We disembarked Scenic Opal today. Like everything else on this trip – extremely well organized. Wow.
Our first stop today was Nuremberg. Our guide told us how Germany was the first country to be occupied by the Nazis. He was very open about Hitler’s megalomania and how and why he chose Nuremberg as the place launch the Third Reich. Reich means Empire. Emporers from the Middle Ages in Bavaria had launched their empires in this location. In a related move, the Allies were determine to end the Third Reich in the same place it started which is why the War Crimes Tribunal met in this city. We saw what was the SS Barracks, the Parade Grounds, and the Palace of Justice where the Tribunal met. The prison and gallows where the Nazis were held and, in the case of 10 of them, were hanged, were removed after the trials to truly bring an end to the whole business. Today, the another prison stands on the same spot and the Courtroom 600 is actively in use though it has been remodeled. We were not able to tour there.
We did climb Castle Hill and see the five castle towers and understand how the castle was mostly ceremonial. We walked back down the parade route past some buildings that survived the bombings and some which have been replaced.
In the market, we had lunch at the famous establishment known as McDonald’s followed by excellent gelato and a purchase of local gingerbread.
We boarded the busses and headed for Prague in the Czech Republic. Like in Budapest, the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that brought the end to Communisim here was personal to our guide. There was a steady rain all afternoon and we were thankful for it as this area, much like the western USA badly needs it. The temps were in the 70’s – also very welcome. We are again at the Marriott. Following an orientation walk for the City Center, we had dinner with some new friends at the hotel and are now ready for bed. Tomorrow we tour Prague Castle, the Old Town, the Lower City, and see Wenceslas Square and the Astronomical Clock. It is supposed to rain all day but I doubt we will melt. Prague is a large city and carries still the scars of the communist years and in places the messiness or graffiti we have seen in Vienna and Berlin. The City Centre is clean though and very busy. I look forward to exploring more the next few days.
Again today I am reminded how freedom is not really free. And that with our American freedom and most certainly our freedom in Christ, we have much responsibility.
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Galatians 5:13 NASB
Still choosing joy –