Does Bad Nauheim Still Need A Visit?

By Loes RaaphorstJul 14, 2014

Lex got himself a nice present for a memorable birthday. So last weekend we went to Germany, to Frankfurt, to be exact. Before Lex was told what his present would be, he had to solve a riddle: every right answer would give him a letter. With 9 right answers he could earn a bonus letter, which would have helped him enormously because it was the B. It was my job to come up with nine Elvis related questions. Easier said than done; Lex knows a lot about our man.

With a little help of his friends, ahum kids, he solved the riddle rather quick; against my will of course. I would have loved seeing him struggle a bit longer. But the answer was Bad Nauheim and they booked us a hotel in Frankfurt, thinking Frankfurt would be a nice place to stay for the weekend.

Friday was filled with the long drive from Holland to Germany, especially because of rather bad weather during the drive. A lot of serious accidents were the reason of a couple of traffic jams. In the evening we explored the neighbourhood of the hotel. Unfortunately it looked like Amsterdam twenty years ago. Lex and I are both born in big cities and rather used to drug addicts and homeless people, but the things we saw around the hotel made me shiver. I decided right there and then NOT to go out on my own!

Ray BarracksSaturday we drove to Friedberg first. Our goal was the Ray Barracks. Well, what can I say: I have never driven such a long way to see something so desolate and sad. Even the 'guard' dogs had left the building.

Okay we have seen it, we have been there, but was it worth the drive? Ehm... not in my opinion.

Back to the car and Lex gave me directions. I had no idea where he led me, but after a while it was clear: the marker that was supposed to be there for Elvis was torn down, and the whole place was demolished to be build up again in a little while. Nothing for us to see than a building place, but still called Elvis Presley Platz.

Elvis Presley Platz

Time for Bad Nauheim! Well, this was a pleasant surprise: what a lovely place it is. A real beautiful little town, clean and friendly looking.

GoethestrasseOur next stop was his house on the Goethestraße. For a short while we were in doubt which house it was. Nothing there reminds you of Elvis. Well, just before we even could blink our eyes, two people walked in front of us, and took a picture of a house. After a little chat it was obvious they had been here before. Lex and I just looked at each other and we agreed: no need to come here more than just once!

 

 

 

 

 

Still two more things to explore, so we decided to cross the park on our way to Grunewald Hotel. And there it was, without warning, wow, a worn out picture of Elvis on a lamppost. This was THE bridge his picture was taken.  I must confess, this was a nice surprise! Although I am very sure not many people would notice this picture.

Bridge marker Bridge

We pursued our walk to look for the Hotel. After a little while, there it is: Grunewald. There is a small memorial stone for Elvis, with an image. Well, it could have been my brother back in the 50s as well, because the resemblance is zero. A few plastic flowers, some sad wet candles and teddybears were left on the ground.

GrunewaldI often think “if you can't say something nice, shut up entirely”, and now “if you can't pay decent respect to Elvis, do nothing at all” came to my mind. But then again, I am not allowed to judge others unless I walked a mile in their shoes. I am sure all meant well, but it was not my piece of cake.

Thankfully the weather was fine and we did have a nice afternoon snack in the park before returning to the car again. Back to Frankfurt, which is a lot less 'special' than the song in my book.

In any case, if you do want to go to Germany to see for yourself, pick Bad Nauheim to stay the night, instead of Frankfurt. And foremost, don't expect too much of the Elvis Legacy there, because it is obviously a long, long time ago.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the trip, but am grateful we went on our own, instead of an organized tour with some fanclub. That would not have been worth the extra money for sure!

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Reactions

Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 18, 2014report abuse
I will be there this year..who else will visit Bad Nauheim on Aug 16..? We meet at the Irish pub..ask for Cisco..;-)
commoneverybody (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 18, 2014report abuse
The best time of the year to visit Bad Nauheim is from 14th to 18th of August. Excellent weather, lots a classic cars, lots of Elvis music and fanclub stands etc. It suprises me that Loes and Lex didn't visit a lot of other Elvis 'places' in Bad Nauheim like the historic castle gate or the pub where Elvis loved to go,and is even beeing photographed ( outside ). If you plan to make a trip to Elvis related places, first find out where the interesting spots are before you go on the road.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2014report abuse
Wow! Somebody has long toes as we say over here. As usual, you have to right to have an opinion, but please keep the silly namecalling out next time, or it will be deleted, Boxcar.
Boxcar (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 16, 2014report abuse
Cisco summed it up pretty good but I have to write it again because so much senseless traveling got me upset. If you are not able to plan a visit in advance don't put the blame to somebody else. We have an Elvis Presley Plaza here. Years ago -when there was nothing Elvis in Bad Nauheim- people placed faked "Elvis Presley Blvd." streetsigns over the Goethestreet sign and made fun photos. Today we have an official Elvis Plaza AND an Elvis Presley Boulevard. But that's all not enough for you. What did you expect? We have the little memorial which is a great picture with the Grunewald right behind it. What you consider 'plastic trash' is what good willing fans placed in front of the memorial. I could tell the major to put that 'fan-trash' away so you are feeling better next time you come here. We have the world famous "A Big Hunk Of Love" single-cover historic castle gate with an Elvis marker. Make a photo at the Goethestreet gate (even if it is privately owned). Take a guided tour which is offered at special times and hear stories told by the people who met Elvis back then. Join the European Elvis Festival in August where guest stars like Jerry Shilling, Joe Esposito, The TCB band or Alfred Wertheimer appear. We have impersonators performing gospel concerts at the monumental "Dankes Church". You criticize the poor memorial plaza in Bad Nauheim. At the same time you also criticize Friedberg because they named and rebuild a fantastic new Elvis place right in the city center. Well, the american army left the worn out barracks not the Germans. But Friedberg instantly put the gigantic Jailhouse Rock wooden silhouette in front of the barracks. I know that is nothing for you and you would have done it better. But I think this is fantastic. But next time you are here I will tell the major to put on a jumpsuit and sing "Wooden Heart" for you so you feel more welcome in a city that will 100 % circle around Elvis for you. And now a question. Put away the SUN Studio and Graceland from Memphis. Where would you go? What is obviously reminding on Elvis? We insiders know the the places that are left. But beside SUN and Graceland what does the city actively do to 'entertain' planless traveling fans? A gigantic statue at the city limits? Okay they have a smaller one standing somewhere on a place that has no meaning to fans. Places you know from record covers? No. Lauderdale Courts? Well, that was closed and fenced when I was there. Crown Electric? Oh that's torn down and replaced by a gas station now. Even on Beale street I've never seen even a photo of Elvis. Stax? Well, that building is a replica. So when I sum it up I don't even have to go to Memphis if it wasn't for Graceland and if I travel the way you do. So, next time you travel contact the local visitor center in advance or find yourself a fan who met Elvis in Bad Nauheim. There are quite a few of them willing to share their stories. Contact the local fanclub. What you've done was .. sorry .. totally brainless and ungrateful to the city. Just an info. Before there were two Elvis named streets in Bad Nauheim the city asked the US Army if they would rename a street in their soldier-residence-quarter in Bad Nauheim. They denied!
Ciscoking (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 15, 2014report abuse
Loes and Lex,..you are right about Friedberg....not very inviting...but Bad Nauheim is a gem..a lovely little town which needs to be discovered...many little nice shops downtown..,,you can rest at any corner..drink a coffee,..eat..or just having a drink...just near the Grunewald hotel where Elvis stayed is a big park with a little lake and especially in spring and summer it`s the go to place to just relax and enjoying mother nature. Bad Nauheim is also a well known spa town with all the facilities..like parks..restaurants.sports..etc..and of course all the places Elvis made fampus..the gate where he stood for covers......the little bridge..Goethestr..etc..and the best time to go there is the European Elvis festival in August...where thousands of fans meet..Bad Nauheim is a buzzing Elvis town then..and the Irish piub is the place to go in the evening...there the fants meet to chat..and you meet very interesting people..I can tell stories..it`s the fourth time we go this year..perhaps...you too try again and we could meet..but hurry up....the hotels are full...

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