The morning started with high clouds but by afternoon we had sun peaking through periodically. It was mid to upper 60's, perfect for sightseeing
At breakfast we met a very nice couple from Chicago who were on a one month driving trip from Paris to the Netherlands and Brugges, through Germany and into Switzerland, Italy and the south of France. Their kids had just left the nest and they'd been looking to do this trip for a while. We talked about places to see and then about 10am left for our separate journeys. They were fun to talk to and we hit if off. It seems like we meet the nicest people from Chicago !
On the road just 10 minutes and we decided to fill the tank. Coincidentally so did they as we met them in our cars at the station.
Bamberg is about 100 Km away. We had the usual disagreements with Ms. Garmin, like she doesn't always go for the highway but takes the shortcuts through smaller roads, and once again even tried to have us go through a blocked street. In all fairness she probably didn't know the town, or whoever, decided to do street repairs this week. But it didn't really affect the trip time and we arrived in Bamberg at 11:30am, found a large underground parking lot with large parking spaces, and headed into the town.
Bamberg is a gem. The population of this city is 70,000 but the old town is compact and easy to walk. This town was spared the wartime bomb raids and has 2300 well preserved buildings in styles ranging from Romanesque to Baroque. The main site is the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George, started in 1211 and last worked on in 1457. It sits up high in the old town and the only higher edifice is St. Michael Abbey. But vying for attraction of the city is also the Altes Rathaus (the old town hall) and the bridges that cross the Regnitz river and the Main-Rhein-Danube canals.
The Rathaus sits on an islet built in the river. It is immense and has three distinct parts: a conventional 18C section, an elaborate baroque tower section, and what looks like a timber-framed house hanging out one side over the river. The 18C section is painted outside with frescoes on both sides of the building and is an eyeful to see.
We walked along the river looking at the beautiful half timbered houses that line "Little Venice". They even have gondolas that will take you up the canals.
We spent 4 hours walking this beautiful city, stopping at a restaurant just outisde of St. Michael Abbey for drinks and our "dessert". This was a nice spot for a break as it was in the convent gardens high above the city with spectacular views of the old town.
At 4pm we headed back to Rothenberg. This time we took a faster route, but even with that, being Sunday, everyone seemed to be out driving but we got back before 6pm and made reservations for 6:30pm in the hotel's dining room.
We decided to eat in at the hotel, first because we were too tired to go out, but also we had heard this morning how good the hotel menu was.
It was better than advertised. Karen had a Weiner Schnitzel with Pan fried potatoes and salad, and wine. Mike started with a duck liver appetizer, cooked in a balsamic base sauce on a small salad, then a duck breast plate with vegetables and potato croquettes, and wine too. There was no room left for dessert, though we could consider that we had it this afternoon.
To work off all that food we went out for an evening stroll. The town is dark, though there are some street lights and many stores leave their lights on, plus major sights are lit too. We walked from 8pm to 9:15pm, took some pictures, noted places to maybe eat at tomorrow night, as well as some to do last minute shopping in. It was surprsising just how many people were out walking and flash from cameras going off everywhere.
By the way, we spoke with the owner of the hotel and she told us the original building is from 1264AD. While they've made some renovations, electric, and other modernizations, the basic structure is 748 years old.
This was another great day. Hard to believe the end is rushing at us so fast.
View of houses on what's called 'Little Venice'
Kaiserdom - Bamberg's Cathedral
Interior of St. Michael
View up river from Town Hall
Rothenberg night on the Marktplatz
Rothenberg night view of Plonlein