Bamberg

Day trips from Nuremberg

September 10, 2013 – Today started grey and rainy.  We’ve really had great weather for most of the trip, though, so we’ve been fortunate in that regard.  The plan for the day is to see two towns a train-ride away from Nuremberg – Bamberg and Wurzburg.

Train View

The train ride offered great views of the countryside.

Due to train schedules, we started the day in Bamberg.  We packed our umbrellas and our trusty Nalgene, and headed to the train station.  We had heard that Bamberg was a quaint, historical, beautiful town.  Perhaps it was the rain or the crowds – this was the first time we encountered busloads of tourists – but we decided to leave town on the next train to Wurzberg.

Cool Mural

Our favorite sights in Bamberg were the river and the murals.

We did a very quick walk through town, and after an hour were ready to (narrowly) make the train and continue to Wurzburg.  Our first stop was Festung Marienberg, followed by the Residenz.

Festung

Head straight to the river from the Hbf for great festung views.

First up, though – lunch.  We found a nice restaurant, called Würzburger Hofbräukeller, on the way to the fortress.  It was before noon and not very crowded, so we were a little unsure if it was any good, but by 12:30 had filled up.  We enjoyed their Oktoberfest beer and some sausages and chips.  On a side note, when you’re ready to pay just hold up your wallet, and the check will appear.

Festung Walk

If you like walking, build in some time to walk up the hill to the festung.

Festung Marienberg sits on top of a hill overlooking the town.  You get there by weaving your way through very narrow side streets and then up a beautiful stone drive and through several gates.  We particularly liked the beautiful gardens and the fantastic view from the fortress, overlooking the vineyards on the town’s hillside.

Festung Gardens

The gardens are quite colorful.

We walked down through past the fortress walls and down through the park leading back to town.  Up next was the Residenz, home of the prince-bishops.  The formal gardens are beautiful, reminiscent of royal palaces in Britain.  Fountains, shaded walkways, and gardens line the lawn before you get to the Residenz.  The building itself is opulent, with large frescoes, impressive staircases, soaring ceilings, and glittering chandeliers.

Residenz

Photos are not allowed inside the Residenz, but outdoor photos are fair game.

The structure was bombed during the war and, even though it’s structural integrity was maintained by Allied troops, the writers of the informational signs seem much more pained and annoyed by the war damage than other areas we’ve visited.  Or perhaps that’s just the formal tone of the translation.  Regardless, the building is beautiful and well worth a visit.  After a short train ride back to Nuremberg we headed back to our favorite spot for dinner.  Tomorrow we head to Berlin.

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Going to a Celtics Game

April 17, 2014 – Last night we had the chance to go to the last Celtics game of the season.  Admittedly the team didn’t get as many wins as many might have hoped, but it was still a fun game to go to.  Why?  Glad you asked. :)

  • The fans love their team.  Really.  We applaud every free throw, and fist pumps are common.
  • Did you know you can do The Wave in an indoor stadium?  Me neither.  It was fun though.
  • Cheese fries and sausage with peppers and onions.  Yeah, it was as good as it sounds.
  • Seeing all the banners, both Celtics and Bruins, hanging from the rafters.
PAX

PAX East 2014 Highlights

April 14, 2014 – This past weekend was PAX East 2014.  For those who might not be familiar with PAX, it’s a three-day event where gamers of all kinds (video, board, and card) converge by the tens of thousands to play games, hear panels about games, and weave their way through a convention hall packed with game designers.  Some of these are big-name designers (Titanfall and Borderlands, anyone?) but others are smaller studios using Kickstarter to get their games out there.  So, after three days and very little sleep (because really, who sleeps during PAX?), here are our highlights.

  • Concerts, particularly MC Frontalot and The Video Game Orchestra.  MC is just fun, and VGO is insanely good, particularly on the guitar.  Oh, and bring earplugs… my hearing still isn’t back from Friday night, and any sound makes my ear cringe.  Yes, ears can cringe, it’s a fact.
  • Chainsawsuit Podcast.  I’ll admit, I haven’t heard of this podcast before.  But Kris Straub and Mikey Neumann have got to be the single funniest group I’ve ever seen.  Literally non stop laughs.  I mean, really, who comes up with The Sarcophag-nator as a move for an Egyptian wrestler?
  • The Make a Strip panel with Mike and Jerry.  Funny.  Always funny.  “It’s my bump.”  And no, it’s not what you think.
  • Actually finding decent food – Italian sausage with cheese, peppers and onions, fries and a drink for $10.  That’s a conference food win.   Do yourself a favor and eat on the bridge.  Actually, don’t, I like having room to watch the conference activity from above.
  • Getting over 10,000 points playing Threes.   We wait – a lot- in line for these panels, and playing Threes was a good activity.
  • Love D&D with Chris Perkins (from Wizards of the Coast) as DM – you’ll never know you just spent three hours watching the fun.
  • Other honorable mentions – Borderlands, the Pre-Sequel!, food at Legal Test Kitchen (we recommend anything with scallops, sweet potato fries or calamari), the crowd at the final Omegathon corn-hole match (“Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” “My name’s not Jerry, it’s Tycho.” “Ty-cho! Ty-cho!”), game show night, and the Titanfall panel.

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