14 November 2008

Nurnberg, Germany

I felt like I was returning to the scene of a crime.

My first time in Europe, relived....Nurnberg.

21 years ago (ugh) I got off a bus from Frankfurt airport in this same spot. I was 17 and had never been to Europe...hell, I hadnt been anywhere.

Walking around the old town, I realized how lucky I was to have had my first European experiences here....it is absolutely beautiful.

Nurnberg is old. Really old. Lots of history here.

Having lived here for 4 years, I still knew my way around but...it wasn't the same.

pictured above, Lorenzkirche

The city was more modern, lots of new stores and buildings, but the same old ones.

below, the Main Market

I only had a brief overnight stopover, but the vibe was different. I think mainly because there were no Americans. No soliders. No one in uniform.

When I was stationed here there were 4 military bases around Nurnberg and one, where I lived, in the city.

I walked up to the castle, thousands of memories came rushing back as I walked through the old city.

It was great to be back and to see it...but it felt lonely.

The bars where GI's used to hang out are either closed or only open on weekends. I was there on a Tuesday night, so I couldnt even visit my old haunts.

I went to bed early....lol. Never wouldve done that back in the day.

In the morning I took a cab down to my old base, Merrell Barracks.

You first get a glimpse of it from up the road. Its an impressive building. Built by the Nazis in the 30's, it was home to the SS before it was taken by Patton's troops in the war.

Now it is a German Army office complex. I couldnt even get in to poke around. The guy at the front office seemed annoyed that I even asked, it must happen all the time since American soldiers were stationed here for 45 years.

So I sat across the road and took pictures of my old home. The front gates where convoys used to roll out of to patrol the Czechoslovakian border or to go on maneuvers.

The same gate we left from to deploy to the Gulf. The same place we came back to when it was over.
I'm glad I came back, but it wasn't the homecoming I had expected. I dont know what I thought it was going to be like, but...I dont think I'll go back again anytime soon.

Thanks Nurnberg...Auf Wiedersehn.


Steve said...

Thanks for the jaunt down memory lane. Those were fun times in Nurnberg. I loved that city. I am afraid if I go back, I may be disappointed like you were. It was cool to see the pics. Gotta miss the Green Goose!! I think I still have one of your cards, which I used the night I met my wife there. Sorry Chris, you're not getting it back


Chris said...

It was nice indeed to be back, I wasn't totally disappointed....but I felt old...ugh.

Eileen said...

That was sad. :(