Nagold

I suggested to Jan that we should go to Rottweil as it’s the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg (the German state we live in). He then suggested that, since it takes roughly an hour and a half to drive there, we should stop somewhere else on the way… and that’s how we ended up going to Nagold.

Buildings down by the river

The town of Nagold takes its name from the river that flows through the town. It’s known for its ruined castle, Hohennagold (which we didn’t see) and for the many half-timbered houses in the town centre. Can you guess why I wanted to go there? (Hint: It’s the same reason I love Tübingen…)

If your answer to the question above was buildings like this one, have a gold star!

The day we were in Nagold was right in the middle of their Kermes – a word that I wasn’t even able to find a translation for until I changed the spelling to Kermis, and even then it only took me to a Wikipedia article about the Dutch Kermesse! But, reading through the article, it seems to be the same thing. Basically, it’s a town fête or festival, usually in the form of a funfair although we didn’t see one in Nagold (if there were funfair rides, they wouldn’t have been directly in town). What we did see, were things like this:

Whale game

Judging by the other items that were lying around, the aim of the game was to throw rings into the mouth of this… whale? At least that’s what I think it was meant to be! A killer whale with a surf board…

Nagold is in the district of Calw, and with all the half-timbered houses, the two towns are pretty similar (click here to read about my trip to Calw). Most of our time in Nagold was spent just walking around taking photos. We tried to visit the town museum, but it turned out to be closed on Saturdays… because nobody would ever want to visit a museum on a Saturday. Clearly. Here, have some photos:

 

It had been raining quite heavily while we were in the car, but by the time we stopped in Nagold, it was only cloudy. Not bad considering the forecast was for nothing but rain all day!

After I had taken a photo of every single half-timbered house in the town (well… maybe not quite, but definitely a lot of them. What can I say? They’re just too pretty!), we decided to go for a coffee. We ended up at a place called Il Due, where I drank a Latte Macchiato with vanilla syrup and Jan had a cappucino. We didn’t eat there (although, in retrospect, I think we should have!) but the pizzas that were delivered to the table next to us looked – and smelled – amazing! But time was moving on and we still wanted to go to two places that day, so we paid for our coffees and headed back to the car. Next stop: Rottweil… but that’s a tale for another blog post.

Update from August 2014: I’ve decided to include this post in the Travel edition of the Expats Blog Hop over at Young Germany. Find the other entries here.

Calw

I haven’t posted in a while because there hasn’t been anything to say. When I wasn’t at work, I was proofreading somebody’s PhD thesis (written in English by a German), which is basically also work. In between I managed to watch some football, but seeing as anyone who is interested has probably been watching that themselves I don’t feel the need to blog about it. After all this work with no play, I was desperate for a change of scenery yesterday – if only to get my away from the housework for a while! So Jan and I decided to go to Calw.

Calw is about an hour’s drive from Karlsruhe, in the Black Forest. It’s famous for being the birthplace of German author Hermann Hesser – among other things, he wrote the novel Steppenwolf. Some of you may remember the 60s band of the same name. (I, of course, am far too young ;-)).
Our first stop on arriving in Calw was thus the Hermann Hesse Museum, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive til 4:30 p.m. and the museum closed at 5, so we only had time for a quick look. We could have done with more time to read everything properly, but what we did manage to take in was interesting.

Having seen the museum, we went to have a proper look around town. Calw is located in the Nagold valley, which allowed it to escape being bombed during the war. This means lots and lots of pretty old buildings. Just the kind of town I like!
Here is the Marktplatz. You can see the half-timbered houses and the Market Fountain in the background:

Calw Marktplatz

Marktplatz again, this time taken from right next to the fountain:

Hermann Hesse was born in this house:

Hermann Hesse birth house

I took a photo of a lantern, just because I always do.

Lantern and rooves

Later, we walked down to the river and I took this picture because I liked the reflection of the clouds in the water:

River Nagold

In the evening, we ate at a cafe/bar place called Kult – their homemade soups are delicious! – and stayed there to watch the football before heading home. It was a lovely day in a beautiful town (we were lucky that the weather decided to be nice for a change, but unlike Würzburg, I think Calw would still be pretty on a rainy day) and I get to cross another German town off my list of places to see. Not a bad Saturday at all 🙂