Monday, April 10, 2006

A Weekend in Fuerth, Germany

My wife and I enjoyed a nice weekend in Fuerth, a town just north of Nuremberg, in the Upper Franken region of Bayern. We rode the train from our town (Stutensee-Friedrichstal) to Nuremberg, then the subway to Fuerth. Aunt Sigrid (Siggi) picked us up at the train station and brought us to the hotel. Although Aunt Siggi has a rather large condominium, she prefers that we stay at a hotel and always insists on treating us to a hotel on the market square in the middle of the old part of town.

Our primary purpose for the visit was so that my wife could do her aunt’s taxes. So around 8:30 a.m., after a good breakfast at the hotel, my wife took a taxi to her aunt and I went for a run.

It was a warm and sunny 12C/54F outside as I headed out. From previous trips to Fuerth I new that across the street and down a block was the entrance to the city park, one of the favorite jogging areas for the locals. Sure enough I met dozens of joggers, skaters, bikers and dog walkers and I started looping around the park. A loop around the park took about 20 minutes and I ran about 4½ loops (90 minutes). I had wanted to run for 2 hours, but I hadn’t counted on it being so warm – thirst was becoming an issue. As I didn’t have anything to drink with me, I decided that 90 minutes was enough and headed back to the hotel for a shower. This turned out to be a good idea anyway as we did several hours of walking over hard cobblestone streets in the afternoon.

So after rehydrating, showering and a quick call to the womenfolk, I made my way over to the market square and main shopping area across from the hotel. “The women” wanted that we meet at the aforementioned park for lunch, so I had about 2 hours to kill.

Anyway, on Saturdays there is a small farmer’s market on the market square – residents can buy fresh produce, honey, cheese, bread and such things. As I passed the bakery stand I felt a sudden drop in blood sugar, so purchased one of the fresh pastries from the vendor. They also had coffee, so I sat at one of the benches at the edge of the market and enjoyed the sunshine while doing some people watching. My wife and I both love to sit and watch the people go by, especially in larger cities as you see some pretty interesting people sometimes.

After finishing my coffee I continued on my way. I needed some new shoes for work so looked through a couple shops, finally finding a suitable pair. Of course, I had to check out the running shoes while I was there (too expensive). The highlight of my shopping experience was finding a Chocolatier. I guess you can all figure out what they sell, the prices were sinful, but mmmm.

So after depositing my new shoes at the hotel I walked over to the park to meet my wife and her aunt. As I was a little early I took a quick walk around and took some pictures (coming soon). I then joined the ladies at the café located in the middle of the park for a delicious lunch. After lunch we took a nice long walk around the park and surrounding town. This of course was followed by a cup of coffee at a café afterwards.

After coffee Aunt Siggi returned home to get dressed for the evening activities and we returned to the hotel. Later we met at a favorite Greek restaurant for dinner, then took in a musical (The King and I) at the local Theater. We finally returned, exhausted, to our hotel room about 11 p.m.

On Sunday I had intended on getting up early and do a couple laps around the park, but I couldn’t force my eyes open until almost 8 a.m., which left too little time to run. My wife wanted to go to a flea and antique market across the street in the market square, so we had breakfast and then proceeded to the market. Rain clouds were forming over the market square as we made our way around the flea market. It was a little smaller than we had anticipated, but still interesting. My wife collects old scales, mostly the type used by small shops and businesses in the “old” days. It wasn’t her day, there were none to be found. I collect John Deere toy tractors, an even harder item to find in a German flea market.

As we returned to the hotel the first drops of rain began to fall. We called Aunt Siggi and set up plans for the rest of the day. We had to catch our return train at 3:15 p.m., so Aunt Siggi suggested that we come over to her place for lunch. So after checking out, we took a taxi to her house and chilled out until it was time to go.

All in all it was a really nice weekend, our only regret was not being able to stay longer. On the other side my diet suffered greatly from the massive quantities of food that made it’s way to my mouth. At least most of the food was healthy food! Today I am limiting myself to mostly fresh fruit and veggies in an effort to purge the system.

I took some picture and will try to post these in the next day or two.

So this morning it’s back to work and tonight back to training. On April 30th I have a training marathon and in six weeks a 50K to run!

Is it just me or does it seem weird to everyone else that Jack is posting about something other than a humungously giant race up the side of a mountain at night or other similarly intense race?

And did you say a "training marathon"? What is that?

Even when its not a running post, it still is consistent with the theme of "Jack is a madman runner".
Sounds like a wonderful weekend.
Vacations, no matter how short, are never good for proper eating.
Wow, Jack, that sounded just luxurious! Reading that made me feel like I was on vacation. Thank you!

Ooo, I might have a training marathon on May 6 (it would actually be my first marathon, as I jumped directly from 5ks to 50ks, ha!)
Sounds like a great weekend!! My dad also collects some John Deere stuff but that's much easier to come by in Tennessee!

A training marathon? I think this is the first we've heard of it! Yeah!
Hi Jack!
I think Fürth is in the Middle Franken region ;)
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