24 August 2006

Nuremburg 2

I'd like to confirm that our Tristan/Act 2 Siegmund was Robert Dean Smith. I should apologize if any typos or misspellings are slipping past me; I had a chance to go back and catch a few but I have to write these quickly and when I can since this is a public terminal and I think it would be rude to keep people waiting too long.
I couldn't go to Nuremburg without going to Dürer's house, but I'm glad I didn't have very high expectations. It's interesting but at this point any real evidence of his being there is gone so what you get is a walk through an old-style Nuremburg house (of which there are fewer than I had assumed there would be; I thought the whole old town would look like a Meistersinger stage set). There's an audio tour which they didn't offer me and I didn't ask about; it's narrated by someone pretending to be his wife, as are the docent-led tours by an actress in costume, and I didn't think any illumination I could get from that set-up would be worth the time.
So I'll talk about the food! I continue to have good luck with ice cream; my passionfruit cone had the same intense flavor as my cherry cone the other day. Towards the end of my time I decided I would try the Nuremburg sausages that all the guidebooks tell me I must try while there; I guess my earlier complaint about German sausage meant I just hadn't met the right sausage yet. These are small; three fit into a hard roll the size of my palm and they were so good I went back and got another one. The owner of the stand replied to my attempts at complimenting him in German by saying "You're welcome" in English, which I thought was gracious. The sun had come out again by then and though I'd been wondering whether the sidetrip to Nuremburg had really been worth the bother I decided then that it was. Nothing like sausage and sunshine to set you up.
Christmas is a big thing there and is present year round. In the open-air market I bought a bag of handmade lebkuchen, their Christmas cookies. They're nice; I'd say they're nothing to write home about but that's pretty much what I'm doing. . . . They have that soft moist texture and clovey taste that all Christmas cookies end up having, regardless of recipe. I assume most of these recipes in America are of German origin.

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