Sunday Diaries-4

17 May

Last Sunday, I went to Nurnberg. Not as a tourist, but because I wanted to attend a programme at the Nurnberg Ashram. Not because I’m usually a ritualistic visitor of worship places, but because I have experienced the indelible impact of the spiritual vibrations of places on my meditations and spiritual practices. That, and group worship.

My modus operandi at group meditations have always been, and still are, back in India, to enter, do my thing, and leave without so much as making eye contact with anyone. Nudged out of my comfort zone, however, I went searching for such groups here, as I mentioned in earlier posts, and found the nearest ones in Hannover (and Kassel, although the dates are yet to work for me). Never before have I experienced the positive impact of group worship in such a way. Back home, the ashram atmosphere becomes difficult to isolate from the group aspect, so I’d always attributed what I felt there to the former.

Anyhow, last Sunday, I was at Nurnberg. I took a late night bus on Saturday (Meinfernbus- I ❤ it) and arrived early on Sunday morning. The ticket machines spoke English (hurrah!) so I purchased a day ticket all by myself, and felt absurdly accomplished. I also made my way to the location without getting lost, and felt absurdly accomplished (I have a talent for getting lost irrespective of how good the directions given to me are. I also have a talent for getting lost in places I have visited several times.) Having spent the whole day there, I wondered what to do for the seven hours I had on hand before my train. I hadn’t any done any research since tourism was not the objective of this trip. I picked the Berlin strategy of last year-hop trams and buses (because it’s Sunday and I don’t want to get stuck ten miles outside the city whilst my train leaves without me) and see the city. The other option ahead of me was to do Nazi Tourism, and that absolutely did not tickle my fancy.

What worked for Berlin did not work for Nurnberg. The rides did not enchant me. That could be because a) I picked the routes that took me to uninteresting parts of town, b) because I was a little tired and my backpack was heavy and I was carrying a ‘food bag’ that I had hoped to make redundant by the evening, but had not and c) because the touristy parts of town are actually the most interesting.

I was also very much looking for a place to sit down and write my journal and eat dinner and was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find semi-private park benches and the doners were ridiculously expensice (3.5 Euros?? When I can get it for 2.5 in Gottingen and Hannover? Tsha!) That ended in me sitting at the train station at 9 PM, eating a cliched McDonalds burger (which did not cost me less than what the doner would have!) and feeling silly because I had not ‘seen’ Nurnberg and I didn’t think I’d be making another visit. So with an attitude adjust, I went out for a walk and saw the old town by night.

There is a symmetry to sight-seeing in the German cities I have visited till now, excepting Berlin. In Cologne, Hannover, Nurnberg and Gottingen the things to see are the old city, with the grand Town Halls, Churches and Cathedrals, Town Walls, and cobbled streets. And the half-timbered houses. Very pretty, but lacking the element of surprise. For me, that can get old pretty fast (and hence the hopeful bus and tram rides). I have to say, though, that Nurnberg’s old quarters are the prettiest of the lot, so far.

WP_20150510_22_46_04_Pro

WP_20150510_22_54_14_ProWP_20150510_22_59_56_Pro WP_20150510_23_03_49_Pro WP_20150510_23_13_39_Pro WP_20150510_23_15_50_ProIn the end I was glad to have done that last minute remedial tourism. The photos leave a lot to be desired, and I have right now, this minute, decided to do more intentional traveling and use my actual camera as opposed to the phone cam.

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