The kids and I took another road trip last weekend. We went to visit friends whom we’ve known for about 10 years now. They moved to Nürnberg last year and bought their first little house. This was our first time seeing it. As a good German guest, I needed to bring wine or flowers. I don’t know wine, but I can find a good bouquet. Zavi chose orange, and Katja wanted the roses. The florist took care of the rest. The amazing thing is that this is pretty typical of German florists. You always get a wonderfully presented bouquet, more than suitable as a gift.
Once there, we settled right in. I think D really enjoyed having a boy in the house to play with. They were having the best time sending a little Beefeater figure through the castle wall with a catapult!
Friday we went to the zoo. No, the Tiergarten — Nürnberg refuses to call it a zoo. We spent hours there and didn’t see it all. I loved this lionfish and all its spikey lushness.
They had the usual lions and tigers and bears and all manner of antelope and deer, but they had odd animals too, like manatees and these tapirs.
The kids loved the pinguins.
And when it started to rain, we sought shelter in the dolphin show. They had five dolphins, three sea lions, and a trainer who looked like he was having the time of his life. It was so much fun to watch the show, and a great way to wait out the showers.
On Saturday, M and I left the three kids with D and went downtown. Without the famous Christmas Market crowds, the old town is lovely. I always enjoy the weekly market in any town…
Especially when these markets tend to be in the shadow of beautiful, historic city halls and churches. We timed our visit to watch the Glockenspiel (clock with animated figures) at noon.
The Pegnitz river runs picturesquely through the town. I was struck by all the buildings on the right, which bear a striking resemblence to my “Quiltstadt.” I knew I was on to something.
I was also struck by this wacky reindeer sculpture. It seemed to be the mascot of a little art gallery filled with fun, wonky, art.
In the afternoon, we rewarded D by taking the kids out for a walk and leaving him to nap. Nearby was this ruined palace which once had a moat.
The kids tried their hand at skipping stones. Never mind that neither the river or the stones were the right kind for skipping. They enjoyed it anyways.
There was a great nature walk with local information. There was also a “barefoot path” with stones, sand and driftwood. We took off our shoes and closed our eyes and let our sense of feel take over for a while.
Sunday, we gave our hosts a break and went to Playmobil Fun Park.
We loved this place! It is like a ginormous playground.
No rollercoasters, just kid-powered fun.
Granted, it’s all themed around Playmobil products, but there is only one shop, so you are not tempted at every turn. These two are not having so much fun at the castle. He’s a chicken thief and she’s the princess on the pea (not sure why you’d get locked up for that though).
In the jungle adventure area, the kids found a platform behind a waterfall which chimed when they jumped on it.
During some rain, we took refuge in a barn and Katja groomed giant Playmobil horses.
They have two enclosed halls for wintertime or foul weather fun. One is another giant playground including an underground maze where the floor has color coded LED lights to follow. The other hall houses the restaurant and plenty of places to play with all the latest Playmobil toys.
We like the treehouse themed area.
And the kids slept well that night