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Friday, April 29, 2016

Day 11, April 1, Morning Cruising and Bamberg, Germany

Most mornings so far have been like this: up, dressed, breakfast and on a tour by 8 to 9:30 AM.  this morning is a little slower.  Our four hour tour of Bamberg will not begin until 1:30. So we relax in our room and take photos of the passing scenery.  I take note of the wind farms and solar panel on many homes.  The homes are painted in colorful choices.  Set against the bright, new grass makes for great photo opportunities.

I was fascinated by the many stairs leading down to the river/canal.  The stairs are about every tenth of a mile in some areas, even in rural settings.  Some are moss covered.  Others are well worn.  Wonder what government decision led to these steps to the water?  I guess that is one thing that comes to me with the different countries, a different culture exists here.  Buildings, etc. seem to be viewed for long term use.  I do not mean the 20-50 years of the US mentality but centuries.

This is a working river with barges moving by often.  Almost every barge has one or two autos and a small boat on the deck.  One even had a Playskool playset on the deck.  We were told many of the folks basically live on the barges.  Bet they do not have the great service we are getting on this cruise!

Aquivit Terrace lunchtime

The wonderful crew on this cruise are great fun as well as excellent in service.  Not to even mention how efficient, helpful and just plain fun!  Hubby and I each are falling in love with crew members.

In addition to the lovely scenery along the river the waterfowl are prolific.  I would like to share a little bit of a heron doing a fly by.  Also, a bit of swan preening one morning as we were waiting for our turn at a lock.

After a delightful 'light' lunch on the Aquivit terrace, it is time to board the bus for Bamberg.  We are told to try to experience the smoked beer.  Seems this is one of the many claims to fame for this picturesque little town.  Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.  Unlike so many German cities, Bamberg was not targeted for bombs by the Allies during WWII.  That means there are buildings and walls dating from the 10th century.  

We manage to be the first to the bus so we pick the front seats!  Great for shots out the front window as we travel through the countryside.

Hubby noted that all the semi-truck tractors were snub-nosed.  He wondered why and I had no answer.  Maybe one of my readers will have an answer.....

 This flat land girl was interested in the tunnels.  Not something you run across on the plains of Texas.  Oooooooo, look what the lights look like in a tunnel.

And how does one pronounce this word?  My dirty mind can only think of one way to pronounce it.  And my nephew would laugh.

We arrive in this old city and it is really something to see.  Colorful, unique buildings line every street onto which we turn.  This becomes even more exciting as we enter the old town area.

We learned the smoked beer was sampled by a few of the group during free time.  BTW look at the insignia hanging on this sign. Jewish star?  That is what we all thought, too. Wrong, Ole Great Beer Breath!  It was a six point brewers star used as a symbol hung out in ancient days to say the beer was fresh and pure.  That symbol became universal as a way by beer makers even today to say their beer is fresh.

More of my beloved half timber buildings.

Random antique stores.  Even more random tongue in cheek statues.

The Roman Catholic root connection is evident everywhere.  Then one turns a corner and is confronted with the Holocaust by a simple plaque.  The city in memory of the lost Jewish population installed stumbling blocks.  A small rise or indention to make you stumble and remember the Holocaust victims.

And as life moved on from WWII, we move to the next part of the tour.  Views of the City Hall from the 'little Venice' fisherman's village.

 As just a reminder, real people live in this real, old city.
Front view of the city hall from a different location.
There was just so much to love about this city.  I have about 300 photos of just Bamberg.  It is really hard to decide which to share.  But this post is getting too long.  I'll finish with what we were greeted at our boat when we returned:

And if you wish to see more photos of Bamberg ......

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