When I first heard about our river cruise on the Danube, I was surprised to find out that part of the trip would actually be land based (Prague) and after that we would have to take a bus to our next destination, Nuremberg, Germany where we would board the ship. We structured our time in Nuremberg accordingly, so were a bit taken aback when we were told the ship was not in Nuremberg because the water levels of the river were too low to maneuver. The ship was docked in another German town, Vilshofen and we would have to take another bus there when our few hours in Nuremberg were done. While this seemed like a hassle, in the end, it all went rather smoothly.
The 2 plus hour early morning bus ride was quite comfortable and allowed me a chance to sleep. So, when we arrived in sunny Nuremberg I was raring to go. We had arranged to have a guide take me around and Anya was waiting for us at the local tourist office. Our first stop was to the best gingerbread baker in town. I actually couldn’t wait for this visit and was already planning to buy some. Little did I know that I would be in the kitchen at Cafe Confiserie Neef with Chef Florian, helping to make and prepare this famous treat dating back to the Franconian monks. Because Nuremberg was on the spice road, interesting spices became part of the secret recipes including aniseed, mace and allspice. The recipe for the gingerbread here hasn’t changed throughout the family’s history but each Christmas a new flavor is created. How fortunate for me that this year the flavor was chocolate rum and Chef Florian had already prepared some goody bags for us to take. (My Florida friends have all since enjoyed them.)
As Anya showed me around the pretty town and filled me in on its history (aside from the infamous Nazi occupation and Nuremberg trials,) the smell of sauerkraut, beer and sausages lured us to the Bratwursthausle. As it turned out, Anya knew the owner and we were treated to a tasting of their special Nuremberg sausages (bratwurst.) These short and thin bratwurst are prepared fresh every day, grilled on an open beechwood fire. A portion is about 8 sausages served with sauerkraut, potato salad, pretzels and freshly tapped beer. I found out their spice of choice is marjoram that gives their sausages a little extra flavor.
Not having much time left before we had to meet the bus, we decided to walk off some of the gingerbread, sausages and beer by hiking up to the Nuremberg Castle. This well kept medieval fortress is one of the most important in Europe having been home to many German Kings and Emperors and it even housed the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire.
While the time in Nuremberg was short, it was certainly tasty and I found out there are many more delicious food choices and restaurants to try. That will be for a longer stay.
Meanwhile, the bus ride gave me a chance to digest and unwind before enjoying the first meal on board my new home, The River Princess.
Next destination.. Regensburg.
All the best,