Ich Liebe Tanja

T thoughtful
A adaptable / affectionate / attentive / authentic / awesome
N not enough words to describe just how nice she is
J joyful
A a special person / always in our hearts

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Tanja picked us up from Heidelberg on Monday 7 October and drove us to Nuremberg to stay with her for our last few days in Germany.

The hostess with the mostest, Tanja had seven different kinds of cheese and various cold meats in the fridge when we arrived (despite the fact that she is vegan!) and had also taken a few days off work to act as our tour guide.

On our first evening we visited a lively street festival with two of Tanja’s friends in Fürth. We indulged in lángos (deep fried bread with cheese, garlic and sour cream), mushrooms in bier dough, original Nuremberger sausages, gingerbread, crepes and chocolate coated fruit until we were about to burst and Ed impressed us all when he opted to ride on ‘The Burner’ after a couple of biers!

On Tuesday we cooked the BEST BREAKFAST EVER and then drove into Nuremberg to explore the Altstadt. On our way we passed the Ehekarussell (Marriage Carousel) where Ed and I recreated the stages of “bittersweet married life”.

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On Lorenzer Platz we took in St Lorenzkirche and the Tugendbrunnen (Fountain of the Virtues): Faith with a cross and a chalice, Love with two children, Hope with an anchor, Courage with a lion, Moderation with a jug, Patience with a lamb, and Justice with blindfolded eyes, a sword and a crane as a symbol of alertness.

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Other highlights included: Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Church), built on the site of the destroyed synagogue of the former Jewish quarter (pogrom in 1349); Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) where we spun the two brass rings embedded in the fence for good luck; St Sebalduskirche, Nuremberg’s oldest church; and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle).

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We ate lunch at a restaurant at the foot of the castle before returning home via a few department and food stores. Ed and I cooked up a storm in Tanja’s magnificent kitchen for dinner and then taught her to play Yahtzee which she won three times in a row!!!

On Wednesday Tanja drove us to beautiful Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We walked around the low and narrow city walls and stopped on occasion to take in picture perfect views of the romantic road and surrounding countryside.

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I spent a good hour or so browsing in the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop and managed to resist buying another suitcase load of decorations.

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After lunch we walked the castle gardens and I taught Tanja how to find the right light for portrait photography.

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On our way home we visited the house where my Dad’s grandmother was born.

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We were also lucky enough to be joined for dinner by my Dad’s uncle Helmut, his wife Lydia, and their daughter Sonia (Tanja’s Mum).

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Despite language barriers, Tanja was able to expertly facilitate our conversation and Helmut shared beautiful stories about our family and history.

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It was an emotional, moving and humbling experience and a night I will never forget.

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