Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bamberg - May 31 - we'll be coming back here

Our favorite city by far (so far).  We did two tours today.  The included City Tour, a walking tour lead by Stephanie.  If you're ever in Bamberg and have an opportunity to be lead around the city by Stephanie, take it!!!  The second tour was an optional Bamberg Beer Experience tour - one of the very, very few things that aren't included in the all inclusive Uniworld cruises.  I think the only other thing we've had to pay for, other than the ship shop items, is a stamp for my postcard, but they even mailed it for me so I didn't have to find a mailbox.  Anyway, since the other optional beer tour had been cancelled (Bavarian Beer and Country in Regensburg) due to lack of interest (which is a surprise considering how many people boo'd when the cancellation was announced) this one had some extra people in it.  Our largest tour group - I think there were 38 people.  It was a great tour.  We got to try 3 1/2 beers in one brewery and in another we had the smokey beer and a meal of sausages and sauerkraut (and for the vegetarian in the group a vegetarian dinner strudel).   

Below is our day in pictures

About 9am, walking the streets of Bamberg

Altes Rathaus, this building is on a bridge in the middle of the river (which I think is the Regnitz, but don't quote me on that)

If you look very closely at this picture under the 5th window you can see the painter signed his work - in a unique of the cherubs has a leg sticking out so it's 3-D and his finger is pointing to his name

The half timbered portion of the building

The Bamberg Cathedral from 1012, and rebuilt in 1111 (yep, that was a while ago wasn't it?)

I can't believe I actually got to see the Bamberg Horseman too!!!  I was so excited.  It is from around 1200.

There was some other beautiful art inside too.  Though we only had 10 min to wander around.

You may recognize this from some movies....And sections of Bamberg were used in filming Robin Hood - the one with Orlando Bloom.

Thought I'd take a photo of the cobblestone streets.  This is why they recommend wearing flat shoes for walking.  Not only are they all kinds of different heights, sizes, etc, there are pieces of metal here and there that stick up an inch extra and there are built in drains that are in the middle of sidewalks that you can easily twist an ankle on.  I'm very happy I listened to the advice to bring flat shoes.

The rose garden

What a view from the rose garden

A pretty scene

We stopped for a bier during our free time - I know, you're shocked

I had a small glass.  Baby steps.  

On our tour of the Klosterbrau brewery - our guide Christian (who took over for Stephanie inside the brewery itself)

Cool six pack

During the tasting - they gave us 3 different beers, a pilsner, a dark and brown.  I liked the dark best, though only one glass and I'd be done.  The brown was my second favorite and the pilsner.  ick.  I was in the minority in thoughts of the pilsner though!

This is the brewery we were in

Then we went to the next stop - 'the building with the green shutters' I read about in my research.  This is 'the' place to get the Smoked Beer (Rauchbier) 

I ordered a Kellen bier (sp?) because I'd asked Stephanie 'if I liked the third beer at the last place (the brown beer) what beer would you recommend here?' and she said the Kellen bier (sounded like Killer Beer).  And it was a great choice.  It's a lager.  And others who tried the smokey beer are glad they tried it but would have preferred the lager.

The meal supplied with our beer - smoked sausage over sauerkraut with bread

There was a crepe cart that Greg and Yolanda were at so I joined them.  I chose a raspberry crepe and we ate it in front of 'forkman' which is what they called the statue of Neptune that is behind me.  Truly.  Forkman.  Because they were illiterate way back when and no one knew who Neptune was.  At least that's what Stephanie said!

When we got back to the ship our docking spot was taken with this group - a film crew filming some Red Cross thing - this guy is in a white suit with a red speedo on top and a red cape.  Truly.  But our captain stood firm and we were able to pull up and get on our ship (the beer tour group joined up with the rest of the ship who'd sailed from Bamberg while we were drinking)

Since we'd had a full meal at the brew house a number of us went on the sun deck and enjoyed the sights.

If you look closely at this lock you'll see it isn't quite straight.  We still fit though.

The captain came and shared jokes with us

We're all to face forward when we go under a low bridge- notice the Captain sticking his head out from a skylight in the lowered bridge.  This was the lowest bridge yet - I could have put my hand up and touched it.  But I didn't, of course.

Now we're on to Wurzberg and Rothenburg for another all day tour.  I'm a bit run down, and the cold/cough is probably at its peak now so it'll be a long day.  Another suggestion that I sort of followed, but wish I'd brought more of, is bringing meds from home.  I brought our prescriptions and a few other things (Tums, Advil, etc) but didn't bring anything like a cold medicine.  I'd heard the 'plan for the best' and figured I'd do that.  Sadly, we caught the cold that was going around so I miss having cold meds from home.  Though you can find apothecaries all over and they do speak English so you can get some things there.

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