Sunday, August 07, 2011

Treasure Hunting to Tübingen

Nuremburg is really a gorgeous city. Last time we came, it was near the end of a 3.5 week march around Germany. We were all exhausted and once we arrived, the kids went on strike and refused to leave the hotel. I coaxed Maddie out with the Albrecht Dürer house and friends and students, but Rob had to resort to more creative measures with the boys. He took them on a treasure hunt around town. They had to find three bridges (stone, metal and wood), a house in the water, and the Ship of Fools sculpture. Upon our return this year, the boys wanted to go on another treasure hunt, so Rob stepped it up and had nearly a dozen things for Will and Sebastian to find in the altstadt.
The Schonen Brunnen or lovely spring.
When you turn the brass ring three times, your wish will come true.
This is a replica from the 20th century. The original is in the city museum.
It is a big hit with all the tourists and smack in the belly button of the city.
The boys found the bull . . .
. . . the wooden bridge . . .
. . . the metal bridge . . .
[click to enlarge] and if you look closely here you can see they found a stone ring, stone cannonball, the axe and hand, dancing statue, ship of fools, a tower on the city wall, and a lamb as well. If we had the time and the creativity, this is really the way to see Europe with kids. They are engaged and scouring the landscape for "treasures" and you get to see a lot for the bargain price of some lebkuchen.
We have some books like this for Vienna and Berlin, but it is generally the smaller towns where we need them more -- where we are staying for just a day or two and want to get out and get a feel for the city. We have also used Lynn A's suggestion in museums that you head to the gift shop first and let the kids pick out a piece of work on a postcard and then go back and try to find everyone's painting or sculpture in the museum. Actually Rob also used that with the students to focus their visit on some of the most important works.
Rob took the students to see the Lorenzkirche . . .
. . . to make their own wishes at the Schonen Brunnen . . .
. . . and up to the Sebaldkirche (he wanted them to see Gothic and there is not a lot left in Berlin).
We checked out of our funkalicious Nürnberg hotel and paraded the entire family through the downtown on the way to the train station. Our family is big for Europe. You can watch people start to count to four and then count again and again and again in disbelief. Hotels and restaurants have been helpful; no one has been unkind or made comments. But if you don't think we made a stir in Nürnberg walking across the altstadt with four kids and luggage and the youngest one on a leash -- well, you had to see it to believe it.
Last time we left town we had 30 seconds to sit down before the train took off. We got there good and early to make up for it this time! Rob had to kick people out of our reserved seats again ("It's really inconvenient to move seats now" she said "It's really inconvenient for me to have to ask you twice." said Rob. As he says, the upside to having all these German rules is that they have to follow them too.)
And we made it to Stuttgart, changed trains, and rode to Tübingen where our place is here along the Steinlach. More on that once the laundry is out of the the danger zone!

3 comments:

Nedra said...

Still loving your blog! Thanks for all the pictures of the kids and the witty and informative commentary. I know you haven't enjoyed the rain, but I've been noticing some Nedra-type weather for you this summer in Germany. Several sweater and coat days.
Love, MOM/Grandma

Lois said...

I'm confused by the reserved seats on the trains. So do people have reserved seats and then half way through they have to move to a different reserved seat? Are they sitting in the wrong seat to begin with?

Mary Ann said...

Let's see, Lois. See if this makes sense: the train began at the top of Germany and is going southwest to Stuttgart, making stops and people are getting off and on at all of them. We get on and we've reserved our seats, but only for the section we're traveling: Nuremburg to Stuttgart. You can also ride the train with no reservation -- it's just like riding Southwest and you grab an open seat. But if you're riding for a while, you might end up in a reserved seat that was free when you got on. Yes, you just move to another seat that's free, unless it's completely booked up and then you're looking for a fold down seat in the hall or you're standing in between cars.