Erlangen and Nuremberg: Friends, Toys, and Beers

Hello! I am going to tell you about my trip to Nuremberg, Erlangen, last weekend. Where are Nuremberg and Erlangen? They are located in the south of Germany, in a state called Bavaria/ Bayern (remember Bayern Muenchen?). Why did I decide to spend 2 days in Erlangen and Nuremberg?

Because I had a little reunion with my high school friends (not UWC, but my Indonesian high school).

From left to right: Ivan, me, Fitri, and Anne. Fitri is currently in an exchange program, she originally goes to NUS. Anne is studying in Erlangen, and Ivan is studying in Hannover.

We were actually in the same class in grade tenth, and I haven’t met some of them in the past 3 years. So, it was really great to see them coping with college well and caught up with what’s happening in their lives.

I was staying with Anne overnight (thanks for giving me some space to sleep, Anne!), and she told me about being an international student in Germany. She is studying molecular medicine (so hardcore, right?), and I took a look at her notes and textbooks. Of course, they were in German, and I really admired her for that. English is hard enough for me, but German is a much more difficult language to learn. She also told me, that although the tuition fee is so much lower than most American colleges, she is getting really good education and learns a lot in class. Then, something popped up in my mind, why couldn’t we have that in Indonesia?

They were all having a break for Pentecost last week. So, they all went somewhere to enjoy it. Anne went to Paris, with her friend. She said that they were a lot of ibu-ibu pejabat (governmental officials’ wives?) who went shopping in Paris, and a lot of other Indonesians. Crazy.

Fitri, as an exchange student, has been travelling a lot. She just came back from her adventure to Budapest, Poland, and Italy. One of her trip buddies forgot his passport, and they were having problems to enter different countries. In the end, everything went well (that’s why she was with us, right?), and I saw pictures that she took, they were all amazingly beautiful.

Ivan, also took a trip to Copenhagen, and later he showed me his tickets, passes, and Danish krona. He was also telling us how the train entered a ferry (just like a bus entering a ferry to cross the strait between Java and Bali) to cross the mainland Europe to Denmark. I just couldn’t imagine, how big the ferry was. He also told us how there was a male mermaid statue, how expensive the foods were, and other things.

We also hiked a little bit to a castle in Nuremberg. It was beautiful (and it was my first schloss, too, in Germany). We also got photo bombed by Japanese tourists (and Australian tourists?). I will put the picture up once my friend post it on Facebook, okay?

Here you go! Thanks to Fitri for putting this pic up on Facebook!
The view of Nuremberg from the schloss.
The view of schloss from the road.

Nuremberg in general, is full of old buildings, typical Bavarian buildings.

A small island in Nuremberg, with old looking bridge.

In Nuremberg, there is also a toy museum, or Spielzeugmuseum. It’s not as big as the Maritime museum in Hamburg (9 floors!), but it was quite amazing to see how the toys transformed.

I could actually hear my roommate’s voice criticizing how sexist the old toys were, although she was not there. Yes, this one goes to you, Katie, haha. But, I would agree with her, while the boys could play with all those cool little trains, cars, or machines, the girls played the dolls, mini kitchen ware, or little house with different rooms, ‘to prepare them to be a wife someday’.
What would you like to eat tonight, Sir?
I didn’t realize it before, but Anne told me after I arrived, “There is a beer festival going on in Erlangen. Would you like to see it?” Of course, I would nod. Apparently, this festival was the third biggest one; the first one is of course Oktoberfest. It is called Bergkirchweih festival.
I was initially scared to see so many drunk people holding a 1-liter beer glass and shouting to each other. After a while, I got used to it, and actually tried to immerse myself in that experience.
Like buying ourselves churros. Thanks for the picture, Anne!
How did it look like? As you can see from the picture, there were so many food stands, not only the beer cafe. You cannot see it, but there were also so many theme park rides, like in Dufan, but some of them were more extreme. 
The festival itself lasts for 12 days, and during those days, Erlangen, which is a relatively small town, is filled with twice of its total population. In the first day, I heard that the beer was free-flow, meaning you could drink as much as you want for free. But, apparently, most Germans are really responsible, so they know how much alcohol they can handle, and don’t drink past that tolerance level.
Well, two things for sure, I can never get used to alcohol smell (it was particularly strong in the festival area), and I had a great weekend! 
So, where should I go next week?
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