EAT: I’ll admit, I had a preconceived notion of what German cuisine would be like. Mostly the atmosphere of the restaurants; dimly lit, heavily cloaked in velvet, with antler décor and many food items containing blood. We have yet to see anything like this here in Nuremburg, quite the opposite. The local eateries are very modern, gorgeous well-lit interiors, with bent wood furnishings, felted wool place matts and seat cushions, many including vegetarian options. Our first food experience was a vegan place just a few blocks from our apartment, we were eager to get a break from the jamón of Spain. The girls happily consumed lentils and rice, while Bernie and I tried the Veggie Burgers mine was called the Monkey Burger and yes it contained sliced bananas and had a peanut sauce and was quite delicious. The second day we wandered into another well-designed establishment and I ordered a green bowl. We thought this was just a regular coffee shop, but to our delight they had a variety of wholesome and delicious food offerings, reminding us of home. Later in the week we stopped at this nondescript place called HOT TACOS. The exterior was understated but to our surprise, the interior very quirky and quit charming and the food excellent. This place was run by a New York born grown-up English speaking military kid, who was very friendly and took much pride in his establishment and could not figure out why we would leave Maui for this weather. They enquired if they could return home to Maui with us.
PLAY: We have discovered well-designed organic play structure, after play structure here in Germany. As our Waldorf friends know, our play structure at Haleakala was imported and built by German Engineers. I am coming to realize that this type of design is not unique to Waldorf Schools, it is just how the Germans design. The structures are high off of the ground, daring, challenging, entertaining our girls for hours (or as long as we can bear the cold). Grace said “Mommy can we go to the stick park?” A park we had missed while walking to the Kinder Museum. This structure is all but camouflaged to anyone who is not on the constant look out for a park. Contrary to the parks in Portugal and Spain, while prevalent, all appeared to be designed for small children 4 and under. I have learned in my parenting that risk taking is a necessary part of a healthy development, that the girls need to experience danger to a certain extent in order to thrive, grow and learn to moderate themselves. We have found that the Germans have incorporated this tree-climbing element into their design. The girls have been delighted by changing fallen leaves and begged to make piles to jump into, while I freeze.
We found the Spielzeug Museum at last, containing 600 years of toy making history. The girls enjoyed it, but had more fun the previous day at the Kinder Museum.
Live: As we have told ourselves and others, our mission for this journey was not only to see new places but to really live in that place and experience the daily life. We are accomplishing that. Amidst the touristing, visiting some local sights we are shopping at little markets for groceries, playing on the playgrounds, taking local transportation (the U-bahn) yes we have become quite accomplished in this. We must look like we know what we are doing, so much so that a woman asked me to help her with the ticket machine in some foreign language (maybe Russian?). We love the U-bahn all of my public transportation fears assuaged by the expedient, clean and efficient transportation €11.40 (all-day ticket for our family). To our surprise no one has checked our tickets it seems to be the honor system, I question if the penalty is so severe that no one dare risk it. Below are some clips of street entertainers and people out strolling about on a Sunday afternoon. Exiting the U-ban yesterday, hear what we encountered:
Loving all things German, my husband, our school, the Mini Cooper, the country, etc.
P.S. Comments are totally welcome and invited we love hearing your thoughts.