I’ve reflected so often on what draws me into Nuremberg. It’s not New York or Paris or Munich. It’s small, there’s no obvious draws, and the parking is often terrible. But, once the grocery store ladies have been left behind and the car has been parked, the city of Nuremberg sits, ready to be unpacked and rediscovered. Much like a good workout after the fact, I have never been disappointed by a wander around the city.

It’s just for me. There’s no have tos when I head into this town. I am not there to stand in line at the Landratsamt or to go to the Zoll. I am there, with my camera, to amble, to soak it up, to window shop. My walks are solely for pleasure, and I usually find it.

Nuremberg is big enough to feel like a city and small enough that I feel part of it. In the city, away from the hassles that a foreigner has to manage, I feel a sort of belonging as I blend in with the crowds on Karolinienstrasse or in the Hauptmarkt wandering through the vegetable stalls. When I first arrived, my total lack, then my poor, and then my less poor German gave me away but no one really seems to mind very much.

Nuremberg and Bavaria can have a sort of crustiness about it. It’s the byproduct of tradition. But I take some pleasure in seeing the same sights over and over, with the understanding that these fests, these churches, these flower stands will outlast us all.

I arrived in Nuremberg, for the first time ten years ago, and I swear that the same guy has been slinging sausages on Koenigstasse the entire time. Unbeknown to him, I measure the passing of time as walk by his stand. He serves up Drei im Wecklas, and I walk by, satisfied that he’s still there and, for this moment, life is exactly is how it should be.