“This is a company town,” the hotel desk attendant in Erlangen, Germany told me. “People here either work for the company or its suppliers.” As I wandered the quaint streets, I noticed they were all related to the company in some way. My hotel on Werner von Siemens Strasse was no exception.
But while the company dominates this town in the Franconia Valley in both size and importance, Erlangen is also home to an important University. Students gather on the lawns to read or play sports (soccer and a form of tight-rope walking between trees seem to be the favorites). The divided sidewalks give the right-of-way to bicycles and you need to be careful not be run over by the two-wheel terrors.
Despite being a workaday factory town that was essentially obliterated in World War II, there is still a charm here. Days are filled with the tranquil atmosphere of a slower life. Sure, Erlangen lacks the medieval charms of neighboring Nuremberg or Bamberg, but its uniqueness comes through in the small details found in the corners of this town.