Name: In America, my name is Jennifer. My whole life, I’ve never gone by anything else but Jennifer. Whenever I moved to Europe, however, my name mysteriously changed to Jenni. That is to say, I’ve never once introduced myself as ‘Jenni’ but somehow have yet to be referred to here as ‘Jennifer’. I don’t really understand what the problem is with pronouncing my full name over here, but it’s fine. 🙂
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
How long have you lived there?
I moved to Germany September 6, 2010….just in time for the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest (which ends at the beginning of October, strangely enough). And yes, in case you were wondering, posing with a 2L beer is a lot harder than it looks. Those things are ridiculously heavy.
If you moved from somewhere else, where did you move from? Why?
Before living in Germany, I lived in Austria (first Salzburg, then Vienna). Before all of these places, though, I lived in America (Oklahoma – born and raised). I moved to Salzburg in 2009 to attend the University of Salzburg and fell in love with the city (and the country). Even though I love the U.S., I knew my heart had found a home (even if only temporarily) in Europe. Although I could have stayed in Salzburg forever, I had things to take care of (like finishing a degree at Oklahoma State). I finished my degree as soon as possible and moved to Vienna in 2010 to intern at the U.S. Embassy. This position was a dream come true and these 4 months of my life were incredible. Following my internship there, I received a Fulbright grant on behalf of the U.S. State Dept. to work in Germany, which is where I’m living now.
Currently, the weather consists of snow, snow and more snow. I pretty much spend every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment in a coat, scarf and mittens. During November and December, the atmosphere was so cheery and Christmas-y that I welcomed the cold weather and the flurries of snow which accompanied it. Now, however, I’m pretty ready for summer…Berlin in the summer is fantastic. I was there in 2009 and I’m planning on going back soon.
Tell us what a typical weekend is like for you there?
This is a funny question, you see, because I actually have 4 day weekends! I only work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so literally almost every weekend is spent traveling. I love it. As Germany borders Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, France, etc., traveling is pretty easy. Some weekends I visit my boyfriend in Poland, some weekends I re-visit Salzburg with old friends, some weekends I dare to venture out to unknown cities/countries, some weekends are spent in closer proximity to Nuremberg and other weekends are spent in closer proximity to my bed. Yes, some weekends, I just like to sleep and sleep and sleep. Otherwise, how will I have the energy to travel the next weekend?
Where do you like to eat in your town?
I wish I loved German food because Nuremberg is the perfect place to eat it. The Nürnberger Bratwurst, for instance, is a burger so famous that McDonald’s added it to its German menu. I’ve never tried it but I love walking through the Hauptmarkt (main market in the city center) trying all sorts of snacks instead; roasted almonds (my personal favorite – I love the Cinnamon sugar kind), pretzels (this is Bavaria, after all), chocolates, etc. Luckily for me, living in a country so close to Italy has its advantages. There are some superb Italian restaurants here and delicious Asian cuisine isn’t hard to track down either. Of course, for dessert, it always helps to duck into a cute cafe and enjoy a pastry or hot chocolate. I recommend doing this after every meal, actually.
Where do you like to shop?
H&M and Zara. Typical answers, yes, but I can’t help it. Those stores are dangerous for me and I’ve been known to spend way too much time and money in both. I also love shopping in book stores. I love pouring over books in foreign languages and comparing the different covers to their American counterparts. Maybe that makes me a nerd of some sort. Maybe I’m okay with that. 🙂
Suggest some must see places for an out of town visitor.
There are so many historical sites to be found in Nuremberg. After WWII, German officials involved in the Holocaust were brought before an international court, famously referred to as The Nuremberg Trials. Visitors can see the site firsthand and visit the documentation center where the Nazi rallies once took place. Hauntingly fascinating, it is not something to be missed. Also, the beautiful Pegnitz river runs through the city center and gives off a delightful little fairy-talish vibe. One of my favorite things to do is stroll across the bridges at sunset and stare out at the peaceful river. It’s a very tranquil place to be.
Tell us why you love your town:
If Nuremberg doesn’t have something you need, huge cities like Frankfurt and Munich are just a train ride away. On the other hand, Nuremberg is surrounded by small Bavarian villages so a ”small-town feel” is easily within reach as well. Also, with only 1 million inhabitants, you can wander around the city without feeling as though you are lost in a sea of people. Tourists do come to Nuremberg, but it is by no means a ”tourist trap”. I love that. And apart from all of that, walking through the old part of the city can make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. The castle, the churches, the buildings – it’s all quite magical.
Anything else we should know about where you live?
Yes, I haven’t yet mentioned the Chirstmas markets! Perhaps what Nuremberg is most famous for (arguably moreso than the Nuremberg trials) is the Christmas market. Every year at the end of November (and throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas), 2 millions visitors from all over the world flock to the city to take part in this festive tradition. Hundreds of vendors set up wooden stalls in the Hauptmarkt (main market square), festooned with red-and-white cloth, selling traditional Christmas treats; traditional Lebkuchen, fruit loaves, baked goods and other sweets, Christmas ornaments and candles, Christmas toys and various other arts and crafts products. It’s insanely crowded (especially in the days before Christmas) but definitely worth a visit!
Thanks Jenni! Loved hearing about Nuremburg.