Now that would be some party if African Catholics and German Lutherans got together! There would be singing, clapping, and definitely beer…
After making our way through Austria we headed for Nuremberg in Germany, mostly to visit an old friend who had moved back home.
When we arrived, Iris asked if we would like to tag along to watch the annual celebration of the consecration of her church. Her kids were participating in various events including dancing and a parade.
Worried at first that we didn’t have proper clothes for a church event, Iris reassured us that the celebration was pretty informal. All activities would end in a beer tent.
Our hosts put on traditional clothing (don’t call them costumes – it’s not Hallowe’en!) and we headed to the celebration. We weren’t sure what to expect when we entered the tent, but the band and the one litre beer glasses soon had everyone singing. We found ourselves standing on benches along with everyone else, humming in our best German and getting a good arm workout from all the toasts.
On one of the final days of the celebration we went to an ecumenical mass (in the beer tent, of course). The mass ended with a breakfast of sausages, pretzels and beer.
Drinking beer was not the only thing we got up to in Nuremberg. We toured the old town and castle, which was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages.
We also visited Rothenburg, a beautiful walled city that dates from around 1,000 A.D. The city is the quintessential Bavarian town with brick buildings criss-crossed by colourful wooden beams.
We also got into the countryside to visit the Pottenstein cave. The trip south to get to the cave is so pastoral it makes it hard to believe that there are 88 million people in Germany, a country smaller than Alberta.
And sometimes you just have to go to where the kids will have pure fun. We made it to the Playmobil Funpark in Nuremberg, which is the only one of its kind in the world. The kids played on life-sized creations based on Playmobil toys and had fun climbing, balancing and sliding in the various jungle gyms around the park.
We were definitely sad to say goodbye to Nuremberg! Thank you Iris, for such a fun time!