After a peaceful "locked" morning, we docked in Miltenberg, Germany, our first stop in Bavaria. It's a quaint town (pop 9176) nestled in some beautiful mountains along the Main River. It looked like something from a German post card. Our walking tour guide was funny and filled with lots of historical facts. The town has been a tourist destination since 1590. One of the oldest working "Inns" in Germany is here. There's a wonderful brewery here and this is where the pretzel was created.
The story about the pretzel is pretty cool. This is a strongly Catholic community with a monastery in the hills. The monks used to make heart shaped "pretzels" that reflected their love for God. But when they decided that you could pray with your arms crossed (to keep your hands warm in your tunic) they changed the shape to the current one. Of course, we had to try a pretzel and a local beer while here!
The other great story is about how the town resisted Nazi occupation in the late 1930s. When the neo-Nazis came to take over, they did a speech in the old town square. No one came. But better than that, the local priest locked the doors to the church adjacent to the square and rang the loud tower bells the entire time. Then the citizens started booing them from their windows. The neo-Nazis decided it wasn't worth fighting with the entire town, so they left and never came back. I think there's a lesson for us here...
When we returned to the ship this afternoon, we continued sailing on the lovely Main River. I can't even describe how peaceful and enjoyable this trip has been.
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