Nuremberg- a few days as a tourist

I haven’t posted on my blog since I left Barcelona. I thought I would just relax for a few days before the event and post one summary of my time between the tournaments. Well here we go with it. Be ready for a long one!

I left Barcelona early on Monday. I walked to the main street to catch a taxi, since the reception of the residence is apparently not allowed to call taxis. Getting to the airport was simple. So was check in. I had a connecting flight to Frankfurt through Paris. Should run smooth. But my flight to Paris was about 40min late. I only had about an hour lay-off between the two flights. So I ran to my gate and saw that they were still boarding. NICE, I made it.

I get to Frankfurt and am at the luggage pick-up area to hear “Mr Mark Bluvshtein, please report to the lost and found.” So, I only nearly missed my flight, but my luggage never had a chance. They told me this might be the case as I was leaving Paris. I was told the luggage should arrive the next day. And so it did.

Sure, I am left with no luggage until the next day. But this also meant that it’ll be easier to travel! I take a shuttle bus to the train station. I buy a 1-way ticket to Nuremberg and following an express 2.5 hour train ride, I am there. Very smooth ride to say the least.

Then I hop on the subway from the main train station to a spot that takes me about 3min walk away from the hotel, very convenient. I check in at the hotel. Everything is smooth.

After reading my descriptions of Barcelona, the readers might think that I am spoiled. Well, maybe this will change your mind. The organizers put me in a nice hotel. This is one of the nicest hotels I have ever been to in Europe. The rooms are nice and spacious. There is everything you need. Yes there are even towels and soap! I am paying for the first few nights since I arrived 3 days before the event actually starts. That is to be expected I guess.

I was starving after arriving on Monday, and the receptionists recommended a nice Greek restaurant nearby. A good place indeed.

I designated Tuesday and Wednesday as my tourist days. I am not used to being a tourist on my own, but I would try to make the most of it. I expected to wake up early on Tuesday, as I went to sleep at 11.30pm on Monday. I woke up on my own will at 11.30am. The fatigue from the previous tournament and travel showed.

So I browsed the internet for good places to visit. I decided that I need to see the Old Town as well as the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The latter is not in the center of the city, so I thought I would start with that on the first day and leave the next day for the center.

I got there with a subway and a tram ride.

The place is a lot like a museum with a lot of interesting information. An audio device makes the trip more than just visual.

The location is famous because it was built to hold the Nazi rallies starting in 1933. The center also showed key events associated with Nuremberg at the time, which included the Nuremberg Laws, and the Nuremberg Trials. Some pictures follow from the center. If there is a comment above a photo, it is to describe what you are seeing.

Rallies

Those on trial in the Nuremberg Trials

The Congress Hall from the inside. I believe it can seat up to 50,000 people

On Wednesday I decided to go to the Old Town after breakfast. The complementary breakfast at the hotel was very good. It was a pleasant surprise after Barcelona.

I took a lot of pictures in the Old Town. I also went into the Nuremberg Castle and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (http://www.gnm.de/). Below are some photos. If there is a title, it will be above the photo.

Me standing below the Nuremberg Fountain

A part of the Nuremberg Castle

“Portrait of a Fashionably Dressed Young Man” (in 1518)

First German Bible

I was back in my room by the evening. Soon after, at around 7, I got a phone call from GM Michael Bezold, who is the organizer who I was in contact with before the tournament. Michael offered to show me the playing hall, which is a quick 3-5min walk from the hotel. I gladly accepted the offer.

Michael then told me that he was going to dinner with the famous, “all in one” chess figure, Yochanan Afek. His wikipedia page does not do him justice. But his four titles tell a part of the story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yochanan_Afek . Yochanan is one of the most knowledgeable figures in the chess world.

I have known Yochanan for about fifteen years now, and was happy to come along. Michael’s friend, Martin, also joined. We went into town for dinner. It was great food and I was in a very good and enjoyable company.

This type of hospitality is nothing short of fantastic. I can only expect something like this in Canadian events. The tournament is focused on quality, not quantity, as its principle. Michael showed me two of the VERY spacious playing rooms. Everything is well taken care of. This is the 8th edition of the event, and it looks like the organizers are perfecting the art of organization.

Play starts later today, at 7pm. Friday-Sunday will have two rounds a day. I will not be able to do round-by-round reports as I did in Barcelona, but I will do some detailed reports once the event finishes.

You can follow the top 8 games live at the tournament website, at http://www.schach.lga.de/index.shtml

I’d like to thank all the readers for following my blog. On August 29th the site reached 538 hits for the day!

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6 Responses to Nuremberg- a few days as a tourist

  1. Denton Cockburn says:

    Hey, look carefully, that guy in the portrait looks like you!
    For a second I thought you were joking with the caption for the pic. Hopefully your practice tournament in Barcelona (and your improved rest), will lead to good results.

  2. Denton Cockburn says:

    Good start by the way (3/3). I know you will say you haven’t faced any strong opponents yet, but 2397 is nothing to sneeze at. Keep it up!

  3. Denton Cockburn says:

    A pretty good showing! If only the last game went differently. Can’t wait to see your thoughts on your games.

  4. Hello Mark! Found your web site, and wanted to say that my Aunt Helen spent a few days as a tourist in Nuremberg, back in 1938, and went to the Nazi Rally there during the annual congress.I turning her diaries of the trip into a book, which will be on Amazon.com in September. Here is a link to my little web page, with a video as well. Photos are from her scrapbook. http://www.touring1938europeunawares.com

    Thanks, Kathy

  5. nancy says:

    Nice post! Nuremberg is renowned for its Christkindlesmarkt. The market is famed for its handmade ornaments and delicacies. Which offers an attractive setting and renowned market for gingerbread.

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