only had two days to explore.

Nazi Party Rally Grounds

The first place we explored was the Nazi Party Rally grounds. This 11km area is filled with massive buildings, lakes and pathways and is known for some of the most iconic pictures from WWII. The complex, whose grandeur and style were inspired by classical Roman architecture, served as the site for the ritualistic Nazi party rallies between 1933 and 1938. Constructed by ‘Hitler’s favorite architect’ and Nazi minister Albert Speer, it formed the backdrop to the synchronized marching and showmanship captured in so many pictures and films. Large parts of Speer’s intended complex, such as the world’s biggest stadium, were never completed after the outbreak of World War II. Much of the architecture was defaced by advancing Allied soldiers at the end of the war and have since fallen into disrepair. The city of Nuremberg recently announced 90 million Euros are to be used to restore the entire grounds area. We have read that many people who live in Germany and Nuremberg disagree with this action, even though it is part of our history, many feel that the cost is to high. What do you think??

the Congress Hall

The first building we came upon was the Congress Hall, which is the biggest preserved National Socialist Party Monumental building in Germany. The building was designed to look exactly like the Coliseum in Rome. Even though it was so large there was an incredible amount of thought and detail put into it. On the inside, the bricks from the walls were crumbling away, plants were growing in and around walls and fences, and some old “rooms” were being used for storage. The outside however is made up of clinker with a facade of granite panels.





The Great Road & The Zeppelinfeld

Next, we walked the pathways along the Dutzendteich Lake to the Great Road, which is 2km long and 40m wide. It was intended to be the central axis of the site and a parade road for the Wehrmacht (The unified armed forces of Germany). In its northwestern prolongation the road points towards Nuremberg Castle. This was to create a relation between the role of Nuremberg during the Third Reich and its role during medieval times. Now, a parking lot for festivals and football matches and once used as a runway for the U.S. army, it’s hard to imagine the amount of people that were involved in these massive parades and rallies. Continuing along some paths, we at last found the Zeppelinfeld, where Hitler used to make his propaganda speeches. Looking out from his podium, Hitler could watch thousands of soldiers marching by, professing their loyalty with the familiar Nazi salute to their Fuhrer. We both had the chance to stand on this perch and to see the enormity of this field and stadium. It was an experience like no other in the sense that we have visited so many places where WWII was fought, but this was the first time we had experienced a place that was used prior to the wars beginning. To think that this was exactly where Hitler stood and exactly where he made his hateful speeches that eventually allowed for the atrocities that occurred many years later, made us speechless. It will remain one of the most humbling experiences of our lives. We have included some old pictures to give everyone some perspective on what it used to look like.






Old Town

Once we made it back from the rally grounds, we decided to wander around the old city in Nuremberg. We passed through the old city walls, which are still “protecting” the castle inside. Inside we found lots of new shops and restaurants, but also extremely old churches, bridges market spaces and of course, the castle. The city was built in medieval times around the 10th century, so the architecture was breathtaking. Enormous churches towered above us with gargoyles and solemn statues staring down. Cobblestone roads and bridges were leading us up the hill until finally we saw the stunning castle. It really was quite the climb to get to the gates, but it was so worth it once we got inside. We could see the whole city from up there! There were these perfect German wooden beams that cover the walls, with pink flowers flowing over the railings of windows and walls that were made of stone over 1m thick surrounded by gorgeous manicured gardens. Sigh….oh to be royalty ;)







It was definitely a packed 2 days, but it opened our eyes to the enormity of what the Nazis were trying to accomplish prior the start of WWII. Germany you have been good to us and we look forward to seeing the rest of you very soon. Until next time.

Posted by BlondeandCurly 14:05 Archived in Germany Comments (0)



Well, there isn’t much to say about this crazy endeavour we partook in. Oktoberfest in Munich, where the original celebration of the marriage between Princess Therese and Prince Ludwig took place in 1810, was an experience unto any other. We would describe it to Canadians by saying it is like the Calgary Stampede; except there is lederhosen and dirndls instead of cowboy boots and jeans, baked salty pretzels instead of mini donuts and the largest beer tents we have ever witnessed and probably the biggest in the world. They stood tall along the grounds; everywhere we looked along the main street, 14 to be exact. It was an experience like no other. Beer, Beer and more Beer, may have led to a couple of rough mornings, but it was very much worth it. We feel bad saying this but, we feel that Oktoberfest might actually be the greatest outdoor show on earth (sorry Calgary). Just like in Ibiza, we feel that the pictures can tell enough of a story and tell it better than our words could ever do, but finally we want to say thank you to all of the locals who made us feel welcome and made attempts to teach us the ways and the history of Oktoberfest and thank you to the many others who we met along the way, who made our experience that much better. Enjoy!

Day 1




Day 2





Beer Tents


Its funny how half way across the world.... you can run into your old ringette coach. Small World


Posted by BlondeandCurly 11:11 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Germany - The Highs and Lows of Bavaria



We took the train from Prague to Munich which, after we slept for the first part, turned in to a beautiful countryside trip. We knew we had finally entered Germany as soon as we saw solar panels on top of every single house (even barns!) and wind turbines every which way. Amanda was in heaven! It was so relieving that some countries in this world are truly trying to make a difference. Our first night in Munich, Sean took us to the Augusteiner Brewhouse where we had our first German meal and beer out of real steins! Let’s just say, the steins led us to an interesting night filled with outdoor beer gardens, intense discussions and a slightly rougher than usual morning ;)




The next day took us to the Dachau Concentration Camp. This was the first concentration camp Hitler constructed. He used it to show the Red Cross that it was for housing political prisoners, even though it eventually became a place of forced labour and torture of Jewish people, gypsies, emigrants, homosexuals, etc. Many times the Red Cross came through to this camp and each time, they states it was fit to continue its practice. If only they had seen what was really happening to these poor people. As we entered the infamous iron gates that read, “Arbeit Macht Frie”, or “Work will set you free” (which has recently been stolen from the camp), we were overcome with emotion.



It is truly hard to explain the feelings that envelop you when you’re standing in a place of such horror, a place where humans literally destroyed other humans. To walk the grounds where thousands of people were treated with such brutality was truly an eye opening experience. We were able to walk through the original buildings that the prisoners would have walked (Most are now part of a museum and exhibition). Where the prisoners would have met the guards, where all their belongings were stripped from them and taken away, sent to the bath houses where they were shaved and “cleaning” solution was used to wash the filth from their impure bodies and finally through old torture rooms where some prisoners were unfortunate enough to undergo medical testing.







We are so glad that this camp has become a memorial site. Though it is still difficult to know that something so appalling happened and that no apology will ever be enough for the millions of people who died and the families who were torn apart and lost, we as a society hopefully can learn from these atrocities so not to repeat them in the future.




Continuing with our WWII journey, the next day we decided to rent a car and drive to Berchtesgaden, where Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” has been maintained. This was a bit of a lighter day than the Dachau Concentration Camp and I really think the group needed it. Because we rented a car, we were able to experience what it was like to drive on the Autobahn and boy were the guys excited! I think they made it to 170km/hr in a Kia hatchback. We blasted some music and made an Autobahn chant where only the lucky few will get to hear it! ;) We also rented the car because we knew we’d be able to enjoy the outstanding views and scenery of the Bavarian countryside. For those of you who have seen the Sound of Music, It looked identical to scene where they are escaping at the end of the movie and end up climbing the mountains (yep, movie reference number two!). There were massive mountains shooting up all around us, luscious green valley’s with gorgeous farms and animals everywhere we looked. Trees that looked so fluffy and bushy on the rolling hills and of course the clearest of blue skies to make it one of the most magnificent places we have ever been.
After a few stops and some amazing photo ops, we ended up in the parking lot where we had to take a bus up the steepest, most windy road I think we’ve ever been on. Not a road for the faint of heart, or those who were scared of heights, aka…all of us! When we reached the top, we found ourselves entering this cool, wet, brick cave that led us to the brass elevator which would take us up to the Eagle’s Nest.


We later found out that the building of this elevator, tunnel and retreat was an architectural masterpiece. The people working on this project did an incredible job, which is one of the reasons it still stands today. After a quick ride up, the doors opened to reveal….a restaurant! I (Lindsay) apparently didn’t do my homework and had no idea that this famous building where Hitler once ruled had been turned into a tourist restaurant. I (Sean) feel that Hitler would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what his retreat in the mountains has become. We left the restaurant, walked outside and up the mountain, enjoying the spectacular views from on top of the world. Hopefully our pictures can do justice!






On our last day before Oktoberfest, we thought we’d take in some more sights. So, into the Kia and on to the Autobahn we went again, this time reaching 190km/hr. The boys were giggling in the front seat at their accomplishment, not knowing the girls were in the back having just as much fun! We exited off the highway and onto the Romantic Road and enjoyed the countryside views until Amanda shouted, “I think that’s it!” And there it was, Schloss Neuschwanstein, or as it’s more famously known, The Disney Castle. This castle is perched high on a hill with mountains encompassing it.






This castle has been on my (Lindsay’s) bucket list for years and years and it was so exciting when we finally made it. Its’ white stone walls were shining in the sun and the pointed towers were so tall, protecting those who lived there. Surrounded by a magical forest that hid a magnificent waterfall and a swinging bridge, we were truly in a fantasy land and did not want to leave.


We even started singing songs in a Disney-like manner for our hike down the hill, well, the girls did at least! We made it down the hill to a cute little town with a large lake and another castle, Schloss Hohenschwangau, where King Ludwig II actually spent most of his time. We only admired it from afar, but the entire place was absolutely beautiful.



It was a perfect day and a perfect fairy tale ending to southern Germany. Onto Oktoberfest!

Posted by BlondeandCurly 11:12 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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