Hello, guests!

in which a friend spontaneously decides to visit from California and shows up a few days later, thereby kicking of a month of solid guest-hosting. And of  course, the requisite tour of my beloved Nuremberg.

I arrived home from work last Wednesday to an unusual email from my dear California-based friend Caroline, of Harvard/Korea fame (can always check the people section): would I be around May 1 and the few days after ? I responded, sure, but that was IN A FEW DAYS. And by Thursday, I had a ticket confirmation in my inbox: Caroline would be arriving in Nuremberg on the following Monday. All fine and dandy, and thus, after a brief stop to pick up her requisite Cola-Light, I met her train on the track for her visit–she’d be with me through Thursday, when we’d head south to Munich for a day (and where I will subsequently pick up Alana on Friday). And, after dropping stuff off in my oft-visited apartment and eating a quick lunch, I took her out for the requisite tour of the city. And, though the weather was promised to be crappy, we had a surprisingly lovely day through the city’s main sites.

Near the Pegnitz.

We began, as appropriate, with Nuremberg’s famous castle, the Burg, set atop a hill with nice views over the city.

Ain't it pretty, it's my city.

The castle, for those not lucky enough to have already visited me, is lovely.

View out from the innermost section of the castle.

For the first time since I moved to Nuremberg, the little castle gardens were even open, affording yet more lovely views of the castle, and gorgeous flowers to boot.

In the small castle gardens, looking towards the castle.

Hello, there, spring!

And then, we headed down towards the rest of the city, stopping along the city wall to see what was advertised as the most beautiful view onto the old city.

Most beautiful? Debatable. But certainly lovely.

And then it was on down to the Pegnitz, to take in more old buildings. With slightly more cooperative, I snapped some improvements on past photography. The sky was dramatic. No enhancement even necessary!

Near the Hangman's bridge, on the Pegnitz.

Caroline admired some of my photography ideas. I mostly admired her camera, her Christmas present this past year. She was nice enough to let me play around it it, an old habit learned from another dear friend. My new resolution, for some undisclosed moment in the future when I actually have money: get one myself.

Sometimes the old point-and-shoot is overrated...

Caroline’s timing wasn’t perfect–she’s here mostly while I work. But things turned out nicely yesterday when the entire ninth grade, three of the five classes I teach on Tuesday, was out on a field trip to Dachau. The happy result: I was off work at 10:30 and promptly returned home to accompany Caroline to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, an old medieval city that is pretty, yet which affords its visitors next to nothing to actually do. All the better to have company.

Medieval streets, old buildings, city walls. This is Rothenburg, destination of way too many Japanese/American tourists.

Still, a pleasant afternoon, even with the menacing clouds constantly threatening us.

And we even found a small illustration of stereotypical Germany:

Why, hello, Mr. Garden Gnome.

Planned for the rest of her visit, which goes until Saturday: a fabulous Cinco de Mayo fiesta (otherwise known as our standard Wednesday dinner party) and a day and a half in Munich. Very much excited.

And also to be excited about? Visits from Alana (this weekend), Julia (next weekend), Rachel (the next weekend), a few days in Vienna with Alex, and then meeting my mother in Venice for a week in Slovenia, before she, too, joins my long list of guests. And by then, it’ll already be June, and I shall find my self in the FINAL COUNTDOWN. But for now, time to go make some enchiladas.

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