After a filling breakfast in Cologne, we were back on the train and headed to Erlangen. We stopped for a bite to eat in Nuremberg, where the kids were literally climbing the walls. All in all, they were amazing travelers, so it was good to let them burn off some steam.
The architecture in Nuremberg is fantastic, particularly near the train station. There were a few of these narrow, pedestrian streets and they were charming.
From Nuremberg, we were off aboard a train to Erlangen, which was our planned stop for the night. The ride to Erlangen was much livelier than any of our previous trips. We were joined by a boisterous crowd clad in lederhosen and dirndls who were headed to Erlangen’s beer festival.
After arriving in Erlangen, we hired two cabs to transport us and all of our gear to an AirBnB. The kids and I were in a Mercedes cab, which allowed them to pop the seats up for the kids to make built-in booster seats. Very cool!
The apartment was bright and spacious and even had chocolates waiting for us. (Chocolate is definitely a great way to make a first impression). We had room to spread out and rest for a bit before walking to the local beer festival. The walk through Erlangen was peaceful, especially since we had no idea where we were going. We walked down a couple of major roads before walking through a park and along a small path between open fields on one side and woods on the other. The fields ended about a block from the entrance to the festival, which made for a beautiful setting.
The beer festival was exactly what I hoped a German beer festival would be. There were displays of enormous heart-shaped cookies for sale, carnival rides for the kids and adults, and very large steins of beer.
The beer set-up was also clever. When you buy a stein of beer, they charge you a 5€ deposit. That way, if you walk away with a souvenir beer mug, they can buy a replacement. We took home a couple of souvenir mugs, so we liked that system a lot.
There weren’t many people at the fair. It began to rain lightly as we arrived at the festival. It caused the crowds to thin as evening rolled in. We were grateful to find seats under a tent before the rain got thicker! It rained on and off throughout the evening, but there were enough places for us to shelter that we didn’t mind it. The kids had a chance to ride on several of the carnival rides, which kept them from being bored as the grown-ups hung out and chatted.
There was a live band playing in one of the other tent/open areas. They were great! They played several songs we’d never heard, but they also played covers of a few songs we recognized, so we could sing along. Most of the crowds were singing and dancing near them, which added to the party atmosphere.
Our final stop at the beer festival was the crepe stand. Isaac & Laine enjoyed Nutella crepes. I had Nutella and some Grand Marnier in mine. Yum!
We walked back to our apartment for a good night’s rest before riding the train to our final stop in Germany: Munich.