Friday : German National Museum, McRib and an Indian Meal

I managed to spend four hours at the National German Museum, a delightful museum which seemed to be endless in size. There was more to see, but I had museum fatigue by the end of it, not least because of the ridiculous number of photos that I took ( I will be doing more with those soon enough, but I’m just finishing off my Accor and Good Beer Guide sites, then I can direct my attention to the next project.

Incidentally, I made something of a mess at the ticket desk, as I thought I’d practice my language skills by asking for the German leaflet about the location. The staff member then realised that I was practising German and gave me 45 seconds of instructions of how to visit the museum, of which I understood about half. Which meant I didn’t understand the other half…. As an aside, I keep accidentally introducing Polish words into my limited German dialogue, making it near impossible for any local to have a clue what I’m talking about. I’ve been trying to stop saying “dobrze” to say I understand, I’m completely confused at how people manage to speak multiple languages…

Back to the museum, which is partly located in the former Nuremberg Charterhouse monastery. This is notable as so many monks walked out during the Reformation that the monastery had to be dissolved in 1525. It later became a Protestant church, then a Catholic one and then was taken over by the military. It was already badly damaged by the nineteenth century, but then the flattening of the city by the allies during the Second World War caused more damage.

A number of gravestones have survived and these have been placed against the walls of the cloister building, the one in the photo above dates from 1569 and is the stone of Andreas Bittelmayr.

One of the wings of the cloister and there would have been separate rooms, or cells, belonging to the monks on the left hand side.

When the Carthusian monks were here, they would eat in their own cell, with the food being placed here and everything was done in silence. It’s possible for visitors to enter the rooms to see this from the other side.

I was quite taken with this display in the centre, which is called ‘Capital City’ and has street signs from former GDR cities collected by Raphael Rheinsberg (1943-2016).

The nave of the former monastery church, which has been restored and is now once again a peaceful place. Anyway, as mentioned, I’ll come back to this marvellous museum, the collections of medieval art were substantial and fascinating.

Yes, I know, this is not an ideal thing to have in a city, there is a vast choice of local cuisine. However, I have long had a tradition of always getting a McRib when in Germany, which I think is the only country where it’s on the permanent menu. It was as delicious as ever. I was surprised at just how many things were broken everywhere, there were broken escalators in the railway station and only two self-service kiosks worked at a time in McDonald’s, and those two change like whack a mole. I reminded myself this wasn’t Poland, where the railway stations tend to glisten as one by one they’ve been modernised.

I had heard good things about bierwerk and it sounded my sort of place, since it’s seen as the best craft beer bar in the city, and indeed really the only one. The food options looked good and there was a variety of different beer types that were clearly labelled. The omens were positive, but the customer service was terrible and I walked out. So, what was meant to be a photograph of the boards for my own reference is all that I really have. This was a shame, it’s likely the bar that I would have most enjoyed. I did think about going on a different evening, but decided against it as I find poor customer service so rarely that I’d rather go elsewhere.

That left me with a difficulty as I had intended to eat in bierwerk, but I thought an Indian meal would suffice instead and Delhi Eats was well reviewed. I was welcomed immediately, although a heavily drunk man (who I suspect was English) rushed in and said “using your toilets” to the owner’s slight annoyance who shouted after him “that’ll be five euros”. But, sitting in a peaceful area of the restaurant, I was delighted to find they had mango lassi, which was refreshing and decadent, just as I like it.

They gave me a free salad. I’d have preferred an onion bhaji, but this was still a kind gesture and that made me like them even more. Service was personable, genuine and thoughtful, I was pleased that some balance had been restored to my day.

I like a Palak curry, this one with chicken, and it comes with rice included here and the presentation was I thought rather lovely. The food was very good, lots of flavour to the curry sauce and the chicken was tender, although perhaps hadn’t taken on much flavour from the sauce. But, I left feeling welcome and that’s all to the good and I’d recommend this restaurant.

As for Nuremberg, I was a little disappointed in what I had seen, although I have to caveat that with it being a Bank Holiday weekend and I assume that brings a different vibe to the city. But there was litter everywhere, there were boy racers driving around, I saw a fight, hoards of drunken people shouting around the place, it all felt like the UK. I must be careful not to constantly compare with Poland, but it’s not that far away, and anti-social behaviour, fighting and litter seems to be much less of a problem in all of the 30 or so Polish cities I’ve visited. There has to be a reason for this, I don’t understand the cultural elements at play here.

It’s very rare that I don’t much take to a place, although some cities do have quite an edge to them. It hadn’t helped that I had put hopes in a decent bar to change my expectations of the city, which didn’t work out, but the service in the Indian restaurant was prompt and kind. I deliberately blurred this photo, it’s of the red light district which is inside the city walls, near to the tourist areas. I make no judgement about that and it’s not unique amongst German cities, but there was another wave of anti-social behaviour around here. I can’t say that my first full day in Nuremberg entirely surprised and delighted me, but there’s always another day….