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Linds Across Europe, Day 7

October 24, 2014

This morning, we explored Nuremberg (or Nürnberg) a bit.  We drove through the old city, which is medieval and has walls, a moat, and a castle.  However, it was completely destroyed in World War II, so it has mostly been restored.  It looks great, and so many things were wonderfully restored to their old glory, but what a shame!  Driving through, we had wanted to explore the castle, but parking was too tight and the main entrance was blocked by no less than three fire trucks.  The firefighters didn’t seem like there was any sort of emergency, however.  So, we didn’t stop, but kept going to the southeast skirts of the city for a somber part of our trip.

Nuremberg became the capital of the Nazi Socialist Party and seemed to be one of Hitler’s favorite places.  This makes it a very important city, historically.  Nuremberg was used both to pass laws to criminalize Jews, and the city courthouse held the trials that, for the first time in history, convicted and sentenced to death some of the most vial war criminals.  Just outside of Nuremberg were Hitler’s rally grounds, so we wanted to stop and see this important piece of history!

Zeppelin Field, September 1937 (photo provided publicly by the German Federal Archives)

Zeppelin Field, September 1937 (photo provided publicly by the German Federal Archives)

I stood in this exact spot and took some photos today while Matthew and the kids stood where Hitler is standing in the photo (the podium above the flag).  It was surreal to be in such a place.  To note, the Swastika on the top was blown up ceremoniously by US troops on April 22, 1945 to celebrate the end of the Nazi reign.  The columns to the side in the photo were removed in the 1960’s because they were not safe to stand.  Zeppelin Field is now used for soccer games and concerts, with plans to begin restoring it for the city’s use next year.  There were maybe ten visitors, including us, there today.

Once we were done there, and had enjoyed Nuremberg sausages for lunch on right outside of Hitler’s arena (<– this is a weird sentence), we departed to head back to Heidelberg and Karlsruhe.  This had been the first stop on our journey last Saturday night, but we wanted to spend more time exploring the cities in this area, so we are here for two more nights.  We are grateful to have such a high quality, cheap family hostel (with locations in both Karlsruhe and Nuremberg, to have made the trip possible financially)!

Our drive wasn’t too long (about 2.5 hours, including nasty traffic), so we got to our hotel just in time to settle and find some dinner.  We walked along and found the only restaurant that was open and looked decent – and it was soooooo good.  The kids INHALED their schnitzel with cheese sauce, Matthew had super spicy curried sausage, and I enjoyed the special, which I can neither pronounce nor remember the name, but it was some sort of veal cooked with peppers and mushrooms and gravy, super tender, and spätzel (potato noodles – AMAZING) – and Axel ate half of my spätzel and a few bites of schnitzel.  So, we rolled ourselves home and here we are.

We love Germany and we love learning the differences in cultures, now that we are more familiar with French culture and it is SOOOO different than German…everything!  Ha!  It’s hard to believe they’re neighbors, but it’s also a very fun way to experience such things – with familiarity.  We are so grateful for this unique opportunity and experience.  We thank our supporters for understanding that this family downtime is much needed and much appreciated – we hope that by sharing our experiences, you all can feel involved, too!  In less than a year, we’ll be sharing much different experiences, and we look forward to that and having these fond memories of our European travels and experiences all wrapped up in one very strange package.

As an example, Levi asked today, “what languages do God understand?”  He later asked what “four” was in Latin.  Latin?!  Also, Amelia and Levi can now shout “NO!” to each other in five languages without blinking about it (no, non, te, nein, and nee: English, French, Lingala, German, and Dutch)…our life is weird, and I have begun to embrace that my kids will be weird.  Hopefully, our weird-ness is to God’s glory and that He is making something of our mess.

Tomorrow, adventures in Heidelberg…

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