Into the Bergs - Bamberg to Miltenberg

Friday 22nd May, 2015
Saturday 23rd May, 2015
Sunday 24th May, 2015

Friday 22nd May, 2015

Drop Cap ac managed to get our email connected last night, as we were not able to on the Amareina. Emails from Geoff and Alan at the Fire Station, and lots of junk!

Bamberg Building photograph

Wedgwood Style Building in Bamberg

Bamberg Street Art photograph

Sculpture in the Street, Bamberg

Drop Cap his morning dawned bright and sunny again as we gathered for our morning tour of Bamberg, an almost unspoiled medieval town. It was a fascinating place. Among lots of timber framed and painted houses and churches, cobbles, cathedrals and canals we found some really eclectic street art, including a huge portrait head. Although it was more like a broken mask it was strangely beautiful and I loved it.

Bamberg Brewery photograph

Brewery in Bamberg's Old Town

Drop Cap e had a good guide called Astrid and she took us all over the medieval area. Among lots of other info she told us that the six pointed star symbol, usually regarded as a symbol of Judaism was originally the sign of the brewers' guild and was displayed outside taverns to show that new beer had arrived, much earlier than the first Jews had arrived and displayed the Star of David symbol. Must have been a bit confusing!

Bamberg Cathedral photograph

Bamberg Cathedral under Renovation

Drop Cap he Cathedral was spare and not very ornamented, unlike most of those we have seen up to now, but it was eight hundred years old and the third built on the same site. In the Cathedral was a sarcophagus containing the relics of Pope Clement II who was a native of Bamberg and apparently poisoned (modern forensic evidence) in the 900's. These places are so unimaginably old!

Gate to Old Bishops Palace photograph

Gate to the Old Bishop's Palace, Bamberg

Old Bishops Palace photograph

Old Bishop's Palace, Bamberg

Drop Cap e then walked up to the former Bishop's Palace, an enormous timber framed structure which was very picturesque but one of the later Bishops thought it was too old-fashioned, so had himself built a lovely Baroque version.

Drop Cap e went there too. It had an amazing formal rose garden which would have been breathtaking when the roses were blooming. We are a bit early. There was a pool in the middle of these formal hedged plantings where a group of German school children were fishing for money presumably thrown in by tourists. One lad got quite wet, but he got his coin!

Rose Garden photograph

Rose Garden in the New Bishop's Palace, Bamberg

Bamberg Cathedral from the Rose Garden photograph

Bamberg Cathedral from the Rose Garden Terrace

Bamberg Town Hall photograph

Bamberg's Painted Rathaus

Drop Cap e wandered back past the old town hall or Rathaus (love that German expression), built on bridges over the river because the Prince Bishop would not allow them a piece of land to build on. The old burghers decided that the Prince Bishop did not own the river, so built the town hall there.

Our tour finished there so Mac and I had a cup of coffee at an outdoor table in the sun, very nice. It was funny but the chairs at the outdoor café were draped in blankets in case the customer got cold. I noticed this also in Nuremburg yesterday at the restaurant where we had lunch. It seems they tacitly admit that the climate is too chilly for alfresco eating.

Drop Cap e then wandered through the Grune Markt or Fruit and Vegetable market where the stands were full of wonderful produce, all fresh and looking so much better than anything in our supermarkets. I wish we could find something similar at home. We have seen a number of these markets, yesterday's at Nuremburg was wonderful too.

Drop Cap e had a frugal lunch back at the boat as we have our special restaurant meal tonight. Don't want to spoil that. We are currently sitting in the last lock on the Main-Danube Canal. We had to wait for a large cargo barge to go through and when we get through, another APT ship will come through the other way. I am just planning a veg afternoon and an early shower. I have walked five km today.

Main River photograph

Along the Main River


Drop Cap ots of locks this afternoon as we proceeded down the Main River. It is rather like an English canal, green, leafy and tranquil. Herons stand like guardsmen on the banks, ducks and geese with half grown families paddle on the edges and I heard a cuckoo for the very first time! Among a host of other twitters. Many of the banks extend to grassy fields glowing with wildflowers white, pink, blue and yellow.

Drop Cap e are booked into the exclusive Erlebnis Restaurant tonight for the second week' s menu. Last week's was very good but I think the cooking on the Amareina was better than on Amavenita.

Later Still:

Drop Cap he meal was not quite as good as last week, I felt, but later we enjoyed a "Medieval" musical performance with lutes, drums, bagpipes and other old instruments and a young couple in costume who really entertained us. So an enjoyable evening.

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Saturday 23rd May, 2015

Moored at Kitzingen photograph

Amavenita Moored at Kitzingen

on our Balcony photograph

Rosemary on our Balcony

Drop Cap e docked this morning in a village called Kitzingen. One lady was taken off in an ambulance this morning, heart problems I believe, although she was already in a wheelchair most of the time. Such a pity, but these trips are generally not as gentle and relaxing as you think they will be.

Kitzingen Bridge photograph

Kitzingen Bridge

Riverside Kitzingen photograph

Riverside at Kitzingen

Drop Cap e went out early, before breakfast and explored the riverside and a bit of the town by ourselves. The riverside is pretty, an old bridge spans the river with old warehouses lining it. The river was glassy smooth and the banks were ornamented with reeds and flowering flags.

Kitzingen photograph


Kitzingen Cat photograph

Mac Meets a Local

Drop Cap ne of the buildings along the quay has measurements on it marking off the high water mark from famous floods. The highest mark was way above my head! Up in the street Mac met a cat who tolerated him, but did not want to know really. We have a full day today off the ship as we will see Wurzburg and Rothenburg while the ship makes her slow way to Wurzburg, it takes much longer by water.

Kitzingen Square photograph

Kitzingen Square

Kitzingen Keller photograph

Kitzingen Keller

Drop Cap fter breakfast we were greeted by the "mayor" of the town and a couple of "wine queens" in national dress. They took us up through the market place of the Old Town, to the Klosterkeller, once a monastery but now privately owned, for a wine tasting with oompah band and some cheese and rye bread to have with the wine. We tried five wines from sweet to medium dry including one sparkling and one blush. We quite enjoyed them. The owner of the keller gave us a book of pictures which he had taken and had printed to show off the town to visitors.

Entering Rothenburg photograph

Entering Rothenburg

Stork's Nest in Rothenburg photograph

Stork's Nest in Rothenburg

Drop Cap hen a quick return to the ship for an early lunch before taking bus for an hour to the glorious medieval walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This was a real treat! The area inside the walls (which was surprisingly large) was so picturesque , old timber framed houses, churches, the walls themselves, even a large stork's nest complete with a real stork atop one of the towers.

Rothenburg Rathaus photograph

Rothenburg Rathaus

224 Rothenburg Square photograph

Rothenburg Rathaus Square


Drop Cap nlike the black and white English Tudor style so prevalent in places like Stratford on Avon and the Herefordshire border, these buildings seem much more colourful, rich reds and ochres. The Rathaus and the town square were particularly picturesque.

Drop Cap particularly enjoy the shop and café signs in these lovely little towns. They are so ornamental and decorative, with gilded curlicues and figures, usually referring to the type of establishment they advertise.

Roleplayers in Rothenburg photograph

Roleplay in Rothenburg

Roleplay in Rothenburg photograph

Campfollowers in Rothenburg

Drop Cap o make it even more special today was the annual festival of "The Master's Draft" with lots of military companies roleplaying as pikemen, musketeers, cavalry, barbarians, priests, ladies, camp followers, wagons, horses and bands. It made everything come to life, like being on a movie set, a real experience!

Masters Draft in Rothenburg photograph

Masters Draft in Rothenburg

Rothenburg from Walls photograph

Rothenburg from the Walls

Rothenburg Ramparts photograph

Part of the Ramparts, Rothenburg

Drop Cap e had a lot of free time so we wandered all over. There was an amazing view from the town walls of the valley of the Tauber river. We walked along some of the wall walk and had coffee and strudel in a café. I bought a badge from a lady in a souvenir shop and she told me her husband had worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. She knew all the Blue Mountains towns and the Hawkesbury/Nepean Rivers. She gave me a photo and a postcard free which was very nice of her. We have walked about eight kilometers today and I really feel exhausted.

Drop Cap hen we left we drove for about an hour to Wurzburg where we were to meet the ship. It was an interesting drive through mainly very rural areas. One thing we noticed was the number of houses and barns with solar panels on the roofs. Even the cowsheds. According to our guide, cows in Austria don't free range, but are kept indoors. One of the cowsheds had lace curtains at the windows!

Prinz Bishop's Residenz Wurzburg photograph

Prinz Bishop's Residenz, Wurzburg

Drop Cap he ship had not yet docked, so we drove around Wurzburg and looked at the outside of the Residenz of the Prince-Bishop. It looked like Schonbrunn and was a ridiculous example of conspicuous consumption. It amazes me that the populace tolerated the extravagance of these religious houses when the majority of people were generally quite poor.. Do I sound jaundiced? Just somewhat footsore and weary, but a wonderful day really! Finally the ship arrived and we returned to dinner, shower and zonk!

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Sunday 24th May, 2015

Drop Cap his morning we arrived in Miltenberg, yet another medieval gem. But before lunch we had a very interesting glass blowing demo by a local craftsman. He even got Kyra, one of our mates, up to blow a Christmas bauble. She did really well, as a singer she has good breath contol! All the glass he made is pyrex so not too fragile. He had some lovely stuff but we have no room in the bags!

Miltenburg Maypole photograph

Local Maypole, Miltenberg

Picturesque Miltenburg photograph

Picturesque Miltenberg

Drop Cap fter lunch we went on a walking tour of Miltenberg. It is really beautiful. For once, no WWII damage, but apparently it suffered during the Thirty Year's War (!) which is why so many of the old timber framed houses remain. They could not afford to rebuild in the new stone style. Lucky for us. Another film set, we could be in Ankh-Morpork!

Miltenberg Street photograph

Miltenberg Street

Miltenberg Street photograph

Miltenberg Street

Drop Cap here are so many of these towns, so strangely beautiful to our eyes, even if we have been to Hahndorf! It is a long weekend here, Whitsun, and the river is alive with motor boats, tourist boat cruises and people everywhere. There were timber framed shops and inns, more of the lovely gilded and decorated shop signs and it really was like walking through a medieval street fair!

Miltenberg Square photograph

Miltenberg Town Square

Drop Cap uring our walk we had all sorts of samples given us to try - sausage, apple cake and pretzels (I really like this kind of pretzel) a little bottle of schnapps and two sketches of Miltenberg by a local artist. Lots of souvenirs building up, another postbox coming on I feel.

Moored at Miltenberg photograph

Amavenita Moored at Miltenberg

Drop Cap ac has caught the cold circulating the ship. Mine seems to have run its course fairly quickly but it was miserable while it lasted. I hope he gets rid of his quickly too.

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