Waking to a blue, sunny sky we went downstairs in our hotel to enjoy yet another wonderful European breakfast. Eating our fill, we then set off to explore the beautiful medieval town of Bamberg, a timeless place of timber frame houses, cobblestone streets, Gasthauses, and Biergartens! Bamberg is located over 7 hills, each topped with a church and it is one of the few towns in German that survived the war with little damage. Walking along the Regnitz River, we got our first glimpse of "Little Venice" as it is known, where the houses are built in the water. The beautiful houses seem to lean against one another for support and actually many WERE leaning! Next we headed up the stairs to the great cathedral which was built in 1015, destroyed by an earthquake, re-built and later devastated by fire and finally re-built as a Romanesque/early Gothic building. We headed into the Rose Garten where a maze of small, perfectly groomed boxwood bushes set the frame for hundreds of rose bushes, which in a few days would explode with colour as buds pop open with the coaxing of the warm sun. It was then on to Kloster St. Michael which was
once a Benedictine monastery, which was closed for repairs! Walking back down the steps behind our hotel, we headed over to the Altes Rathaus, old town hall, which is right in the historic core of Bamberg, situated neatly on a small island in the river. We crossed the bridge at the Rathaus and then onto a shop-lined street that was home to a fresh fruit and vegetable market. We popped in to a store for a few necessities where we finally broke down and purchased some running clothes! Before our trip our vow was to not run as we would be walking all the time. Great idea until we saw the number of exquisite places that were just built for running! We tried not to obsess but when you find yourself sneering and snarling at runners as they float by, foot poised to trip them, you know that you are not doing so well with your plan. We are really faithful to our morning regimen of exercises but part of the trouble now is we LOVE the food in Deuschtland and my husband has re-connected with his love of German beer! Factor into the equation that exactly one month after
we return home we are off to Crete so we are trying to get beach body ready (or at least a palatable version😊. After leaving with our treasures we then...stopped for a beer (kind of ironic after buying running gear). There were two places Curtis wanted to get to - Klosterbrau Brewery and Schlenkerla. We found the Klosterbrau on a quiet street, however the brewery was closed so we settled down for a nice frosty beer. It was a light one so quite flavourful. From there we then sought out Schlenkerla, a place where my brother visited a number of years ago and wanted Curtis to get to. We entered into this busy spot with its dark wooden interior and out to the biergarten where patrons were imbibing in their famous "Rauchbier". Now suffice it to say this dark beer is pretty much "liquid smoked ham" in a glass! In my humble opinion and without having a palate for beer, it was GROSS! I had a wee sip whereupon I thought I might spew it out! Curtis thoroughly enjoyed it however and so we made reservations to come back later for dinner!
As we headed back down the street
to our hotel we passed a pub where there was an interesting and novel game of "beer pong" being played. We stopped to watch the players as they tossed their pingpong balls but instead of cups sitting on the table, there were 6 holes where the cups fit into. Each cup was filled partly full of beer and the object was the same as regular beer pong. We watched for a while and got chatting to a friendly Australian who was explaining the game to us as well as chatting about travelling, He also told us that the manager of the bar was Canadian! After a few more minutes we wished him well and headed off, whereupon we heard a voice, "Canada, Canada". We turned to see a big burly guy standing in the middle of the street. It was the manager so we went back to chat and found out he was originally from the Haliburton area and had been in Germany for the last 18 years! He invited Curtis to play and I have to commend my husband's restraint. In spite of his competitive streak he was able to walk away from the lure of the game (lesson
learned in Budapest for sure).
Later we walked back down to Schlenkerla where we scanned the German menu diligently until the server took pity on us and substituted an English version for us. Curtis got to enjoy another smoky beer while feasting on Zweibl, an onion stuffed with tasty pork, mashed potatoes and gravy while I devoured my bratwurst and sauerkraut (no wonder we feel the need to run!). After dinner we headed back to our room where we did a little packing, I coloured my hair, and we caught up on emails.
Tuesday morning we went for our first official run (if you call what we were doing running), ate another great breakfast and headed off to Herleshausen (pronunciation: Hairless-how-sin), home of Curtis' Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Looking forward to meeting them and being able to do laundry at last!!!!
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