Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nürnberg Private Tour Guides

Ralf Arnold

Fördeverein Nürnberger Felsengänge/ Geschichte für Alle
0049-176-48 01 05 06
ralfderweitearnold@arcor.de

Ralf came highly recommended by a friend who has used both tour guides.  Apparently, in addition to regular city tours, he also does a keller tour that sounds really cool!

Norbert Edelmann - www.nuernberg-cityguide-no1.de

We used Norbert shortly after coming here, and really enjoyed it.  We found him very affordable for a small group, too.  I think that's true of Ralf as well.  Both will tailor their tours to the group, how much time you have, etc.

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Day Trips...

Went through my book this weekend and found these to add to the list.  Many on the previous list had only 1 star in Frommer's, but these all have at least 2.

Weimar - 2.5 hours
Passau - 2.5 hours
Miltenberg - 2 hours
Tübingen - 2.5 hours
Schwäbisch Hall - 1.5 hour
Rüdesheim and the Rheingau - 2.5 hours

More Shopping - Villa Stockholm

My husband is Dutch and I love going to visit his family because of all the wonderful shopping.  Their home stores are so cute, and full of shabby chic stuff ,adorable printed linens and more.  It was so surprising to me when we moved here, that the same kind of stores are so hard to find, even in the big cities.  Well, I was thrilled to say the least when a friend introduced me to this shop in our very own backyard on the Hauptstrasse in Herzogenaurach!


It's chock full of goodies - everything from knick-knacks to furniture, linens, pottery, porcelain and furniture - and all very affordably priced.  The proprietor, Lotta Valdmaa, speaks perfect English and is warm and welcoming as you enter the store.  The wares are considered Scandanavian, although much of it seems right out of a Martha Stewart magazine to me!











Villa Stockholm WEBSITE
Address and Hours:
Hauptstrasse 28, 91074 Herzogenaurach - 09132 835 49 57 - Mo-Fr 10-18, Sa 10-13

Fall Shopping...

I posted about this catalog / website IMPRESSIONEN before, but I just got their fall issue, and had so much fun looking through it that I thought I would post about some of their new goodies here.  Some of their items are rather pricey, but some are also quite affordable, and since this kind of "stuff" isn't readily available here in most stores I thought I would highlight some items that might just be worth some pinched pennies...



6 pc "Bouquet" porcelain set includes 2 salad plates, 2 cups and 2 saucers for E 39.95.





















Mellow Peach Dress - E 69.95





















Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Without Air-Conditioning...

We've had a bit of a reprieve today, but as 35+ C heat returns and stretches on into the summer I thought it might be time to share climate control secrets with each other.  So here's a list of my tricks and coping mechanisms, and please drop a comment or email if you have any to add!

1. Open all windows, shutters, rolladen as wide as possible once the heat outside drops below the temperature in the house (and the sun is no longer shining into the windows.)

2. Shut doors to any seldom used rooms that heat up during the day such as office or guest bedrooms.  Open doors to cool basement rooms, like storage rooms and rec rooms.

3. Close curtains, shutters or rolladen during stong daylight hours on windows which get direct sunlight.  On really hot days, or if we are going away I shut our shutters and the curtains, just to increase the insulation around the windows.

4. When it's very hot out, close windows all the way first thing in the morning, to keep the cool night air inside the house as the outside air heats up.  I mistakenly thought at first that I should leave them cracked to maintain a breeze with the fan, but have found it stays much cooler by locking the air in.  Gotta love concrete insulation!

5. Close off ground floor rooms during the day - if you have a central stairwell.  Cool air from the night before is usually enough to keep the ground floor cool during the day, and saves basement air for circulation to the upper story.

6. Use fans to direct air circulation from the basement up to the upper story.  We have a fan laying on it's back at the bottom of the stairwell, propped on the stairs to help direct cool air up the shaft.  We then have another one at the top of the stairs oscillating to keep pulling air up and into the upper rooms.  I might add another one this week on the ground floor just to help move it along in an upward direction, as I've noticed that the foyer area stays cooler than the rest of the ground floor which is closed off from the foyer (point 5.)

7.  When it gets unbearable "camp out" with the kids on the main floor or in the keller.  Break out the sleeping bags, make popcorn, get a flashlight and instead of bedtime stories tell camping stories!

8.  When all else fails get a portable, room air conditioner.  A friend just showed me hers today, and it doubles as a space heater in the winter, fan, and comes with special icepacks that it uses with water to help create cooler air within the space.  She said she found hers at Obi last year for 100 Euros, which sounded like a good price!  But before you run out and spend a bundle, just remember average high temperature in July is usually just 23C.

Sales List Time!

Seems that most of the good ex-pat moving sales are during the summer, so if there are still some items you haven't picked up yet for your house, you might want to check them out!  We just got a toddler's bed for my daughter who is growing out of her crib.  Also very handy for finding good voltage converters and other electronic items, not to mention used cars...

http://www.easy-entry.com/english/news/saleslists.aspx

There's also lots available at http://www.alles.de/ - the German version of Craig's List.  We found a fahrrad anhänger (bike trailer for tots) for 50 Euros here a couple zears ago!  Can't beat that price!

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Daytrips

Vierzehnheiligen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_the_Fourteen_Holy_Helpers
http://www.vierzehnheiligen.de/

nearby Kloster Banz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banz_Abbey

Levi Strauss Museum in Buttenheim
http://www.levi-strauss-museum.de/
(in the house he was born)

Schloss Weissenstein in Pommersfelden
www.schoenborn.de/geb_park_garten.html?&L=1

Schloss Wernsdorf
http://www.schloss-wernsdorf.de/

And some comments from Trips Advisor...

Coburg is a lovely small town. Its fortress is where Martin Luther made his statement, "Here I stand, I can do no other." They actually sell "Luther socks" with that statement on them. The nearby town of Lichtenfels claims to have the world's largest basket in the town square, and the basket is pretty big.


I haven't been to the thermal baths in Bad Staffelstein, but a friend of mine says there is also a porcelain outlet there. The town of Kronach has the Rosenberg castle. Your husband might like the German beer town of Kulmbach.

www.braugasthoefe.com has information on small breweries in Germany that also have food and accomodation. There are lots of them near, Bamberg, at least you would enjoy your lunch or dinner!

Nutcracker Factory

Just learned about this local Nutcracker Factory, only 51 minutes (by Google) from my doorstep.  Haven't been there yet, but the reviews online promise that it is not a tourist trap.  The WEBSITE makes it look promising...



They indeed have nutcrackers, but their website also promises "a great selection of German and Bavarian folkart, like pyramids, nutcrackers, smokers, music boxes, candle holders and christmas tree ornaments. We offer also Black Forest cuckoo clocks, Steiff animals, Hermann teddybears and wooden inlaid music boxes."  It also mentions that they carry antiques such as "potato wagons, old sleds, wedding baskets, skis, sewing machines or enamel ware."



opening hours:
mo.-fr. from 9.00-12.00 and 13.00-18.00
saturday from 9.00-14.00
from april to oktober sunday fom 13.00-17.00


Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Summer Activities - Amusement Parks and Museums

I just got an email from a reader (yay I have some!) with some other great ideas for kids of all ages and summer fun... (Thanks "Frankonia!")


Amusement Parks
For kiddies, seesighting tours in towns are pretty boring. Here are two smaller and midrange amusement parks in our local area.
For Kindergarten kids and kids up to 8: Fränkisches Wunderland Plech (Autobahn Nuernberg- Bayreuth). For Kindergarten kids and kids up to 12: Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn in Heroldsbach near Forchheim).
Kids older than 10: Freizeitland Geiselwind (Autobahn Erlangen- Wuerzburg).
The greatest Park in Germany is the Europa Park Rust in Southern Baden, approx. 350km southwest from Nuernberg. Coach tour agency "NRS" makes sometime a one day tour from 0500h to 2100h.


Museums
(Pubescent) Kids don’t like museums. Here some at least the boys will like:

The great DB Museum (German Railway) in Nuernberg (This year, German railway celebrates 175 anniversary with some special events). A must see!

The Deutsches Dampflokomotiv- Museum (German steam locomotive museum) is in Neuenmarkt (Near Kulmbach, approx 110km northeast from Erlangen).

In Kulmbach, you find the Deutsche Zinnfigurenmuseum (German pewter figure museum) with large dioramas in the Plassenburg.

In Coburg (home of the Windsor's!) you will find a large medieval armoury up on the Veste (fort) Coburg.

The History of Bavarian Army until 1918 you find in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum in Ingolstadt.

And, of course, the Deutsches Museum in Muenchen is mandatory!

Maybe the kids don’t really like but worth to visit: Fränkisches Freilandmuseum in Bad Windsheim, (approx. 60km west from Erlangen) Over 500 years history of Franconian Farmhouses and agriculture in 45 hectare open-air area (doggies allowed on ! short lead!).

At last, here all the state- owned Bavarian castles, palaces, gardens and lakes in English:

http://www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch/palace/index.htm

Hope you will enjoy it.

Links to English-Speaking Services in Bavaria

A friend found this on the US Embassy website for Munich.  It includes doctors, lawyers, tax advisors, translators, and international or English-speaking schools.  I will also add the link for Doctors to the Dr. page on this site HERE.

Link to All Services
Link to List of Doctors

Thanks Jamie!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day Trips

If your family is at all like ours, you may have already had your big summer vacation, but would still love to take advantage of the great weather to explore new sights.  With the help of some readers, I've compiled this list of potential day-trips from our area.  If you see any I've left out, please feel free to leave a comment!

Bayreuth
Bamberg
Regensburg
Coburg
Ingolstadt
Muenchen
Regensburg
Köln (Cathedral and Old Town)
Ulm Cathedral
Heidelberg (Castle and Old Town)
Rothenburg o.d. Tauber
Dinkelsbühl
Bad Windsheim
Poppenreuth
Würzburg
Neustadt an der Aisch
Schwabach
Frankische Schweiz
Stuttgart
Naturpark Steigerwald
Pottenstein "Luge"

Thanks Ladies!  I definitely got some new ideas!

Two More Open Air Klassiks...

Got a comment that promised more "illustrious" klassiks at:

"Klassik am See" in Erlangen (2010-07-28) and "Klassik Open Air" in Nuernberg (2010-07-25 and 2010-08-07)

They all sound good to me!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Klassik am Berg

Come enjoy some classical music on the Berg in Erlangen.  On the 15th of July from 19:30 - 22:00 the Neunkirchner Jugendblasorchester will be performing "al fresco" at Entlas Keller.  Sounds like a great opportunity for good food, good beer, good music all in a great atmosphere!


Address: 
An den Kellern 5-7, 91054 Erlangen