Travel Diary 7 – trip to Paris

Entry 7. 21 June 2009. 1:45 pm local time


Beautiful day in Nuremburg, spelled also Nurnberg … I guess depends what nationality you are how you spell it? “Sunday Delights in Nuremberg, the Starbucks bear joins the journey!”


The sky is a bit cloudy with very sunny intervals, the air is warm and it is truly lovely here on a Sunday. I slept in, some 12 or more hours this time, even after that nap yesterday. I finally got out of bed to the noon sounds on the street …. had a lovely shower and dressed and headed off for Starbucks. I decided to try one I did not try yesterday, and maybe see if I could find another German Starbucks bear. The store I headed for is closed on Sundays! The streets are nearly empty compared to yesterday, folks out taking pictures and walking leisurely through the old city. I did the same. I kept walking and went to Starbucks number 3 and picked up a decaf non fat latte, a Starbucks bear and went for a walk. I took a seat next to a very cool fountain in front of a very large brick tower. I sat. I rested, I watched pigeons and people. I took a few pictures with the camera and even more with my mind.


The clock tower bell tolled every 15 minutes or so and then at the strike of 1 o’clock another louder bell rang. I am delighted by the bells and towers in this city. I decided it was time to start heading back, Elwyn will arrive at the airport at 1:30 ish and so I want to be at the hotel in plenty of time to greet her. I begin my walk back to the hotel in what I thought was a familiar direction.


What is it about me and directions? When I shop, I don’t get lost. I shopped and walked for hours yesterday and had no trouble … today I headed off in what I thought was the right way only to come to the edge of the city surrounded by large stone walls around it. I walked a ways on the outside of the walls but nothing at all was familiar. I was likely walking in exactly the opposite direction from my intended destination and who knows how large the outskirts of the city are??? On one side of the road is a huge stone wall, the other a main street, busy with lights, like a freeway and bordering on the other side of it, hotels and office buildings like any other busy busy city. The signage is in German though, so I know that I am in a foreign country!


I took a chance and went back inside the safety and familiarity of the old part of the city and walked until I recognized some stores from yesterday. Keep in mind that there were thousands of people everywhere yesterday and a scattered few hundred today. People walking their dogs, riding bikes, police cars (they are green and white here “polizei”), couples pushing baby carriages, holding hands, honeymooners and elderly couples. Some may have been coming from the large churches in the area? The only shops open are cafe’s and only a few of them are …. even McDonalds is closed!!! I found a 4th Starbucks (light bulb on) and was once again delighted. I am certain they are all accounted for now, only 2 open on Sundays. Folks sitting outside cafe’s having lunch, coffee, talking.


I found my way home following the familiar shops and retracing steps I took yesterday. I was able to find the small grocery from yesterday and was about to enter to purchase water …. closed! The bottle I purchased yesterday is bubbly and although it is OK, it is not my favorite. So I am now drinking tap water and bubbly water – still trying to stay hydrated. My cough is getting better, my sinuses are still crackling from the very intense flight experience and ears being plugged for a few days.


The day today will likely consist of walking around the outskirts of the city …. find the river, sit for coffee from time to time, more likely tea will be the drink of the day, or Coca Cola light, as it is referred to here. The bottles are smaller and the name is slightly different, although the taste is the same. I plan to check out the train station and walk again the lovely cobblestone downtown area.



I wish I would have bought a comb yesterday in the Body Shop, or one of the many many salons I passed. In fact the salons had women outside with foil in their hair, waiting for the color to set … funny, not even chairs …. just standing around the shop door waiting …. some smoking.


Pigeons making their coo-ing sound today could be heard. Yesterday the bustle of people and shopping bags, screaming and crying children, people laughing, calling to one another …. the pigeons were seen and not heard. Today their sweet small and contented sounds as they picked through yesterdays litter on the cobblestone sidewalks. Some of the main shopping areas do not have places for cars to drive .. walking streets only. Very beautiful and always surrounded by lovely stone walls, huge old brick and stone buildings, church steeples and towers in the background.


I found a hat shop when I was standing in a shop on the 3rd floor (bathroom experience – oops Light bulb on again <grin>) called Globus. I had to go down the stairs and out side and then go all the way around the building I was in to find it…. it seemed to be easy to see out the window! On a less populated street corner, with a huge window display – maybe 6 full size store windows, around a corner – all hats! Expensive ladies hats, hats for gentlemen, dress up hats, fun and casual hats. Black with feathers, grey cotton, straw fedoras, Stetsons. Hats of every kind imaginable. I had to go in! It was almost closed and one hat attracted me – it came in many sizes, Stetson makes it, straw and tan colored – very nice (man’s hat actually). I tried it on – it was great and looked fabulous. I looked around the rest of the store, they also sold umbrellas. I had decided I would find an umbrella in Paris if I need one …. but don’t need one yet from Nuremburg! I left the store without the hat. It was enough to try it on. I took some pictures of the hat store.


A few shops like Body Shop, Nike, Adidas, Accessories, Zara and Starbucks are familiar – however there are other chain stores that we don’t have in Canada. There are galleries – like malls – and lots of shops for young people (hip hop shops and skateboard shops). There are ladies shops and many many shoe stores … cheap shoes and expensive Mephisto shops (like Birkenstocks – we sell the shoes in Canada -not sure if we have the shop store called that?).


Well, outside my hotel room, the sound of the train going by, a bell indicates it has arrived or is heading off. People coming and going ….. I will sign off for now. I will write more later …. tomorrow morning at 10:30 am I am being picked up at the hotel and off to the ship to begin the river cruise portion of this trip —- one of the many highlights! The reason for coming, the “familiarization” of river cruising. I am looking forward to a relaxing week on the cruise ship – enjoying all that it offers, including English speaking guided tours at each port city. I look forward to the wine to be served with lunch and dinner complementary! I look forward to having my clothes unpacked and enjoying the sights from my balcony window, hanging out on top deck to get a real good view of the vistas as far as I can see.


Yes indeed, I am looking forward to the next leg of my journey. I am very glad that I have had this time alone in Nuremburg …. to rest at my own pace. To wander and get familiar with traveling alone. Each experience is a new one, a lovely one, filled with moments of wonder and presence. Filled with trying to stay present and being here, in this moment on this day, on this very journey.


Thanks for joining me.


With much love,

Pam / Mom



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