Wednesday, 3 September 2008

20 Years On - Part 13 of Account of Travelling by Train Around West Germany and Austria

I certainly remember the train carriage filled with the solicitous elderly women. It was a good thing they were there as the sandwiches I had packed had gone mouldy and they gave me replacement food. Later walking through Nürnberg I had burnt up so much energy that I experienced what I now know was a hypoglaecemic attack, i.e. my body lacked sufficient blood sugar for the activity I was doing and I wolfed down the pallet of peaches one of the women had given me and the fruit sugar helped get me back to normality. I also remember being pestered by American religious people dressed in smart suits who seemed to haunt the railway station and you had to dodge away from.

As in Koblenz, the youth hostel in Nürnberg is in a castle with a great view down across the city. The medieval historic nature of the city is one reason Hitler used it for his rallies. In keeping with that I dined in a restaurant in a cellar. By the time I returned there in 2004 my knowledge of German had deteriorated so much I could no longer understand the menu, which had, however, changed little.

I remember on the tour of the castle, a local family: husband, wife and grown-up daughter taking around a British couple who in the UK would have been perceived as 'caravanners' wearing rather dated, dull, cheap synthetic clothing and almost 1950s hairstyles which contrasted sharply with the big hair of the two German women and very expensive designer leatherwear all their hosts had on. For some reason I remember the wife had a leather skirt suit with a nipped waist held with a bow at the back of the jacket, all very Eighties in style. The Britons almost seemed like their pets, being patronised and led around the place like children. I just wondered how these two groups of people had met because they seemed so different.

Saturday 3rd September 1988
Todau I actually overslept for the first time this holiday. I got up, had breakfast and talked to some Americans. I caught the train to Nürnberg at 09.20. The one [that left] an hour earlier would have got me there two hours earlier.
Just as an aside, here sitting in a train surrounded by three middle aged women - two Austrian and one German, all doing crosswords, those difficult arrowed ones without black spaces; German women seem addicted to crosswords. I also know now why there are so many cinemas in Wien - they are listed by district - because the television is so bad and boring.

I arrived at Nürnberg by 15.00 and walked quickly to the youth hostel which is just North of the centre, in another castle. After unpacking I went to the castle and had a guided tour, then I went out for a meal with Nick, an English cyclist, we had a tasty if basic meal - I had a hunk of meat, dumplings and salad. Then we came back to talk to two Finns before going to bed.
Weather: Dull, some rain.
Nürnberg Youth Hostel, September 1988

Nürnberg Castle, September 1988

Note the Bavarian Flag flying at half-mast

View across Nürnberg, September 1988

No comments: