We boarded the train in Berlin for our four-hour trip to Bamberg further south. It felt like our journey was really beginning now! We really enjoyed the trip; it was a clean and modern train with toilets almost like in a hotel (rather unlike trains in the UK…) and we passed some lovely scenery. We spent the time watching beautiful small towns with tiny well-maintained gardens, rolling hills, forests and even a rainbow from our window. We arrived in Bamberg without a reservation for accommodation, so we wandered round the streets with our big rucksacks and our trusty Lonely Planet guidebook to find somewhere to stay. Our first choice of a hotel within a brewery (chosen for obvious reasons) wasn’t available, but we found another good option relatively easily. Our hotel in Berlin had been very modern and somewhat anonymous; in contrast, this was a much older and more basic guesthouse with whitewashed walls, spartan furnishings and a shared bathroom, but also lots of character. We were pleased to find breakfast was included and planned to take full advantage!
We headed out to wander around the old town and had a pre-dinner pint of Bamberg’s speciality Rauchbier, which is said to taste just like smoked ham. Oli could taste it and rated it highly but Sara wasn’t so convinced, although she still managed two pints just to be sure!
We ate dinner outside as it was a beautiful evening. Our German skills thoroughly let us down and we couldn’t understand any of the menu, but were presented with some German sausages and a pizza (a bit of a surprise – who knew flamegriller meant pizza?!) so all was well. On the next table were a group of extremely jolly local men who were singing and toasting at very regular intervals. It really made us smile, they had obviously been taking full advantage of the excellent beer! After dinner, we went back to the guesthouse for an embarrassingly early night.