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Why Visit John and Marianne?
*** Under Construction ***
****And Will Be for Some Time ****
Written November 26 thru ??
Dear Friends and Family,
We have now lived in Europe for over 13 years and we have always invited family and friends to visit. Some have, although when we moved from off-the-beaten-path Ukraine to Old Europe, we thought the pace would pick up. Not sure it has. Now, I am creating a web-page to develop more traffic.
My web-page creation skills have not advanced much in the last dozen years, so you will not have the elaborate on-line experience other travel destinations sponsor. However, we are as friendly as any other travel experience provider, so we hope it is worth your time. (I had to steal some jargon from the professionals.)
Below you will find descriptions and public links , as well as some of our own diaries for:
-- Greater Pommersfelden Attractions
-- Bigger Places in our Neighborhood
---- Bamberg, maybe the nicest neighbor we could have
---- Würzburg, a royal wine town
---- Rothenburg ob der Tauber, almost as famous as Disneyland
---- Nuremberg, history and more
---- Erlangen, my work town and a pleasant place
---- The Frankish Switzerland, more Frankish than Swiss
-- And a special kid-friendly area.
So, if this sounds attractive, call us, email us, or even write on paper, put it in an envelope, lick a sticky little picture, and give it to the postman. (Cousin Kim, this last quaint option was added for your benefit.)
ps: I will add pieces as times goes by and I think of more. Stay tuned!
The Trotter home has two guest facilities, the main house and an entire guest suite above the garage. Normally, we stay in the master bedroom of the main house and guests opt for the garage loft, but there have been cases where we move to the loft, leaving a two-bedroom arrangement for guests.
If you want to bring all your friends and family, we can handle that by way of three town hotels, all within walking distance. I will let their own websites do their advertising.
Our village isn't large, 300 people in the village itself and fewer than 3,000 in our administrative district of eight similar-sized villages. Still, we do have a tourist attraction: Schloss Weissenstein (Whitestone Palace, if one cares for translations) and it is just across the street from us.
Other local activity is pretty much limited to walking and riding bikes through the various paths in our valley. If you make proper use of all of the paths and trails, you will need places to eat. Personally, we skip the exercise and move straight to food.
Each of the three hotels have restaurants. In addition, we have Burkhart's Bakery, a great place for all those breads and pastries one should not eat too much of. Oh well, you will be on vacation. The Kellerhaus Cafe also serves wonderful pastries and their location has a stunning view of the palace. Their normal menu has assorted salads, sandwiches, and light pizza-like treats called "flamkuchen".
Our other regular eatery is Bei Gino's Italian restaurant in Steppach, on the far side of the valley. Also on that far side is Dinner for One, a restaurant and event catterer where we have gotten both food and home restoration ideas. In between Bei Gino's and Dinner for One is the occasionally-open restaurant in the Steppach Train Station. The dining room is an old train car and the food and service are good, but the hours are irregular.
A bunch of diaries from Pommersfelden:
Franconia, Our Region
Sure, we live in Germany. We live in the state of Bavaria. However, ask a native "Where are you from?", they will say "Ich bin Frankisch": I'm from Franconia. The confusing part is that Franconia, despite a flag and well-defined boundaries, does not really exist, at least there is no government function associated with Franconia. It's just tradition. To add confusion, Franconia is further divided into Lower, Middle, and Upper Franconia, all with borders and no real role in government.
Each does have tourist attractions however. Mostly, it is the cities noted below and the countryside that needs to be wandered through. Check these links and the city links that follow. When you are done, we will ask: Where is Pommersfelden? What are the capitals of the three Franconia sub-divisions?
Bamberg, just twenty minutes up the road, remains one of my favorite German cities. Spared wartime bombing, it remains a collection of old buildings, from a grand cathedral to street after street of two-hundred-year-old "town houses". It is our nearest UNESCO World Heritage site. Just today, I wanted to get out of the house and I wandered the Christmas-decorated streets and took pictures to add to the hundreds I already have. Here are some past walkarounds.
Würzburg is about an hour away, back toward the Frankfurt airport. Like Bamberg, it is an old city, with some of the best history stops in the area. Sadly, unlike Bamberg, Würzburg was destroyed in a March 16, 1945 air raid. Most of the "old" buildings are results of dedicated post-war rebuilding. The Marienberg fortress dominates from on high. The Residence, another World Heritage site, is the other spectacular building. The Residence was built by the same prince-bishop family, the Schönborns, who built the palace in Pommersfelden as a summer home.
A bit more than an hour away, Rothenburg is one of the most-visited attractions in Germany. Visiting there is a bit like visiting a movie set, one normally filled - or over-filled - with tourists. Nevertheless, I like visiting. There are plenty of old buildings (rebuilt after wartime bombing), eateries, shops, and small hotels. Somehow, the locals remain friendly to the tourist invasion, not something that is universal among tourist destinations. If you travel with kids or teens, the criminal museum is a must-see. Again, some of our past tours, mostly Christmases I see. Interesting.
Nuremberg* is our nearest airport, about a half-hour away. It is also our nearest large train station. It is a thriving city and the place we go when we need things only a real city can provide. There are many museums, from the Toy Museum to the Albrecht Dürer House. The town square is famous, particularly when is is filled with it's Christmas Market, the oldest and largest Christmas Market in Germany.
My favorite stop is a bit darker, the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds, or Document Center. The museum there tells the story of the rise and fall of Nazism in Bavaria and the role Nuremberg played. The museum is in a part of the never-finished National Socialist Congress Center, in one corner of the massive parade grounds that hosted annual gatherings of hundreds of thousands of loyalists.
Again, here are some of our past visits
* Nürnberg in German -- I often mix up the "n" and the "m", forget or add an "e" after the first "r" or try to make the place a "burg" - fortress - instead of a "berg" - mountain.
A bit closer than Nuremberg, Erlangen is where I work. It is a combination of company town and college town, a nice combination for the 100,000 or so residents. For visitors, it is a stop with plenty of restaurants, a great botanical garden, and a typically-German pedestrian shopping street.
Frankisch Schweitz (translates, poorly, as Franconian Switzerland)
This is our neighborhood natural wonderland, to a degree. The scenery of rocky outcrops is famous, within a narrow audience. In any event, it is a great place for a walk, although some of the trails offer more challenge than I care for.
We have had relatively few kids as visitors, so I thought I needed to do some research. Here's the result so far:
-- Geiselwind Amusement Park. Scary rides, 20 minutes away.
-- Bad Windsheim historical villages. Between home and Rothenburg. OK, it's a bit serious, but the reconstructed buildings are interesting to the serious children in your family. (Good weather only!)
-- Torture Museum (aka Criminology Museum) in Rothenburg. Gruesome, somewhere tweens and teens like.
-- Nuremberg's Toy Museum Playthings for all ages.
-- Nuremberg's Zoo. We haven't been yet, but it comes highly recommended.
-- Legoland. A bit farther afield and we've not been there yet.
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